Review by White Rider

"Great LOTR Game For The PC!"

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Few people now do not know what the Lord of the Rings is about, especially after the recent movies made by Peter Jackson. I was really excited when I heard a Lord of the Rings game was coming out for the PC. The games based on the movies only came out on the console systems and on the GBA, so I was happy to hear this was coming out on the PC. I got it in the mail one day via UPS, and was real excited. Now, nearly a year later, I’m actually reviewing this game.
Anyhoo, enough blabbing, on to the review!

Game play: 9
The game is not an extremely in depth game, and has VERY easy puzzles, as opposed to the X-box version. However, it’s FUN (though the game is rather short). The space bar is used for jumping(Frodo), and kicking(Aragorn). Aragorn has 1 combo move with his sword. There is an attack button and a secondary attack button. The game has basic controls, with WSAD keys for movement, along with the mouse. Fortunately, if an enemy if is knocked to the ground, you can use a finishing off move to instantly kill them, if you’re playing as Gandalf, or Aragorn. NO rotatable camera, sad to say. The Shire is pretty, and it’s fun to do the FEW chores to do there. You get 3 characters to control. Frodo, Aragorn, and the all-powerful Gandalf the Grey.
Combat is simple, button mashing, but, to take out larger amounts of enemies, it takes skill to take them all out. I’ve found quick thinking and good use of the combat system (rather simplistic) can let you take out large numbers of enemies with ease (like 20 orcs that I led up to the top of a hill on the 1st Gandalf Level). There is a first person view so you can use projectile attacks with precision, but you can do them in 3rd person, which is more difficult. There are health power up and weapon upgrades that will help you along in this game.
Frodo has a walking stick to start out with, and has an unlimited number of rocks to throw by pushing the secondary attack button(which can be used to distract enemies, which is very fun, or, if you throw enough, like 20-60 of them, you can kill an orc!), then he moves up to a barrow dagger, which he uses only on ONE small level against the Barrow-Wight, and finally up to the elven dagger Sting(which glows).
Frodo’s levels can be played by sneaking or by combat(with the exception of a Shire level in which you MUST sneak and hide from the Nazgul, who if they get close enough to you, end the game). However, sometimes combat with Frodo can be difficult, for a novice, and besides, sneaking can be really fun. Frodo is the only character able to jump. Also, Frodo has a purity meter,which can be raised in some levels, if you have depleted it. It is depleted only by using the one ring to become invisible. Once your purity bar goes down all the way, you lose, being captured by the Nazgul.
Aragorn is a powerhouse. He can kick, do a move with a sword to knock enemies to the ground, and is great with the sword. He starts with a long sword, and moves up to Anduril, and if you get a secret on Amon hen, he can get a fish(which is very funny to see Aragorn fight with).
His levels are all combat oriented, and are very fun. His secondary attack is the bow, with unlimited arrows, though they don’t do much damage, they are without a doubt useful.
Gandalf is more than just a powerhouse, he’s...well... he’s Gandalf! He’s good in combat
with his sword, Glamdring, but the style IS different, so it might take a bit getting used to, though it can be just as effective, if not more than Aragorn’s style. His secondary attack is... MAGIC!
Magic takes spirit from a spirit bar, similar to Frodo’s purity bar, except it is replenished by finding
Mirouvir, the liquid from Elrond in the books. His levels are my favorite, and his magic can EASILY dispose tons of enemies at once.
In the game, Allies will OCCASIONALLY help you out. All the fellowship members will help you at one time or another in the game. They don’t have a great AI, but they’re invincible, so, if you’re terrible, you could wait for them to kill everything. There’s also a cameo appearance by Gollum(who can be hunted down, in a sense, and he’ll give you a fish to fight with as Aragorn, as I have already mentioned. A very fun secret, it will kill a troll in a few hits!)
The game is rather short, probably about 6-12 hours, but it is very fun. Though there are NO extras or unlockables, besides the FISH for Aragorn, the game is very fun to go through again.
The game is relatively stable, and has few bugs in it, MOST (but not all) are fixed in a patch.
Anyways, the game’s got great game play, though it is not very in depth.

Story:9
Though not nearly as comprehensive as the book, or the movies, and missing a few sections, the story was covered very well for this type of game, being an action/adventure.
I’m not going to cover the story much here, but the game begins in the Shire, controlling the hobbit Frodo Baggins. The party and Bilbo’s leaving is not covered, but that is understandable, as this is not a comprehensive RPG. It then moves along with the hobbits leaving the Shire after completing a FEW errands, and goes up to Amon hen at the end of the book, with the addition of Sam being kidnaped by a Nazgul, to lengthen the Game play time. Some people complained about it, but worse things are done to the books in the movies. This game includes Tom Bombadil, but, it’s rather annoying when Tom Bombadil skips along while you and you party of hobbits are attacked by spiders in The Old Forest (another liberty added to the game, but it’s fun). Anyhoo, the story is covered better than the book, and is quite enjoyable.

Graphics:8
Unfortunately, the graphics are not as detailed as the X-box version, because this game is a port of the PS2 version. Most of the textures are well detailed, but some are rather blurry, which should have been fixed up. Shadows are really nice, except indoors, when the character’s shadows become not existent, I suppose because of PS2 limitations, but then it was ported to the PC, so, I don’t see why they didn’t fix that up. Also, sometimes articles of clothing will go through the character model, most noticeable with Gandalf and his cape. However, much of the graphics are beautiful, and really set the mood. The character models are nice, and are sometimes similar to the movies, but definitely different. Overall, good graphics.

Sound:10
Great sound, with sword clashing, wood being chipped, lightning from Gandalf’s staff, wolves’ howling, it’s impressive. The music is very good, though not as impressive as the movies. Wonderful sound.

Tilt: 10
When I mean tilt, I mean how much I like the genre, or the series, and other miscellaneous things. I suppose it’s a foggy area that can help the score if I love the game. Anyhoo, I love LOTR, and I give it 10.

The scores are:
Gameplay: 9
Story: 9
Graphics:8
Sound:10
Tilt:10

Total Score(the average of the above scores)= 9.2

A good game, too bad it got a load of bad reviews.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/05/03


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