Review by gamer8r

"Wow! A Lord of the Rings game that stays faithful to the book!"

Okay, don't get me wrong here, I really liked the lord of the rings movies, but I was annoyed about how they took SO MUCH of the book out of the story. For those of you who want a game based on the movie, you'll be disappointed, those of you who (like me) wish that there was a game that resembles the story, you'll be delighted.

story 10/10
YES!! THANK YOU TO THE DESIGNERS OF THIS GAME!! You have showed us that it IS possible to make a game based on lord of the rings without adding in a bunch of nonsense (Gateway Gems, anyone?). I really like how this game stays so close to the book, even if it is a little odd in a game sometimes. There are a few things added in, but I understand that you need to put some things in sometimes for the sake of a game.

graphics 8/10
good 3-d graphics, but I have some problems with the movement of characters. When you turn around, there isn't any graphic, the ground just swings around under you. Also, when Gandalf walks downhill, he jumps forward instead of walking, and there are a few problems with people's beards going into their chests and capes going into their backs, and Galadriel's hair disappears into her shoulders, but I'm just being picky here because those things might annoy some people.

A big problem I had was with the cut scenes. Not all of them, there are two types. One uses the actual characters where they actually are, and the other which appears form time to time uses a computer animated movie type look. Hands down the second one is better. When the actual characters are used, they have the nasty problem of looking like they're falling asleep no matter how much danger they're in. They keep the same blank expression, and the same tone of voice, which I'll get to later.

sound 7/10
Well, I had to take off points for the voice acting. In most of the cut scenes, the characters seem to, like I said, act just plain...bored. I'll never forget in Moria when Legolas said "Ai, Ai, a Balrog!" without sounding like he was the slightest bit interested.

control 3/10
UGH! This is the only real problem that I have with this game. You control your character's forward and backward movement with the arrow keys, but turn them with the mouse, which means you can't turn around quickly. Picture this, you're being attacked by two trolls and a few wolves, and they're all behind you. Now normally in any game you just turn around, but in this game it takes a second, which gives the enemy time to attack, killing you A LOT!! Oh, and jump/kick (depending on who you are) is the space bar. Now to do something simple like turn around, run and jump which would take about half a second in Mario 64 you need to stand still and move the mouse around, then run, then take your hand off the keys, move it onto the space bar, take your hand of the mouse, move it onto the forward arrow key, and then run and jump.

Gameplay 7/10
would be 10/10 but the fun is brought down by the bad control. You walk around your standard "Go from point A to point B" hacking and slashing your way through until you finish the quests that it gives you. Add in the fact that it's Lord of the Rings, and you've got a great game. I just don't like those invisible walls, they're in pretty weird places. You can be running up a hill to get away form an enemy on wht looks like a path, and then just stop.

r8ing: it's not the best lord of the rings game out there, but fans of the books will like the way it follows the book almost to the letter.

I would definitely rent, This game isn't for everyone and you can probably finish it in a day or two if you play for a while.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/02/04, Updated 11/15/04

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