Review by MichiganMarine

""Let's hunt some Orc!" OH YEAH!!!"

Wow, what a great movie to game translation! Yes, that was said about Spiderman : The Movie, which was good, but isn't even in the same class as The Two Towers. If you wanted to grab a blade and start swingin' in Moria, or fight off the Ringwraiths, or face the Uruk-Hai, this is your game :)

Gameplay : 10
This is the bread and butter of this title, and how! The first level has you fighting off hordes of Orcs on the slopes of Mount Doom in Mordor, which is actually the tutorial level. It's a little hard to grasp at first, because of all the insane action going on around you, but pretty soon you'll get the hang of it. The great thing about the control is that it really feels smooth, and is ultra-responsive. You get to the point where you're thought and action become one, something rarely achieved in a game. For a movie-game, this is unbelievably awesome. Fans will not be disappointed at all.

Story : 10
Unless you were in prison over the last year (and let's face it, you haad to have been to not have seen this movie), or never picked up a worthwhile fantasy book IN YOUR LIFE, you already are familiar with the storyline of the Lord Of The Rings epic. For those of you unfamiliar, listen to your great-grandkids and watch one of those new fangled DVD's that are all the rage, or grab a piece of charcoal from last night's roast in the cave you live in, and fill out a library card application and read these books. :) Ok, to be to the point, this game takes place from the Great Battle depicted in the movie and in the Silmarilion, and ends well into the Two Towers. All the necessary video intros are present to bring you up to speed as to where the game is going to next. Again, if you've seen the movie, you know what's coming. If you haven't, we'll have a moment of silence for what passes as your sense of cinematic and literary enthusiasm...

Audio/Video : 10
Great graphics? Check. Flawless Movie Clips to Game Engine Transitions? Check. New Footage and Dialogue? Check. Enhanced Detail Film Clips from the yet-to-be-released Collector's Edition DVD? Check. This game really gives you a lot of content for your dollar, and even the Menus seem to be bursting with MiddleEarth ambience! Again, fans will not be disappointed, and yet there is still so much for the true gamer to appreciate that in retrospect, all the past movie-to-games are shown to be what they truly are--cheap attmepts to get our hard-earned money. Well EA, you are the first publisher that I feel has really earned our dollars, and I'm sure the rest of the gaming community will echo my sentiments.

Replayability : 10
There is so much to unlock in this game (Interviews, Secret Missions, Production Art, Behind the Scenes clips, etc...) that it will be AT LEAST a week or so before you'll be able to put this game down, even with that little-known game GTA: Vice City being released soon. Again, EA really put a lot into this game,and it really shows too. Hidden Characters, Hidden Levels, and probably more, are ready to be uncovered for those willing to put the time in. Which is something I'd like to comment on: NO CHEAT CODES ARE AVAIALABLE AT THE START. You even have to Unlock them!!! Is that cool or what? If it seems to tough for you, don't worry, there are the normal difficulty levels to choose from: Easy, Normal, and Hard. Although I don't think I'm ready for Hard, and I don't say that very often. Add to all this the fact that you can play as Aragorn, Gimli, or Legolas, and the Replay factor is readily apparent.

Buy/Rent : BUY
As I stated above, there are many, many reasons to buy, and this is going to be a game that is going to change the way future movie games are done. I honestly think that this was good enough to stand on its own, even if there had never been a Lord Of The Rings movie made.

Overall : 10
Even though this is my first review, and I usually look at 10 out of 10 scores pretty darn skeptically, I feel that it really deserves it.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/22/02, Updated 10/22/02

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