Review by Myrdraal8

"Find a Fellowship of Friends and Smash!"

Concept: Play as heroes of the fellowship or as villains serving Sauron in the battle for Middle Earth. Four character classes, fighter, rogue, wizard, and archer let you and your friends tell the tale in this action packed game.

Graphics: Average. The graphics are what one would expect for a modern day game. The lack of visual damage to enemies and lack of fine detail in the battlegrounds and character is what keeps this game from standing out in the graphics department.

Sound: Great. Same awesome soundtrack from the Lord of the Rings films. Voice acting played by the original actors is always a plus. Generic guttural fighting with medieval weapon sound effects.

Control: Good for an action game, but weapon contact is difficult to judge for the fighter based characters. Other characters which use ranged weaponry will find the control scheme works fine however.

Game Time: 12 hours for single player quest.

If you are looking to fulfill your Lord of the Rings fix or simply want to quickly smash enemies with your friends in a medieval atmosphere this game is for you. Overall the single player quest is fun, but the stages feel small compared to the scale presented in Tolkens' books and Jacksons' films. It left me feeling we are still waiting for the true Lord of the Rings action game to define what it is like to be fighting for Middle Earth. At times the battles take liberties with Tolkens' tale, which may bother some, but I found them acceptable as long as I got to smash some orc.

The evil campaign is a hoot, and lets you take control of the Witch King, Balrog, and Sauron himself! Do not worry however; when a player is one of these mighty characters they will be able to do some awesome damage. Of course being on the opposite side of this beating can be awfully frustrating, thus demonstrating the unbalanced nature of the game (this is similar to the balancing issues also seen in Pandemic Studios' Star Wars Battlefront II). So although the game does not stay faithful to Tolkens' novels and does not fully satisfy those looking for the definitive Lord of the Kings experience this game does shine in the multiplayer arena.

Whether you and some friends want to quickly smash heads or go on a massive campaign this game is a riot to play. Each of the classes compliments one another to promote teamwork, and is varied enough to give a player a different experience with each one. Depending on the settings you and your friends choose players can also join the battle as Gandalf, Gimli, Aragorn, Legolas, Saruman, Ring Wraith, Witch King…nearly any hero or villain who wish to play as. Same can be said for the battlefields that all are here that you could desire. Playing together in the same room works, but makes for a crowded screen, best to enjoy this game in your own room playing online with your friends. Only issues one will find are the same issues that haunt first person shooters such as spawn points next to enemies. At least the character classes are balanced enough to make sure everyone has fun.

Recommendation: Own it for online multiplayer fun.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/15/09

Game Release: The Lord of the Rings: Conquest (US, 01/13/09)

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