Review by Demigod_Tyek
"Sadly, this game is only for the LOTR fans. Unless you are in this group, I wouldn't bother playing it."
Ok... The Lord of the Rings: Conquest. The idea was amazing, and ironically enough when I played Star Wars Battlefront II those years ago I actually came up with a LOTR-style game idea of the same mechanics. Well after I played this game, I realized that my idea was a lot better than what EA has just released.
Like I said, the idea is amazing. Star Wars Battlefront gameplay mechanics mixed into the LOTR world and battles. When I heard this hype, I was excited beyond belief. I am afterall, a big LOTR fan. But the game has only been out for 1 day so far and I feel sick that I actually spent $63 on it.
The Lord of the Rings: Conquest transports you into the major battles fought against Sauron during the Third Age of Middle-Earth. With the exception of Helm's Deep, all of the other battlefields are from the third part of the trilogy. The battlefields are impressive, but the graphics are only average.
When you are thrust into these battles, you can select one of four classes of soldiers to spawn at a point on the field with (exactly like Battlefront). There's a warrior, who uses a sword in close combat. There's an archer, with which you can shoot down your opponents from affair but they have no close combat technique at all. There's a mage, which can shoot lightning, fire, and heal themselves along with allies. And they can also use their staff for close combat, which probably makes the mage the jack-of-all-trades of the four classes. And then there's a scout, which I'll be honest I never even touched. You can go invisible and stealth kill enemies, like a ninja. Unless he is in stealth mode, he is weak and has no powerful attacks whatsoever. Therefore I declared the scout a waste of time and lives.
There is a "live" basis to the battlefields. If your current class dies, you will respawn at the checkpoint and be able to choose another class to fight with (minus 1 life). You start each battle with 3 lives, and as you complete objectives you gain more lives for that battle. The only way to lose a battle is if you lose all your lives or you fail to complete a required objective in so and so time.
In my opinion, the coolest part of the entire game is being able to play as "Heroes" when you meet certain conditions in a battle. These "Heroes" include the ones we all know- Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf, and many others. "Heroes" are far more powerful than the four regular classes you can choose normally, and when you start as a Hero, you can usually finish that particular battle with no problems.
It is a button-mash game you could say. Some people may disagree, but I mean come on. You press X,X,X,Y,Y, and B to do a complete combo, and that's about all I ever did, because that's about all that is able to defeat enemies that aren't "grunts." So if that's not called button-mashing, then define button-mashing for me please.
One of the greatest things about this game is the soundtrack. Howard Shore's masterpiece score plays during the battles, and I actually turned down the sound to everything else so I could just relax and button-mash to the great music that was playing at that point.
Despite the amazing idea that you may imagine right now, all of the above that I just said is actually under-lived. It's overhyped. You will get bored with all of that stuff within the second battle, I gaurantee you. Because nothing ever changes. You start out every battle usually having to capture an area no more than 10 feet away from where you first spawn. the objectives are bland and repetitive. It's was just a pure dissapointment.
The major cause of why I am sick that I spent $63 on this game is because it's only been out for 1 whole day and I have already done EVERYTHING that can be done. I beat the 'Good" Campiagn in maybe a total of 2 hours last night, thus unlocking Sauron's Campaign. I thought, 'Hmmm, that will be interesting." Well, today I beat Sauron's Campaign in under 2 hours! You can complete the battles in 5-10 minutes! And the "Good" Campaign contains 8 battles. Sauron's Campaign only included 7, I believe. So what's the point...
Another thing I enjoyed out of this game so far, is it portrays the battles in a lot more depth than the movies did. But this was not enough to call it an amazing game. The battle maps are little, and you usually end up going around it in circles. Look at how huge Minas Tirith was! Or even Pellenor Fields! Why couldn't it have been a free-roam style game around all of the area! Oh well....
A frustrating point of the game I experienced often if how much you can die and how much it can impact a certain event taking place at that time. It can take an average of 8-12 hits to kill your soldier, but I have experienced a lot of cheap 1-hit kills that I never even saw coming and all they did was leave me saying 'WTF!?" And if you are being charged with defending a certain area, well even as your dead and have to respawn, the enemies still overrun the area. That happened to me a lot, especially during Minas Tirith's defense.
You would think that engaging in the epic battles like Helm's Deep and The Black Gate would be an absolute thrill. But all in all, there are only maybe 15-20 enemies on screen at any given time. You see hundreds of soldiers in the "backgrounds" of the game, but you can't access them and they might as well be an illusion.
And even though Sauron's Campaign was interesting as hell, seeing as it produced a "What If" scenario, it was all just a big disappointment.
The multiplayer was average, simply because if's you against a whole bunch of people in free-for-all or team matches. There are no tedious objectives to fulfill, thus giving you a bit more freedom. But you will die like every 5 seconds...
I will say once more, THIS GAME IS ONLY FOR LOTR FANS. If you know nothing of LOTR and pick this game up, I feel sorry for you. Probably just because I am a LOTR fan, I gave it a 5.0. It probably should be a 4 or so. It's a very average and dissapointing hack'n'slash that didn't even manage to be a good hack'n'slash. If that makes any sense...
CONCEPT--- It's Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars Battlefront. Or so they said.
GRAPHICS--- Average if even that. It's pretty, but blurry backgrounds and enemies that are shown that you can't get to. Closed off areas... It just could have been better.
SOUND--- The game's strongpoint. Way to go Howard Shore for making a beautiful sound score for this amazing trilogy.
PLAYABILITY--- Simple button-mashing mechanics, and frustrating points in every battle.
ENTERTAINMENT--- For LOTR fans only. 'Nuff said.
REPLAY VALUE--- Low
--- Demigod Tyek
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 05/22/12
Game Release: The Lord of the Rings: Conquest (US, 01/13/09)
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