The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

A “Quick Hits” style post today. I got The Lord of the Rings: War in the North from GameFly the other day, so let’s talk about it.

I’m only in the first chapter so these are more impressions than an actual review or anything like that.

First off the story: I get what the developers are trying to do–show a tale that runs parallel to the events of The Lord of the Rings (the movies specifically). The point is to emphasize that the war against Sauron was bigger and involved more of Middle Earth than people imagined. So therefore the developers invented some characters and said this is how they fought in the north, in the former Numenaran kingdom of Arnor. Apparently by keeping Sauron distracted in the north, they helped the Fellowship accomplish their mission.

So basically these guys are the Rogue Squadron on Hoth to the Fellowship’s transports and Millennium Falcon–fighting to buy time.

Problem is the characters are all boring. Maybe this is just a limitation of the source material, or the fault could be with me. I’m not 16 anymore (haven’t been for a while), and I don’t find the setting/story anywhere near as interesting.

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North gameplay

Plus it’s disconcerting to hear British accents everywhere and then the Dwarf main character sounds American. Kinda strange.

So you have three side characters, problem is none of them are interesting either. Again this could be a limitation of the setting: the “good guys” all have to be super good and noble and bland, while the “bad guys” embody evil (though they’re not too evil. Sauron’s supposed to be the really evil guy).

That’s really all I have about The Lord of the Rings: War in the North. It’s bland like plain toast. The art style does nothing special. Lots of brown and grey during the first few levels. Plus within the first couple of hours there were three or four turret sections. That’s kind of ridiculous in a game with supposedly medieval technology. Also boring. Needless to say, I shipped it back to GameFly with no misgivings.