The Lord of the Rings: War in The North, Game (PC Version)  » Games  »
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  • The design work is brilliant and feels authentic to the look and feel of the movies but with such a derivative story you can't help but wish they had made a bigger departure from the films
  • There is a promise of character customisation which might have explained why the playable characters initially start out as bland and boring as they do - but the customisation is fairly linear
  • It makes minimal impact on the gameplay whether or not you choose to level up some skills over others, and ultimately I think most players will make similar choices because of the nature of hack n slash games' repetitive mechanics
  • I thought the Dragon in War in the North might have been too ambitious an addition but I was pleasantly surprised and reckon the developers pulled it off pretty well
  • If you can forgive a few glitches the cooperative campaign is worth a play through, and is perhaps where the most fun is to be had, but I'd advise that you and your friends play with equally levelled up characters to avoid further frustrations


    • by James Roberts

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      Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies opened the doors to Middle Earth, and with a vast library of additional literary material available there ought to be some serious scope for branching out. The idea of retelling the War of the Ring from the perspectives of characters outside of the Fellowship offers an almost unlimited range of possibilities. This game is set in the Northern reaches of Middle Earth, which was a region largely left unseen in the films and only referenced in dialogue that went unnoticed by anyone except for fans of the books. What a shame then that they took all of that potential and delivered such a droll story piloted by three lifeless characters who felt like cheap imitations of Aragorn, Gimli and Galadriel.

      The design work is brilliant and feels authentic to the look and feel of the movies but with such a derivative story you can’t help but wish they had made a bigger departure from the films. It is a good


      looking game, although as nice as the environments are, they do feel rather shallow thanks to the severe limitations on your ability to interact with them.

      There is a promise of character customisation which might have explained why the playable characters initially start out as bland and boring as they do - but the customisation is fairly linear. It makes minimal impact on the gameplay whether or not you choose to level up some skills over others, and ultimately I think most players will make similar choices because of the nature of hack n slash games’ repetitive mechanics.

      The Hack n Slash gameplay is a little bit uninspired here as well. There are a few moves to unlock as you progress but they don’t become available until too late in the game - rendering progress through the early levels occasionally quite tiresome. Other flaws with the gameplay are that damage you take from blows sometimes feels totally random and far too often your combination attacks fail to connect. And talking of randomness - the ease of some levels (I am thinking of one in particular involving Trolls and a door) depend entirely on whether or not the enemy AI wants to remorselessly punish you or not.

      If you’re playing the single player campaign then the characters also feel a little unbalanced. The Elven mage, Andriel, is pretty good if you’re playing co-operatively with your friends, but when you’re on your own her defensively focused skillset is not very well complemented by your AI allies seeming reluctance to attack enemies.

      Animations are also the same regardless of what weapon you have equipped to your character which leads to some fairly inexplicable impalings with blunt objects.

      The final frustration with the gameplay comes from trying to revive fallen allies. Enemies have a tendency to swarm around you and your ally, and without any kind of attack to disperse them for long enough, it is entirely down to chance whether or not you’ll be able to successfully ...


      • The Lord of the Rings: War in The North, Game (PC Version)
      heal your companion. It is unbelievably irritating. Especially as dying can you send you quite far back in the level due to the fairly random distribution of autosave points.

      All that being said there is also a lot to praise in the game. Decapitating enemies never actually gets old and remains pretty satisfying all the way through to the end. There are plenty of nice references to some of Tolkien’s creations that never made it into the films, and Radagast here is far far superior to his counterpart in the recent Hobbit films.

      I thought the Dragon in War in the North might have been too ambitious an addition but I was pleasantly surprised and reckon the developers pulled it off pretty well. This makes up for the presence of an otherwise dull main villain we have in Agandaur.

      Although it is nice to explore Bree and Rivendell there isn’t very much to do in either place. The side quests are not particularly interesting and have no impact on

      the progression of the story. They could have benefited from being tied more closely to material in the books or offering better in game rewards. A couple of these quests consist of running around small locations talking to NPCs in the correct order and don’t really encourage or allow exploration of any new areas.

      Although it sounds like I’ve been mostly disappointed with this game it was engaging enough for one complete play through. There was a nice reward towards the end where you are given a chance to make a decision that affects the ultimate fate of one character, which was a nice touch. But overall the game’s bugs (including occasional crashes) and lack of balance undermine any chance it had to make a lasting impression.

      If you can forgive a few glitches the cooperative campaign is worth a play through, and is perhaps where the most fun is to be had, but I’d advise that you and your friends play with equally levelled up characters to avoid further frustrations.




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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in February, 2015. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 284021641490628/k2311a024/2.4.15
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