If you haven’t noticed, The Lord of the Rings franchise has been quiet these past few years. Granted their is Lord of the Rings Online, which has been out for a while now and just earlier this year it was announced Free to Play. But even before that, the world of Middle Earth was on everyone’s mind and now that has even faded into silence. Now, Warner Bros. Interactive and Snowblind Studios has just unleashed their brand new game set in mind to be a different story told from a different perspective in The Lord of the Rings: War in the North.
Lets talk a bit about War in the North. War in the North is an action-RPG genre that is strongly focused on co-op. In the beginning their is three warriors that set out on a new adventure which is parralel with the events in the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy. War in the North adds a brand new plot and perspective. You get all the usual features that an action-RPG genre brings to the table. From buying and selling at shops, looting treasures and repair your weakened or broken weapons at the town’s blacksmith.
You get the option in the beginning to choose from one of the three warriors. You can select from being Farin the Dwarf, Eradin the Ranger, or Andriel the Elf. Now, like I was previously stating. The plot is around the same era when Frodo first takes the ring from the Shire. In War in the North, you (the character you chose at the beginning) and the other two warriors must embark on a quest to the North to defeat a new threat, Agandaur. Agandaur is one of Sauron’s most deadly lieutenants.
Since I am a more of a close combat and some ranged attack player, I ended up choosing Eradin the Ranger as my warrior. If you would prefer just close combat, Farin the Dwarf would be great choice for you or Andriel the Elf if you prefer to be a Mage and ranged attack.
It all started off with you and your companions meeting the famous Ranger of them all, Aragorn. Also know as the Lone Ranger, meeting him at the Prancing Pony in Bree. Thus this is where you first hear about the four hobbits who are also meeting Aragorn in a few days. Although he doesn’t explain himself about the hobbits to you, he tells you it is very important that you and your companion must set out and destract the enemy so they may escape the shire alive. Sounds familiar? You guessed it, this is when the dark lord’s servants and their black horses invade the shire in search of the hobbits. Thus the adventure of their life time begins.
As far as the game goes on developing the characters, I didn’t really feel attached in any way to them. Even after the game. This is one thing Snowblind studios could of improved on. When watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I felt the attachment to each and every character. But then again, it was a movie not a game.
As you progress through the game, battling orcs and other challenging creatures. The combat system is very good when coming to an action-RPG, you have the options to do powerful final blows that end up chopping of heads, arms, legs, and more. You even have some special abilities in the game that allow you to call on one of the Great Eagle named Beleram so they can swoop down and take out your enemies for you.
Co-op is a major factor in the success of this game, having two other warriors to help you fight throught the game wether they are your buddies or just plain AI’s. This is one thing they did right. Well? Mostly right. Their is still room for improvement. But bottom line, if you enjoy Co-op games like I do. You will enjoy this game and spend many hours playing War in the North.
The graphics aren’t stunning, but do okay when coming to textures, the view, and of course, the blood and gore. The soundtrack and voice acting is what brings this game. They are really good on the cutscenes and for me. I personally wouldn’t want to skip them. They made the game all the better. If your a LOTR fan, I would recommend getting the game, althought it isn’t the best. It is still a great game to play. Overall, with the gameplay, graphics, sounds, and storyline. I would rate the game a 7 out of 10.