War in the North Review

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War in the North Review

Lose yourself in Tolkien's lore

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I do love how IGN sees this as just another liscenced action game while Greg sees it as a lovingly-crafted fan pleaser.

As to whether I'll get it, I will, as long as I can convince my friend(who eats this stuff up) to get it. After all, the consensus seems to be "better with more than one person"

Well, Mr. Tito, we are looking for very different things in our LotR game. I actually want to go on a linear, authentic quest to destroy the ring: I want to stand on the buttressed wall of Helm's Deep as Saruman throws his might at it. I want to stand on the ramparts of Osgiliath as Orcs stream across the river. I want to lead the charge of the Rohirrim down on the fleld of Pelennor. I want to play The Lord of the Rings. Stuff happening else where in Middle-Earth is not a part of the Lord of the Rings, it's only a part of the general lore of Middle-Earth.

To hammer the point home, I present to you:

Gonna be honest and say i'm completely surprised about this game...

It doesn't follow the already overused story of the movies, told in different art-styles and with different gameplays that EA tends to release every single year.

Now that this title is kinda off EA clutches, i'm not amazed it turned out to be good. The studios ventured with a side story that takes events along with the fellowship, but has 3 different raced heroes under the spotlight.

The co-op is great, the gameplay is easy to figure out, graphicly it's not out of this world, but it's good, the background amazing, the story epic and the sound system awesomly beautifull.

It's a great Action/ RPG and a good bring back to the title, has well has a step in the right direction of what kind of LOTR games they should make next.

One can only protect Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith a couple times... he will do them with honour and bravury, but that doesn't mean he should do them forever!!! So this game is a good change!!

Giest4life:
Well, Mr. Tito, we are looking for very different things in our LotR game. I actually want to go on a linear, authentic quest to destroy the ring: I want to stand on the buttressed wall of Helm's Deep as Saruman throws his might at it. I want to stand on the ramparts of Osgiliath as Orcs stream across the river. I want to lead the charge of the Rohirrim down on the fleld of Pelennor. I want to play The Lord of the Rings. Stuff happening else where in Middle-Earth is not a part of the Lord of the Rings, it's only a part of the general lore of Middle-Earth.

Feel free to play the hundreds of games of LOTR with that content. The only different thing is the art styles and the way the story is told, but if you like to perform the same tasks and embark on the same adventure over and over and over again for the same result, withouth wanting to know about what else happened that led the story so far up, please do play any of the EA trademarked Lord of the Rings games...

You will get the same exact experience in each and every single one. Hope you like it...

My favorite Lord of the Rings game is still The Third Age, but maybe this one will impress me one day when it's much cheaper on Steam.

TitanAtlas:

Giest4life:
Well, Mr. Tito, we are looking for very different things in our LotR game. I actually want to go on a linear, authentic quest to destroy the ring: I want to stand on the buttressed wall of Helm's Deep as Saruman throws his might at it. I want to stand on the ramparts of Osgiliath as Orcs stream across the river. I want to lead the charge of the Rohirrim down on the fleld of Pelennor. I want to play The Lord of the Rings. Stuff happening else where in Middle-Earth is not a part of the Lord of the Rings, it's only a part of the general lore of Middle-Earth.

Feel free to play the hundreds of games of LOTR with that content. The only different thing is the art styles and the way the story is told, but if you like to perform the same tasks and embark on the same adventure over and over and over again for the same result, withouth wanting to know about what else happened that led the story so far up, please do play any of the EA trademarked Lord of the Rings games...

You will get the same exact experience in each and every single one. Hope you like it...

a) I've read all but one one of the works written by Tolkien (The Children of Hurin). I know what happened in Middle-Earth and beyond. I've no desire to explore the world Tolkien created because I already know most of it.

b)I've played the million-or-so games licensed by EA. They are shit. The Battle for Middle-Earth series are decently made, but because it's a strategy game, the whole experience feels a bit detached. I even tried the LotR online, and it, too, was below par. I've even played games which have modded LotR maps but they have their limitations.

All I want is to play one excellently done LotR campaign which tells the epic tale using gampeplay.

War in the North holds no appeal for me.

I'm pleasently surprised this game didn't turned out to be shit, after reading the (awful) review of IGN, I didn't expected much about it, but it's good to know that a fan of Tolkien and not some COD obsessed asshat (that gave a freakin' 8 to Sonic Generations), liked this game.

This game seems pretty cool. Maybe I'll get it in December to supliment whatever time there is in between Skyrim, AC:R, and MW3.

I am enjoying this game. It's a good B game, like a good B movie. There are some obvious rough bits in the mechanics, but I can deal with them, and the hack and slash is fun enough if you vary it up with the extra skills. But for a licensed game (that isn't Batman: AA or AC) it's made with an incredible amount of love.

Biggest hint - use B (dodge and roll) a LOT when you're fighting trolls or other bosses. It's near instant - if you wait for your swings to finish to move normally he'll have hit you long ago.

Grrr, forum hiccup. Deleting dup..

Giest4life:

TitanAtlas:

Giest4life:
Well, Mr. Tito, we are looking for very different things in our LotR game. I actually want to go on a linear, authentic quest to destroy the ring: I want to stand on the buttressed wall of Helm's Deep as Saruman throws his might at it. I want to stand on the ramparts of Osgiliath as Orcs stream across the river. I want to lead the charge of the Rohirrim down on the fleld of Pelennor. I want to play The Lord of the Rings. Stuff happening else where in Middle-Earth is not a part of the Lord of the Rings, it's only a part of the general lore of Middle-Earth.

Feel free to play the hundreds of games of LOTR with that content. The only different thing is the art styles and the way the story is told, but if you like to perform the same tasks and embark on the same adventure over and over and over again for the same result, withouth wanting to know about what else happened that led the story so far up, please do play any of the EA trademarked Lord of the Rings games...

You will get the same exact experience in each and every single one. Hope you like it...

a) I've read all but one one of the works written by Tolkien (The Children of Hurin). I know what happened in Middle-Earth and beyond. I've no desire to explore the world Tolkien created because I already know most of it.

b)I've played the million-or-so games licensed by EA. They are shit. The Battle for Middle-Earth series are decently made, but because it's a strategy game, the whole experience feels a bit detached. I even tried the LotR online, and it, too, was below par. I've even played games which have modded LotR maps but they have their limitations.

All I want is to play one excellently done LotR campaign which tells the epic tale using gampeplay.

War in the North holds no appeal for me.

In that i agree. There hasan't been one LOTR campaign that could par with the awesomness of the Books and Movies.

I too want this epic adventure, in wich i fight hundreds if not millions of enemies. Good voice acting and a experience that makes me wat to play the game. I do not want silly mini-games, fight a small group of orcs when i can see hundreds of them beyond invisible walls, or even have my tale be told has it was a child's story with weak-cartoonish designs.

I want to ride my horse into battle, i want to be in the middle of the wall at Helm's Deep has i cry for help till help arrives at dawn at east side, i want to fence off the invasion at minas tirith and see the undead ghost army fight by my side, i want to cross the marshes (swamp area. forgot the name), i want to enter Mordor, grab that goddam ring and toss it into the fiery pits of mount doom!!

I do not want games with 8 missions only, told horribly, with no grab and feel to the story, that makes me fight the same thing over and over and over again.

i want to be in the full-story a adventure that takes me beyond of the generic 4 hour campaigns that have been released constantly. I want to se Balrog and fear for my life!!

I had high hopes for LOTR conquest... but it was CRAP!!!... even the online game... it was weak and pathetic!!!

I want to be part of the adventure. But unfortenatly at the hands of EA we will never get it. I'm surprised they haven't made a Lego Lord of the Rings... that would really stick a knife in the old ticker...

At least the books get a deserved respect with a good game. War in the North might not be the full-on story of the fellowship, but it is a good game, and Tolkien deserved at least that. A good game honouring his work.

May we hope that one day, on a epic adventure of the fellowship, we might fight besides hundreds of our comrades against Sauron, and if that day, that campaign has co-op or some kind of multiplayer, may we cross our swords and charge against the enemy. Till then!!

I thought War in the North was supposed to be an open world RPG like the Elder Scrolls? Am I confusing this for a different LotR game?

If its a fan pleaser then im a fan and i like to be pleased.

Im just very pissed at the fact this is getting released 3 weeks later than the whole other world in the UK.

TitanAtlas:
It doesn't follow the already overused story of the movies, told in different art-styles and with different gameplays that EA tends to release every single year.

Yes lets all pretend that Battle for Middle Earth II and its expansion Rise of the Witch-King does not exist.

This game bears similarities to an old lord of the rings title for the ps2. I think that was an rpg that allowed two player. I only played it once and traded it in. Even though this is drenched in heresy I think we should detach ourselves from lord of the rings story arc and make a completely new story based in that world. I think that would be cool although the task of doing something like that would be very daunting.

Heh I remember Spoony getting childishly angry that the mage in the game wields the staff like it's some sort of machine gun.

Swifteye:
This game bears similarities to an old lord of the rings title for the ps2. I think that was an rpg that allowed two player. I only played it once and traded it in. Even though this is drenched in heresy I think we should detach ourselves from lord of the rings story arc and make a completely new story based in that world. I think that would be cool although the task of doing something like that would be very daunting.

Heh I remember Spoony getting childishly angry that the mage in the game wields the staff like it's some sort of machine gun.

On the whole detaching from the lord of the rings story arc" idea, it would be way, WAY too easy to make a new story/game in some other time of Middle Earth. I mean, there's just so much!
First age Beren/Luthien and wars of Gondolin, the wars with Morgoth and all that. There's the kinslaying of the elves, the rise of Numenor... Shit, the First Age alone has huge, HUGE amounts of content.
Then of course, you could do the founding of the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor, the early wars of the Rohirrim (come to think of it, playing a game involving Helm Hammerhand would be hilariously awesome. He's bascially the MacBeth of Middle Earth)
Middle Earth is a huge, HUGE place filled with lore, and there's nothing I'd rather see than game studios abusing the hell out of it. Sadly, the only bit we've gotten of that was Battle for Middle Earth 2.

On topic, I'm loving War in the North. Pretty damned solid game. Goddamned amazing, really, once you get pass clunky multiplayer issues. I know I love it, and the fanservice is nice too.

I am pleasantly surprised that this game didn't turn out to be shit actually, I might just buy / rent this out.

I really want to play this game! just need to find a friend who will commit to playing it through on co-op for me. I can't be the only LotR fan in my social circle...

do miss the old days when an old friend and I would just hack away in the RotK game on our Gamecube! that was mad fun

TitanAtlas:
I had high hopes for LOTR conquest... but it was CRAP!!!... even the online game... it was weak and pathetic!!!

I mirror every one of your sentiments exactly, especially this line. Conquest had the potential to be the very game that LOTR fans were hankering for, an epic battle game charting every epic battle in the epic war for the ring. Instead we got some generic, bland game that can't even be described as average because even the gameplay was boring. Urgh, I don't even want to think about it.

War in the North looks to be a better game by far but still not really what I was looking for. It's a real shame they could licence the actors' likenesses but not their voices as well. I have a thing about voice acting.

Still, being the fan that I am, I expect this will end up in my collection at some point all the same.

Is it me or am I missing part of the review? I only see images and hear your voice. I thought there always was some gamemusic under it?

But otherwise, I enjoyed playing this game over at the Warner place. But when I got it in my hands here I was, indeed, swinging my weapons into thin air, even though I was standing against said troll.

And the AI gets in the way, blocking your path sometimes.
Erf.. At least they revive me quickly. . . Right?

TitanAtlas:
snip

there has been a good Lord of the Rings game though :O Its called Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, available for Xbox, PS2 and PC, its easily one of the best hack n' slash games I have ever played, it has tonnes of awesome upgrades for each character, a shitload of characters to play as, as well, amazing levels and great extras as well.
Although Legolas is a little overpowered, at higher levels he can fire 3 arrows at time :/ still fun as shit though

Also Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, its an original story in the LotR universe, running parallel to the books/movies, its an actual RPG and its complete awesomesauce

check them both out

I passed this title up because my partner and I didn't think we'd have time to really enjoy it before Skyrim came out and stole our souls; damn you game companies, for thinking everything needs to be released just before the holidays! Then the reviews started hitting and people were trashing it, saying it's dull and uninteresting.

This though? This pretty much sold me. I'm too ridiculous of a Tolkien dork not to. Will grab it up during a Steam sale perhaps, because now it definitely IS too close to Skyrim to give it any of our precious time.

Greg Tito:
War in the North Review

Lose yourself in Tolkien's lore

Read Full Article

I always find myself disappointed when a game or book from a major franchise has too much canon in it. Of course, the obvious offender here is Star Wars, but I feel Lord of the Rings isn't far behind.

Such care was taken to create an expansive universe (or galaxy, or continent) full of cultures and languages and histories that all go beyond the story and characters being presented. It's all those unexplored roads that make the universe feel huge and full of mystery. It feeds our curiosity, but only a snack.

But how large can the universe be when you keep running into the same five guys over and over? Hell, I don't see some of my own co-workers half as often as every Steve-iel the billionth elven ranger runs into Gandalf or Aragorn. (Or as often as every two-credit smuggler crosses paths with Han Solo)

I understand you want threads that tie you to the canon, or it might as well not be Lord of the Rings. I understand a certain amount of iconography is necessary to give it all the right feel. But I also feel that cramming in characters and references can become a crutch that leads to lazy writing. We think we're winking at the audience, saying, "See? Still Lord of the Rings in here," but really we just have our blinders on. And I think it shrinks the world of the source material a little every time.

I was extremely sceptical about this game, because as far as I could tell, the only reason it was a big deal was because it was the first LotR game to have an M rating.

Now though, I'm seriously considering buying it. I'm a huge Tolkien nerd and love the world-building just as much as I love the books, so the amount of effort that has apparently gone into making this game authentic is a very big draw for me. Hell, the fact that Elladan and Elrohir - characters who aren't that important in the books and don't even get mentioned in the films - appear would probably be enough to get me interested.

The_Blue_Rider:

TitanAtlas:
snip

there has been a good Lord of the Rings game though :O Its called Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, available for Xbox, PS2 and PC, its easily one of the best hack n' slash games I have ever played, it has tonnes of awesome upgrades for each character, a shitload of characters to play as, as well, amazing levels and great extras as well.
Although Legolas is a little overpowered, at higher levels he can fire 3 arrows at time :/ still fun as shit though

Also Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, its an original story in the LotR universe, running parallel to the books/movies, its an actual RPG and its complete awesomesauce

check them both out

Acctually i owned them...

The Return of the King was with no doubt a major piece of crap. From annoying invisible walls, to ridiculous mini-games, with irritating camera angles. Was not worth a dime. Hell, even gamestop sells the original for 2 euros on my country. That's like 3 dollars i think.

And Third Age, is ok, but not a good game. It doesn't capture the needed feeling people desired on a LOTR game based on the main campaign.

quick question but does anyone know if this game has local co-op or just online?
it's the deciding factor on whether i purchase.

Ok. Now I want this game. I wish I had more money.

Ach well, I'll be very content with Skyrim for now and I'll let out the odd murmur while playing it of, "Yaaaay, this is a bit like Lord of the Rings..."

Nice review, Greg. I'm thinking about picking this up in December once I've had time to mess around with Skyrim.

Hungry Donner:
I thought War in the North was supposed to be an open world RPG like the Elder Scrolls? Am I confusing this for a different LotR game?

Apparently I was thinking of "The White Council" instead. *shrug*

Wasn't this supposed to be an RTS at first? I could have sworn I read a preview about War in the North being an RTS like Battle for Middle Earth. Oh well, memory, old age, etc...

This could very well be the first Lord of the Rings game I get for myself. It looks a lot like a Bioware RPG (specifically, Dragon Age 2) only...I don't wanna say better but it does look like that. I've never really been into LotR but this could be the exception. Also, did anyone else find it funny that the eagle, while talking, looked like its beak was moving like lips? It was more noticeable on the corners of its beak.

Nami nom noms:
quick question but does anyone know if this game has local co-op or just online?
it's the deciding factor on whether i purchase.

I believe you can play local co-op. I will check when I get home from work tonight and let you know.

Boromir is coming ;)
also, I do like the visuals seen here, maybe I'll eventually pick it up...

Loved the impression ;)
I don't think I'll get this one. I love that they took such care of the lore, but as I'm not that big of a LOTR fan, I don't think I'll appreciate it much. I hear the gameplay is repetitive, if it'd been more compelling I'd have loved to dive more into the lore though. Also, Skyrim.

I really like the concept of this game and wish more movie/game adaptations would delve deeper into the worlds they are showing. you watch a movie/read a book based on one story line and get to know a part of that world and it leaves you with the desire to see more of it. instead of just trying to show the same thing such as the fellowships quest wich we have plenty of in the books, movies, animated movies, cartoons, they show us whats going on elsewhere in the world. Rehashing the same story in multiple mediums and one is going to suck compared to the other, but if you do a storyline thats part of the same world during the same time and you can show more of that world without the "the **** was better" comparisons. If tied in properly to the main storyline you could have a much better game or movie.

I myself would rather play a game or watch a movie thats based on the same world and tied in to each other but not the same story.

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