Using both the book and the movie licenses for LOTR, the new RPG War in the North aims to set a mature tone.
Warner Bros. announced that they are publishing the new RPG which is set to drop in 2011 on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC platforms. Taking a cue from grittier games like Dragon Age, the game is set in the north of Middle-earth while the more famous battles of the War of Ring were happening in Gondor and Mordor. You'll be able to create your own fellowship to fight the forces of Sauron through online co-op play with up to three players. War in the North is being developed by Snowblind Studios, of Seattle, WA, who also made Champions of Norrath and Justice League Heroes.
"With The Lord of the Rings: War in the North we are taking a mature approach to the widely celebrated property with authentic portrayals of battles and all new storylines," said Martin Tremblay, from Warner Bros. Interactive. "Utilising the award-winning and passionate development team at Snowblind Studios, we are looking to evolve the RPG experience and deliver The Lord of the Rings game fans have been waiting for."
The designer points to the game having a more actiony feel. "In The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Snowblind will deliver an action RPG for core gamers featuring authentic narrative and environmental locations from J.R.R. Tolkien's original The Lord of the Rings," said Ryan Geithman, Founder of Snowblind Studios.
It's unclear whether "north" refers to Arnor or the area surrounding Erebor, otherwise known as the Lonely Mountain. According to lore from the appendices in Return of the King, a sizable army of Easterlings attacked the Men of Dale and the Dwarven Kingdom Under The Mountain. While this event has been used for the RTS Battle for Middle-earth II, I definitely think it's a ripe enough setting for some action RPG goodness.
The website for the game is pretty vague and the "north" may encompass the entirety of everything on Tolkien's map above Rivendell.
In any case, I'm interested but I wish this was a true RPG without the "action" prefix. Don't we have a bunch of those already?