September 23, 2002

Lord of the Rings: Two Towers - Preview

Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
1/11/2002EA GamesEA Games1$99.95

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Gimli battles in the forest.
While the Vivendi Universal Lord of the Rings game is based on the book, and is an RPG styled game, this Electronic Arts version is based on the Peter Jackson movies. This has allowed the development team to use all the artwork, music and even actor likenesses from the movies. However instead of a RPG styled game as many were hoping for (Electronic Arts are apparently considering that for the future) this game is a third person action/adventure title with an emphasis on tactical sword fighting. One other notable thing about this game is that despite being titled Lord of the Rings: Two Towers it actually includes settings from the first two movies, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, and will be released a couple of months before the second movie hits the big screen.

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An orc cops it fair and square.
EA's first Lord of the Rings game will allow players to take control of the motion picture trilogy's action heroes: Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, with other members of the Fellowship taking an active role during gameplay. It has been rumoured, although totally unconfirmed that the game may includes a couple of hidden playable characters. In The Two Towers, players will battle a variety of Orcs and square off against vicious boss monsters including the Cave Troll from the first movie, and Saruman. A tactical gameplay system will encourage players to react quickly and be strategic with their selection of characters, weaponry and combat moves.

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Battle at the walls of Helm's Deep.
The development team behind Lord of the Rings: Two Towers are promising battles against five boss monsters from the first two movies including, as previously mentioned, the Cave Troll and Saruman. These bosses will appear at various moments through the sixteen levels in the game, all of which are taken from 10 different locations seen in the movies including the Mines of Moria and the walls of Helm's Deep.

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Check out the detail on the troll.
Graphics also look impressive with some wonderful facial detail. Time will tell if it's all fully animated, but you'd expect so. Apparently the game has very little to no slowdown, even with up to 20 characters on screen. Hopefully this is true as the game certainly looks nice enough not to be spoiled by some sloppy programming. Yet another benefit to the license from the movie is the ability to use the musical score from the motion picture which will ensure its quality.

My only concern about this game is how much of the second movie's plot it may give away. Not everyone has read the books and releasing the game two months prior to the cinematic release of The Two Towers may upset some people if it gives away enemies, plots and characters. Expect a worldwide release sometime in November.