Lord of the Rings Conquest

2010-12-12 17:50:44

The Lord of the Rings movies have seen such a merchandising campaign that it might almost dwarf the Star Wars trilogy had they started merching out at the same time. There have been untold video games, there is a board game, multiple reprints of the movies and books, card games, an MMO and a roleplaying tabletop game. This series has definitely been striking gold in just about every place it can. I am drawn to these titles because for the most part they are pretty fun, though at times they get bogged down by including movie footage for cutscenes here and there. The original LOTR game for Xbox was like that, where you would unlock various movie scenes as you progressed, despite me never playing any of them what with their horrible compression ratio. 

LOTR:Conquest is unique in that it was originally designed with multiplayer in mind, where the single player missions in the campaign are basically strung along missions that you can also do online with others. The missions usually start with you playing as the various grunts of either side with 4 main types: Fighter, who has a sword and a throwing weapon, and does sword combos; Rogue, who can go invisible, backstab, throw bombs and otherwise disrupt the enemy; Wizard, who has a shield defense ability, can heal nearby friends, chain lightning enemies and create walls of flame; and Archer who has ranges attacks with the ability to poison burn, or fire multiple arrows hitting multiple targets in front of them. Once the game has progressed and your battalion has reached a specific checkpoint the best player in the squad will be given the opportunity of playing a Heroic member of the LOTR Cast. For the ring bearer side that means playing as Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn, Boromir, Gandolf, or an Ent. For the evil crew that could be the Witch-King, Sauron, or Saruman.

The gameplay is okay, it is definitely different than most Team Deathmatch games, but the niche of Fantasy gamers does not quite meet up with the traditional Deathmatch demographic, which I think hurts the games online population and overall sense of feeling "right". Ultimately I think this game flops where other LOTR titles have been successful. LOTR as a RPG feels right, and LOTR as an RTS still feels right, but LOTR as a team deathmatch game cheapens it intellectually and just doesn't feel like a smart move for the franchise.

Reason Result
Start 10
Playing four generic classes in a fantasy setting feels strange but is balanced. -1
Only 1 person per map gets to be the heroic fighters from the movie when likely everyone wants that opportunity? -3
Missions get repetitive and lack the epic feel of the movie -2
Final 4/10

Not the worst game but not the best 4/10 puts it down pretty far and definitely isn't a game out there for its usual demographic, let alone any other demographic either. A game without a place to call home, should just stay on the shelf.