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EA Games The Lord of the Rings: Conquest review

Barry de la Rosa
20 Mar 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
19
inc VAT

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Specifications

The Lord of the Rings: Conquest is a battlefield fighting game set in the fantasy world of Middle Earth. It uses the same game engine as the Star Wars: Battlefront series, which provides third-person shooting and hacking action.

It's a vision of Middle Earth that Tolkien wouldn't recognise, though. If you're looking for a re-enactment of your favourite battle scenes from the movies, then it certainly looks the part. However, those wanting to immerse themselves in the world they imagined when reading the original books will be disappointed.

Various levels include battles 'inspired' by the books, such as an imagined assault on the Nazgul fortress at Minas Morgul. The developers have even included a Mage as one of the four playable classes; though as any Tolkien fan will tell you, the only magic-users in Middle Earth were the four wizards, including Gandalf and Saruman. The second of the two campaigns lets you play on the side of evil, in a scenario where Lord Sauron stopped the destruction of the One Ring.

In the single-player campaigns, you can switch between each of the four playable classes depending on the current objective. There isn't a lot of complexity, and there's a shallow learning curve. Unfortunately, the same can be said of both campaigns, which can be completed in around an hour apiece. The only replay value is in the online matches, though once you've played through each level a few times, the only variation is in the skill of opposing players.

The use of digital models from the films adds a much-needed graphical sheen, but there isn't enough depth to keep you coming back. We like the inspiring film score too, but even this isn't enough to drown out the sound of Tolkien spinning in his grave.

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