Lord of the Rings: Conquest Review
- Posted January 19th, 2009 at 15:49 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 31 Comments
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The only thing epic about Lord of the Rings: Conquest is its musical score.
- The enjoyable LOTR hero segments
- The high-quality soundtrack
- The unbalanced and awkward combat
- The shallow gameplay
- The outdated graphics
Who can forget the moment when thousands of Saruman's Uruk-Hai swarmed toward the Rohirrim’s stronghold at Helm’s Deep and the mighty Gandalf led the charge downhill on his white steed full pelt into the black Orc masses? The Battle of Helm’s Deep from The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers was an epic big-screen moment that will long be remembered amongst Tolkien fans.
Admittedly, it’s an unenviable, verging on impossible task for any developer to try and emulate such an powerful scene as The Battle of Helm’s Deep, but anyone who does have the nerve to take on such a legendary fight, and indeed create a game using the much cherished Lord of the Rings license, should at least try and do Tolkien’s world some justice. Unfortunately, in Lord of the Rings: Conquest, the latest action game to be born from the famous brand, Pandemic Studios just hasn’t tried hard enough.
What Pandemic has done is take its existing Star Wars Battlefront series’ class-based system and thrown it half-heartedly into a Lord of the Rings setting, barely improving on its past formula. Lord of The Rings: Conquest is Dynasty Warriors meets Star Wars Battlefront meets a clumsy interpretation of the Lord of The Rings franchise. It’s a lackluster and mediocre attempt at recreating some of the most famous battle scenes from Tolkien’s universe and, much to our disappointment, it just hasn’t worked out that well.
LOTR: Conquest gives you the choice to play on the side of good or evil, offering two campaigns with alternative endings, but almost identical gameplay. Side with the good guys, the likes of which include Gandalf, Rohirrim and Aragon, and you’ll fight in the War of The Ring against the forces of evil as you partake in classic battles, such as Minas Tirith and Pelennor Fields. Side with the bad guys, however, and you’ll get the opportunity to slay elves and Hobbits in the guise of Sauron and his minions. On paper it seems like an exciting premise, but one should never judge a game by its design doc.
Knocking the living daylights out of Hobbits whilst in the guise of a troll or a giant Balrog certainly appealed to us more than playing as Gandalf, Aragorn or the barely menacing Ents (humanoid trees). So, we were disappointed to discover that we first had to play the campaign as the good guys before unlocking the evil crusade. Nevertheless, it was an incentive for us to mash our way through eight repetitive, unexciting and uninspiring levels in order to see what the dark side offered. Without that incentive, we would have happily given up within the first half an hour. Sadly, we discovered that it doesn’t matter which side you choose to play as because the majority of both campaigns see you pitted as one of four nameless classes as you partake in plenty of monotonous "kill whoever crosses your path" objectives.
The campaign revolves mainly around capturing points on the map and then defending them from the attacking hordes. It’s kill or be killed, as simple as that. You head toward a territory, indicated by a flag, and then you mash your buttons and rack up combos in order to kill the enemy and gain the plot of circular land. There’s a brief respite in the action before enemies lunge toward you once again as you're tasked with fending them off for a certain period of time, keeping them away and out of your circle until the status bar at the bottom of the screen changes color, indicating that you’ve been successful. The fights lack intensity. The backdrops are simplistically and sparsely designed, lacking the polish of many current-gen games, whilst the scale of the battles are meager when you compare them to the Peter Jackson's movies, with dozens of enemies on screen rather than hundreds. It just lacks the overall epic feel that we expected from the LOTR license, whereas the relatively small battlefields and twitchy combat make battles feel more like playground brawls than the intense, meaningful trade of blows we hungered for.
The basic class-based system doesn’t particularly make things any more interesting. Each of the four classes: Warrior, Mage, Archer, and Scout, has ... (continued on next page)
- 10:54am EST - January 19th, 2009
played the demo, and glad i did this game was a MAJOR disapointment
- 10:55am EST - January 19th, 2009
It doesn't look all that great
- 11:02am EST - January 19th, 2009
demo was awful
psycho_mantis | uncut_raw187
- 11:06am EST - January 19th, 2009
- 11:14am EST - January 19th, 2009
i played the damo..and god damn..1min later i deleted from my hard drive..and im not even jokin..its bad..really bad..avoid this game..dont even play the demo..lol
- 11:20am EST - January 19th, 2009
i actually didnt mind the game... its lacking in some sections such as graphics and story..but overall the gameplay isnt to bad...we need a killzone 2 equivalent of lord of the rings...but im not seeing this from EA anytime soon.
- 11:30am EST - January 19th, 2009
I liked the multiplayer, at least.
lordAlucard | sympozium_666
- 11:38am EST - January 19th, 2009
LOL OMG LOTR: Battlefront it doesn't work with the same system what the heaven are EA thinking has pandemic released a $$$ game I already tell
- 12:09pm EST - January 19th, 2009
I actually thought it was kinda interesting at first. It was like a LOTR version of battlefront. But ya it did lack depth and i still wouldn't buy it.
It was still kinda enjoyable since i hadn't played a LOTR game since " The Two Towers movie game came out" (Own it on ps2)
- 1:40pm EST - January 19th, 2009
I am so glad they released a demo, because I almost purchased it based on preview info. The demo had such terrible controls and gameplay that I nearly threw up in my mouth.
- 1:41pm EST - January 19th, 2009
that game is mediocre garbage
- 1:47pm EST - January 19th, 2009
played the demo, got bored with that, very poor game!
- 2:15pm EST - January 19th, 2009
It wasn't as bad as some are touting it to be however it is plagued with the horrible EA online registration madness that means that I would never buy this title and nobody else should either. There is absolutely no need to register with 3rd party developers to play online when I have a perfectly good PSN account. I don't wqant EA spam or from their buddies, and I certainly don't want to hand them persnal info to play their poorly executed games.
EA have lost my dollar here. Don't give them yours. If you still want to get this game then I would reiterate the point about the graphics ... they're rubbish
- 4:15pm EST - January 19th, 2009
You know, you could make a really awesome and epic game based on the LOTR trilogy, but it seems like every time someone makes a LOTR game, it turns out like (virtually) every other movie-based game, lame. I guess there's not enough of a market for it to justify spending much money on development *shrugs* oh well
- 4:26pm EST - January 19th, 2009
Gave the game an 8, played the demo and loved the online, needs a few balancing to the classes but anyone w/ skill in an fps (clearly something the author of this review has none of) will enjoy playing an archer. Mages are completely overpowered, but any game has teh noob class or gun that idiots fall to. The playable beasts should be left to offline only but its totally worth playing.
The single player is kinda weak, beat both campaigns in one day and theres no rewards for beating it on the unlocked difficulty. Trophies are pretty easy to get, the online ones can be a lil crazy but didnt take long to get the platinum (100%) I didnt like the previous lotr games that iv seen but the demo/online sold it for me. The review given here is garbage and the ppl who didnt like the demo are probably wow players or actually thought R*2(resistance 2) was a good game
jphuff | jhuff
- 5:00pm EST - January 19th, 2009
Well, I'm a life-long hardcore LOTR fanatic so most games that are based on LOTR, I like. I don't think this game is nearly as poor as a lot of what I've read about it.
However, this review does highlight the areas that disappointed me a bit. I couldn't put my finger on it at first- just had a sense of disappointment when playing the game. Although I'm not all the way through it yet, the issues raised in the review are indeed accurate. I just think that if you're a big LOTR fan you'll still get some enjoyment out of it as I am. I've been dying to have a real "next gen" LOTR game as was very disappointed to hear that "The White Council" had been cancelled as well as NOT reading about any others planned yet. Hopefully with "The Hobbit" being made into a movie and released in the next couple of years there will be some more titles and hopefully they won't be limited just to the store of "the Hobbit."
Bottom line, I think if you love LOTR that you'll have some fun with this game and enjoy it. It's just not all we would hope it to be and is unfortunately flawed. I didn't think the graphics were bad at all however. It's not Killzone 2, but it's definitely a cut above the earlier PS2 titles.
- 5:30pm EST - January 19th, 2009
Resident Evil 2 was a great game
- 5:32pm EST - January 19th, 2009
I actually like this game.Yes its hack'n'slash but then again they never said it was any else.Its fun to play both online and off.Graphics are O.K and it makes a change from standard Gun based TDM.
- 8:15pm EST - January 19th, 2009
I don't think graphics make a game great. If anyone is complaining about the camera it is very similar to MGO's camera so it wasn't a problem for me. The online is actually very fun to play and the trophies are fun to collect. I don't think this game deserves less than a 7.5.
- 9:10pm EST - January 19th, 2009
Bad graphics, bad gameplay, everything was a major letdown to me. I did suspect it would turn out like this anyway. I bought Battlefront on day 1 and loved it and Battlefront 2 too. But this is such a fail. I want an oblivion-like LOTR game for my ps3! Epic graphics (come on EA you got the money) intensive swordfights and a good story. And I also want Battlefront 3, but not if it turns out like this.
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