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Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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The Return of the King Box Art

LOTR: The Return of the King, Rated: Teen

The Bottom Line

This truly is the Return of the King. EA took everything great in the Two Towers game and added more. Aside from the slew of new features the game looks and feels like the film. With Gandalf, Frodo, and Sam as playable characters the Fellowship is alive and well. All movie to game conversions should be this good.
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Pros

  • New co-op mode lets you play through the story with friends
  • Excellent DVD-esque bonus features
  • Interactive environments add to the hack and slash fun

Cons

  • Overly cinematic camera sometimes blocks the action

Description

  • Graphics: 5 - The environments are stunning and the improved character models are spot on
  • Sound: 4.5 - The music is grand, but the sound effects felt hollow
  • Concept: 4 - Similar to The Two Towers, but vastly improved
  • Control: 4 - The layout is similar to the Two Towers, but moves are much more balanced
  • Difficulty: Medium – You won’t skate through it, but you won’t have to call a tip line either
  • Replay: High - Lots of unlockables and you can replay levels as different characters
  • All scores are out of 5. The overall rating is not an average of the above scores.

Guide Review - Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance

The Return of the King is nothing short of breathtaking. In what is sure to be one of the most memorable game intros ever, players are treated to DVD quality film clips of the Helm's Deep battle from the Two Towers movie. Just as Gandalf charges down the hill with the Riders of Rohan, in a bit of CG wizardry, the movie fades into the game and you are Gandalf. Even non-gamers will be impressed. It is seamless.

But there's much more to the game than a fancy intro. The single player mission takes three paths to end up at the Cracks of Doom. You can either take the way of the Wizard, the path of the King, or sneak around with the Hobbits. Even better is the all new co-op mode which allows you to team up with a buddy to pound through the levels, together. The interactive environments are not only eye candy, but play a major part of the game. You haven’t lived until you’ve fired trebuchets at oliphants, and kicked siege ladders off of walls while orcs are scurrying up them.

The love truly is in the details, however. The sheer number of movie clips from the upcoming Return of the King is enough to make any LOTR fanboy rush out and buy a copy. In addition to the music and scenes from the movies, there are a number of DVD-like special features, including interviews, concept art, and more. This is a must have title. Everyone involved with the next ‘Matrix’ game should be taking notes… this is how it’s done!

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