Preview: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
“One Ring to rule them all…” Well, that’s not quite for this game, but it’s along the same lines. Yes that’s right, Snowblind Studios has entered a little bit of a different tale of The Lord of the Rings saga with The Lord of the Rings: War in the North.
In Tolkien’s epic saga of the journey of the One Ring, we only get to hear about a brave fellowship that took on Sauron’s forces in the North, but now with this game, we actually get to experience it. The game takes a darker approach on the series, following three brave warriors that battle through countless numbers of Sauron’s forces in the North to protect not only the Ringbearer but also to protect the alliances formed to prevent Sauron’s control. This dark approach not only exists in the layouts of the levels, but even stems to how combat is played, including blood and gore for the first time in a Lord of the Rings game.
Players will be able to take on the role of one of three characters in the game. Characters available will be one of three: a human, dwarf, or elf, each with their own specializations in their class, and of course also with strengths or weaknesses. Players can also choose to play a solo campaign or join up with friends to take on the dangers of the North. Also with this, the characters in the game, will throughout the campaign interact with Lord of the Rings characters that we know and love including: Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf, Legolas, Elrond, Arwen, and of course Aragorn.
Of course, as with many games now, War in the North had pre-order bonuses that were pending on the vendor. Amazon offered $20 promotional credit and an in-game Orc Champion Sword that increases the maximum health of characters. Pre-ordering through GameStop offered the Osgillath challenge map, and an exclusive Human Pack with a 2-handed Forochel Forst Sword which adds ice damage, and a 6-piece Arthedin Guard’s Armor set which adds bonus Dexterity, Power, and increased experience again. Best Buy offered the Lothlorien Challenge map, as well as an Elf Theme pack which includes a mystical Elven sword, armor and helmet. Target offered three exclusive tracks from the game’s soundtrack. Walmart offered an exclusive Dwarf Theme Pack with a dwarven sword, armor and helmet. A Collector’s Edition of the game was also offered which included a War in the North art book featuring concept art of key characters in the game, various enemies and elements of Middle-Earth. There was also an inside look to the music of War in the North which the content included interviews and footage, along with three tracks from the game’s soundtrack. There were also digital bonuses in the Collector’s Edition which included a digital bonus, the Range of the North Avatar for Xbox Live. Last but not least, all of this came in a nifty Ranger of the North Quiver Case.
As stated, this game features more graphic violence than what has been shown before out of the Lord of the Rings games, including blood and gore, which of course has given it an “M-Rating” which to be honest has us a little more excited at checking this game out (besides the fact that it’s Lord of the Rings). Through this game though, it’s sure to show Lord of the Rings fans a new story in this epic saga, and give a new picture to detail.
Developer: Snowblind Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PC, Playstation, Xbox 360
Release Date: November 1, 2011
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