The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Before I start writing this review, I have to be hones and tell you all I’ve never ever seen a The Lord Of The Rings movie or read a “Lord of the Rings” book. But as the Lotr insanity increases on a daily base, we all have to face it someday. That’s why I decided to make a review of the PlayStation 2 game: The Fellowship of the Ring. Wether or not this game was appropiate to give me the LOTR bug, you can read in this review.
The story like it sais in the books:
You start the story as Frodo and it’s your task to return the ring to “the Fire of Mordor” and destroy it in that fire once arrived. Surreal Software bought the licence of the original story while the earlier reviewed “The Two Towers” got away with the movie licence. This didn’t stop Surreal Software of putting a few changes in the storyline Tolkien once told us but they only did this when it improved the ambience.
The learning period of the gameplay is very small because of the linearity of it. Every character possesses 2 attack techniques, a primary and a secundary attack. Frodo has a sword for his primary attack and he can trow rocks at enemies for his secundary attack. After Frodo you become Aragorn who has a long sword and a bow and arrow. And last but not least: Gandalf, once you play as Gandalf you will receive a sword and a magic stick to defend yourself. The developers also gave each character some special moves to make the gameplay a little bit more interesting. Still it couldn’t convince me, it’s boring and add’s nothing to the game … au contaire.
Shamefully short playtime:
The playtime was a real disappointment, you can complete the game in only 5 hours without missing a single conversation. And after succesvolly completing the side missions, I came to the conclusion that these only add a single hour to the game. That something like this happends in a budget game I can understand, but it’s a shame when you have to pay €60 for it. This shows of a lack of respect for the costumer …
Your worst enemy… the camera:
The camera tries so hard to show us all of the action at once that it completely misses the ball on some occasions. There’s no problem when you’re walking/fighting outside but the problems start once you have a roof on top of your head. The camera flashes from wall to wall wich makes you fight on good luck.
Bad game in beautiful package:
There’s hardly anything bad to be said about the graphics except that some textures could use some more detail but these are rather rare. The animals are nicely detailed and move very natural. The characters and enemies also contain much detail, but this goes wasted by the bad artificial intelligence of the enemies. The AI is just too freaking simple, you can kill a full horde of Orcs by just waving your sword a bit.
Nicely made sound:
The self-made soundtrack is the only thing that makes you feel that this game isn’t a total waste of money, it’s directed by Brad Spear who obviously spared time nor money to make this almost perfect. The voice-overs aren’t bad either, they fit the chosen character perfectly. The Hobbits have an Irish accent, the Gimly a Scottish one while the humans talk a bit British.
LOTR: The Fellowhip of the Ring is a typical example of a game that sells because of the movie succes. I’m sure that The Fellowship of the Ring while sell like hell but make its buyer very disappointed. The gameplay is boring and linear, the camera is chaotic and the playtime is unexisting. The sound and graphics make up something but The Fellowship remains a lost chance. If you really want to buy a LOTR game, go for The Two Towers …