The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
One ring to rule them all and two games to amuse them all?
EA sure did surprise us with their look on The Two Towers. Not only did it look great, we could also enjoy a solid gameplay, nice interviews, information and artworks of the film. Everybody respected the game, but a few people didn’t like the fact that you could finish the game too fast. That was bad, because a few more hours would take the game to another level. But was EA able to create more than a couple of hours non stop action based on Lotr? EA knows they have a goldmine in their hands, but are they smart enough to use it correct?
Sometimes, I wonder if a game is bad because it offers you the same things as it already did a year ago. The Return of The King offered me the same feeling of adrenaline pumping through my veins as The Two Towers. It’s really sad that I’ve already seen 70 % of the missions in The Two Towers, and I am not exaggerating. The mission were Gandalf ought to kick all the ladders of the castle is funny, but I’ve seen this in The Two Towers. If I want to see a replay, I will take the game from my dusted closet, if you know what I mean. What really bothered me was the fact that nobody came to help me if I was in trouble. Your allies seem to be specialised in walking very stupid without doing anything, while you are there, giving your life. And so the story becomes a one-man show, were you fight the forces of Sauron on your own.
This time, you will not only have to fight with Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, you’ll also have to control Sam and Frodo on their journey to Mount Doom while good old and improved Gandalf couldn’t miss the party of course. Each characters specifies in one purpose. Gandalf has to save a lot of people, where Frodo or Sam will choose for a more stealthy approach. These two Hobbits have the extraordinary ability to become invisible for a few moments and this will come in handy when you are ought to fight too many orcs and your health isn’t high enough. Just sneak by and nobody will notice you but be careful, because the invisibility runs out before you even have a clue.
Like in the first game, every time you survive a level, you will unlock different artwork and interviews. I noticed that the interviews are remarkably shorter than before. They are just propaganda for the third movie, a lot of commercial talk about how good this movie is going to be. A real fan is going to be satisfied with these interviews of course, but someony else might think it’s a waste of time. Even I, a big fan of Tolkien and everything that deals with The Lord of The Rings thinks EA could have done more with these interviews.
One of the few updates of the second part is the slight feeling of interactivity that you get while playing The Return of The King. Sometimes, it is possible to throw rocks with a slingshot or maybe you are more in for boiled oil which you can automatically throw on guards or other enemies. It’s fun, but they are nothing but scripted events. Wouldn’t it be great if you could really do what you think was best for the battle? That would really be a remarkable upgrade.
After reading this, you probably think The Return of The King is a bad game. I wouldn’t say that actually. There are still some points which made the game very nice to play. Like I said, the rush of adrenaline is one of the best I’ve seen in a game. Everywhere you look, something happens, from ring wraiths flying above you to castles that fall apart. The music symbolises the fact that you are a hero. Not just a hero, but a hero that saves the world from evil, and that feeling stirs on for a couple minutes after playing this game. After that, you become to realise you don’t live in Middle-Earth, even if you wished it. Then, the magic disappears, and you will think rational again.
The beautiful graphics, out of this world music and the magnificent feeling of being the hero can’t suppress the feeling that this is a one year old game, being transferred for a new movie. EA can be lucky The Two Towers was great, so The Return of The King still tastes good. Next time they make a game of The Lord of The Rings, they might consider making a new game. Now, they have just warmed up The Two Towers.