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 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Review

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ToriJ
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Lotus Crystal

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PostSubject: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Review   17th December 2014, 4:01 pm


Hello ar' creoso a' ToriJ's Video Game Reviews. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies comes out today! We're ending another movie trilogy, it's crazy! I can't think of any better way to honor the end of one trilogy, than by talking about the end of another. It's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by EA Games! For Middle-earth!

Spoiler:
 

The game starts off with a beautiful image of the one and only Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn with his whole army behind him, of course being accompanied by the epic Lord of the Rings soundtrack. I'd say I wish I could see Aragorn and Eddard Stark from Game of Thrones team up, but that already happened in the first movie. 2001 was a crazy year, people still liked President Bush.

Spoiler:
 

Here we have – Wait a minute, what's that?

Spoiler:
 

They have a co-op! An actual co-op mode! You can't play the opening level with Gandalf, but still, they finally did it! Best thing about it is after you beat the game, and unlock everything, you can play as any character you want in any of the stages. Speaking of the characters...

Spoiler:
 

Look at all the characters there are to choose from! Well, not in that picture because they're all locked, but still. You aren't just limited to three characters and one bonus unlockable, all of the main guys are here. Gandalf the White, Frodo, Sam, the three from the last game, even Pippin and Merry! All with their own play style. It's a happy day in Middle-earth, except for all the monsters that wants to kill you.

Spoiler:
 

We kick things off near the end of the Battle of Helm's Deep where Gandalf swoops in with the reinforcement to save the day. Once again we're treated to footage from the movie before transitioning into gameplay, and I can think of no better way to get you pumped up for a level than watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Spoiler:
 

You can only play as Gandalf in the first level, but once you're done with that more characters open up to you. Nothing has changed controls wise from the previous game, so if you played The Two Towers then you already know what to expect. Return of the King makes it easy to get lost in the crowd of enemies by making it damn near impossible to see where you're at, and panning the camera so far away from the characters doesn't help. I'll be swinging left and right only to realize I'm hitting the wall. Beware of ents, they will step on you.

Spoiler:
 

Multiplayer doesn't come with a split-screen, instead you'll just be unable to continue on until your companion catches up. Given how much of a headache split-screens bring with them I think I honestly prefer this method. Some times main characters will accompany you as NPCs, mainly when you play the Path of the King. Replace any of these characters with people who weren't there in canon and the scenes won't be as insync. A small price to pay for having the option to mix things up.

Some stages are straightforward with killing enemies and getting to the end, others require you defend a castle from being overrun by orcs if you wish to advance, or they'll have an added objective like not letting the Wraith above spot you. A good chunks of the actors from the movies reprise their roles. You have Sean Astin as Sam, Billy Boyd as Pip, Christopher Lee as Saruman. Most of the people who voiced the last game come back except for Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom, which you wouldn't even notice playing the game because the people they got to play them do a pretty spot on impression of their voices. The game comes with interview with cast members, artwork, etc.

Spoiler:
 

Enemies are a bit more varied in this installment. Don't get me wrong, you're still going to be drowning in orcs, but you have the army of the dead that Aragorn gets as enemies, as well as the King of the Dead himself as a boss. The mumakil that Legolas take down in the movie makes an appearance, and trust me you're going to want to play as him to complete the level. You can have Aragorn or Gimli up to level twenty and their projectiles won't do jack to it. You'll just be firing at it for all eternity.

Shelob makes an appearance as a boss, and so does Gollum in the last stage. The game follows the movie pretty closely as the last game did, and I think Return of the King was the best one to make a game out of because of all the things that happened between the three main groups. The Two Towers relied on a lot of Fellowship scenes in the beginning whereas here we have three stages tops that take place at the end of The Two Towers.

Spoiler:
 

The Return of the King is a fun game. If you're a fan of the series and just looking for something to kill time while playing as your favorite character, I'd give this game a go. In fact, I would recommend you just skip The Two Towers altogether and go straight to this one. EA rectifies (I can't believe I'm saying that) the problems that the last game has and makes Return of the King all the more better for it. Play with a friend! The fate of Middle-earth could very well depend on it, and if you have a friend you can just put all the blame on them.

Get it

Legolas is ridiculously overpowered! Not just in the game, but in the movies! Have you seen The Desolation of Smaug? He's just jumping all over the place putting arrows into EVERYTHING! Did somebody get the bandana from Metal Gear Solid because he never runs out of arrows! Okay, guys, who would win between Legolas, Green Arrow, Robin Hood, Hawkeye, Link, and Katniss from the Hunger Games, if they were to face off in six way winner take off arrow competition? That'd be a good match, I'd pay to see that.

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