The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age is a turn-based RPG developed by EA Games, and published on the Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube. The game follows the adventures of a "Shadow Fellowship," which follows in the footsteps of the original Fellowship, helping Gandalf defeat the Balrog, fighting alongside Aragorn at Helm's Deep and the like. LOTR: TTA focuses mostly on combat, with story told through occasional cut scenes or NPCs. Few NPCs be interacted with however, and the game features no dialogue trees.
The game does allow you to play many of the epic battles in The Lord of the Rings movies, the most difficult of these being places like Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith, these battles are somewhat of a throwback considering today's games in that you may find yourself replaying them over and over again desperately trying to hone your exact strategy of heals, buffs, de-buffs, and attacks to defeat the hordes of orcs and trolls.
The combat is Turn-based, noticeably similar to Final Fantasy X released 3 years prior, although there is a novel ability tree which allows you to gain new abilities by using old ones frequently enough. The game also includes an "Evil mode" which allows you to play certain battles from the main campaign as the minions of Sauron for prizes that can be used in the main campaign. However, this mode is not a completely separate campaign, as it only allows you to play specific battles on the side of evil, and not the whole game.
The game has four main characters, while others join you for a certain amount of time. None of the main characters appear in the films apart from Gandalf, but they do bear a certain resemblance to the them such as Berethor who is similar to both Aragorn and Boromir and is a former Citadel Guard Captain of Gondor. Then there is Hadhod, who is a dwarf similar to Gimli, and wields axes and hammers. Other characters include a elf called Idrial who joins you from the beginning (acting as variance of Arwen from the movie franchise) and a woman you find in Rohan called Morwen. Each character has their own advantage, for instance Berethor can give the party confidence boosting their stats and Idrial who excels at magic attacks.
This game is notable for being the first RPG EA Games ever developed. It was not particularly well received by either RPG fans, or Lord of the Rings fans, and has been largely forgotten since it's release. One of the primary reasons for the story's poor reception is due to the fact that EA owned rights to the films but not the books, thus producing many scenes taken directly from the films.
Many different characters are encountered throughout the game. Most of them bear at least some resemblance to characters from the Lord of the Rings films.
Berethor is a human warrior who was stabbed by a Morgul blade, and is now without his knowledge, under the sway of Saruman. As a captain of the Gondorian citadel guard, Bretheor fought alongside Boromir during the battle for Osgiliath. After Boromir left Gondor, a steward sent Berethor to look for Boromir. He then shadows the fellowship searching for him. It is while he is searching for Boromir that he is attacked by Ringwraiths and is defeated. However, an Elf called Idrial finds him. She chases away the wraiths, and and heals the wounded warrior. Later, he continues to follow the Fellowship, guided by Gandalf.
Idrial is an elven warrior who serves Lady Galadriel in times of need. It was Galadriel who sent Idrial to find Berethor, and to aid him on his quest. She is highly skilled in water magics, making her an important party member, and the primary healer.
Elgost is a Dundeian ranger. You find Elgost lying on the ground in a mountain pass, baiting wargs. At the last second, he leaps to his feet and kills two of them. You then help him finish the rest of them off and he joins your party. His story is that he is searching for his friend, a dwarf called Hadhod. According to him, Hadhod was carried away in an avalanche while they were fighting some goblins. Together, they hope to find the entrance to Moria.
Hadhod is a dwarf, and like many other fantasy dwarf, he bears resemblance Gimli. He is a powerful warrior who fights with axes and hammers. His main advantage is that he is very hardy, his stamina is the highest in the party. He is found holding off a cave troll, and is grateful for your help.
Morwen is a peasant girl who found in the remains of her village on the plains of Rohan. She seeks vengeance for the deaths of her friends and family, and hopes that her parents may yet live in the refuge of Helm's Deep.
Eaoden is a member of the royal guard of Rohan. Not much is known about him, but he possesses amazing spirit powers, and he holds a secret to Berethor's past. His magical abilities, and his impressive spear skills make him one of the most valuable assets to your party.
Game Boy Advance Version
Unlike the other versions of the game, the GBA version stuck to the main story and split the game up into three parts for each film that came out. You could play as multiple heroes and characters from the storyline.
Main "Good" Heroes:
Main "Evil" Heroes: