First Impressions: The Lord of the Rings - War in the North

Posted by ttocs (761 posts) -
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

As a Lord of the Rings fan, I pretty much assumed that most games would be movie spin off rubbish or past it's prime MMO games. So, I was a little hesitant about picking up LOTR: War in the North. After spending a solid night playing the game, the following are my initial impressions on the game.

For starters, the game is mature in nature, which is awesome. You hack and slash enemies arms off their bodies and blood is spilling everywhere. You can turn this off, but in a universe that this rarely occurs in, I love it. This isn't a movie rehash where everything is toned down to get a certain rating, you'll see blood in your travels, and that's a good thing in a world that is certainly violent by design.

At the onset of the game, you'll be tasked with picking one of three characters. A human Ranger, Elf caster, and a dwarf axe wielder. Each class is similar in that they can do melee and range but they all have their own specialties. I chose to go with the ranger. While the game gives you a default look for your character, you can change it early in the game when you are in Bree. I really liked this addition to the game since you can make the character your own. My ranger has jet black hair and a square jaw. Kind of reminds me Madmartigan from Willow (props if you remember that classic movie.)

The gameplay in War in the North is typical hack and slash. On medium difficulty, enemies take a good deal to bring down early in the game but after each level you will be putting points into stats that will help you bring down enemies faster (or to complement whatever play style you have.) The gameplay is indeed fun but by the end of the night I was getting a little tired of it. There wasn't much in the way of variety to change things up. But, I'm still very early in the game and this shouldn't be a huge criticism against it since the world is still being fleshed out and the characters introduced.

If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, you'll really enjoy this game. Being able to play as someone besides the main characters from the books/movies is a welcome way to enjoy the universe and you'll see things happening in the world from a different perspective. New enemies I've never heard of pop up and all are involved in the story we all know and love in same way. If you aren't too hot on the LOTR series though, your mileage may vary with this game. Hack and slash fans will enjoy it but there are certainly better games out there to play. Being a fan of LOTR gives the game the extra "oomph" needed to push the player along in the world.

So, final though - Lord of the Rings: War in the North really good game that can get tiring if you aren't a LOTR fan. Hack and Slash fans will enjoy the game, but their mileage will vary depending on interest in this beloved series.

#1 Posted by ttocs (761 posts) -
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

As a Lord of the Rings fan, I pretty much assumed that most games would be movie spin off rubbish or past it's prime MMO games. So, I was a little hesitant about picking up LOTR: War in the North. After spending a solid night playing the game, the following are my initial impressions on the game.

For starters, the game is mature in nature, which is awesome. You hack and slash enemies arms off their bodies and blood is spilling everywhere. You can turn this off, but in a universe that this rarely occurs in, I love it. This isn't a movie rehash where everything is toned down to get a certain rating, you'll see blood in your travels, and that's a good thing in a world that is certainly violent by design.

At the onset of the game, you'll be tasked with picking one of three characters. A human Ranger, Elf caster, and a dwarf axe wielder. Each class is similar in that they can do melee and range but they all have their own specialties. I chose to go with the ranger. While the game gives you a default look for your character, you can change it early in the game when you are in Bree. I really liked this addition to the game since you can make the character your own. My ranger has jet black hair and a square jaw. Kind of reminds me Madmartigan from Willow (props if you remember that classic movie.)

The gameplay in War in the North is typical hack and slash. On medium difficulty, enemies take a good deal to bring down early in the game but after each level you will be putting points into stats that will help you bring down enemies faster (or to complement whatever play style you have.) The gameplay is indeed fun but by the end of the night I was getting a little tired of it. There wasn't much in the way of variety to change things up. But, I'm still very early in the game and this shouldn't be a huge criticism against it since the world is still being fleshed out and the characters introduced.

If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, you'll really enjoy this game. Being able to play as someone besides the main characters from the books/movies is a welcome way to enjoy the universe and you'll see things happening in the world from a different perspective. New enemies I've never heard of pop up and all are involved in the story we all know and love in same way. If you aren't too hot on the LOTR series though, your mileage may vary with this game. Hack and slash fans will enjoy it but there are certainly better games out there to play. Being a fan of LOTR gives the game the extra "oomph" needed to push the player along in the world.

So, final though - Lord of the Rings: War in the North really good game that can get tiring if you aren't a LOTR fan. Hack and Slash fans will enjoy the game, but their mileage will vary depending on interest in this beloved series.

#2 Posted by jozzy (2041 posts) -

I really enjoy LOTR, both books and movies but I wouldn't call myself a super fan. Even though I am not die-hard into the lore it really bothers me that they included a wizard type class in there that throws magic around like it's nothing. You don't have that problem?

#3 Posted by Contro (2040 posts) -

I'll buy this, it sounds good enough to me and the world looks to have more polish over earlier games.

#4 Posted by ttocs (761 posts) -

@jozzy: It's a lore master, the same from the LOTRO.

#5 Posted by Ghostiet (5209 posts) -

I like it so far and I'm already tired with LOTR. Still, I find the stuff with inconsistencies between characters when you switch in single player absolute BS.

#6 Posted by jozzy (2041 posts) -

@ttocs said:

@jozzy: It's a lore master, the same from the LOTRO.

Yeah, and it seemed weird in that game too. They can call it whatever they want but it's still just a mage, what he is shooting out of his staff is a magic ball right, not a bunch of pages from a book? And I sort of understand why they feel they "need" something like that in an mmo (was an expansion btw not part of the original classes), but I don't understand it in this game.

Anyway, as I said I am not really bothered by it but as you said you are a LOTR fan so I was curious how you felt about it.

#7 Posted by SpawnHellraiser (41 posts) -

Where do you go to change the appearance of a character in Bree? Must've missed that part.

#8 Posted by Habast (90 posts) -

Props for the Madmartigan reference. Willow is such a great movie.

On topic, I want to try this game, but I'm waiting for the price to drop a bit. And Dungeon Siege III is doing a good job of holding my interest in this genre for now.

#9 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@SpawnHellraiser said:

Where do you go to change the appearance of a character in Bree? Must've missed that part.

This and good post. I myself am a massive LOTR fan and I really enjoy the game. The combat is fun, loot system works extremely well and is very gracious.

I'm about an hour and a half in and enjoying it quite thoroughly.

#10 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

@mcderby4 said:

@SpawnHellraiser said:

Where do you go to change the appearance of a character in Bree? Must've missed that part.

This and good post. I myself am a massive LOTR fan and I really enjoy the game. The combat is fun, loot system works extremely well and is very gracious.

I'm about an hour and a half in and enjoying it quite thoroughly.

Walk up to the mirror that's mounted on the wall. It's in The Prancing Pony, across Rowlie. There's also one in Rivendell, in the room where Elrond is standing if I'm not mistaken.

#11 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@valrog: Ah thank you very much, I must be blind.

#12 Edited by valrog (3671 posts) -

@mcderby4 said:

@valrog: Ah thank you very much, I must be blind.

You're welcome. I wish you could customize your companion's appaerance, too. Overall, I just wish for more control over your party (I still have no idea on what logic do they equip things, and I've spent quite some silver on equipping them).

#13 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@valrog: From what I gathered, when you pick up an item available for your teammate only, and you have the option to give it to them, it will automatically equip it. I switch between each character at each available time.

#14 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

@mcderby4: But that's the thing. I don't always remember if new items surpass what they are currently equipped with. So I might be giving them weaker gear instead...

Sigh, I guess I'll have to write those things down.

#15 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@valrog: Yeah I understand where you're coming from. And you don't really have any way to repair their armour either.

#16 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

Just beat the game today, and I must say, it is definitely my biggest surprise hit of the year. It started off a little slow but was one of the most addictive and fleshed out games I've played all year.

Here's hoping that Snowblind follows up.

#17 Posted by SpawnHellraiser (41 posts) -

@valrog: thank you for that tip!

#18 Posted by MasterBrief (160 posts) -

Its really fun only complaint is how allies get in your way and block doorways or block you from attacking enemies that is annoying. Still its way better then the horrible Lord of the Rings: Conquest, ugh. (I love Willow :D)

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