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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Gaming & Collecting:
LOTR Video Games: Your thoughts?

The Shire

Jun 6 2008, 11:50pm

Post #1 of 13 (603 views)
LOTR Video Games: Your thoughts? Can't Post

Ok, this is for all you gamers out there. I want to talk about video games, past, present, and future, based on our beloved Lotr. I feel like some have been good, and some have been... not.

The Good: EA's TTT and ROTK games. Great gameplay. Truly fun

The Bad: LOTR: The Third Age. I found it awful. Really bad. I actually stopped playing halfway through and sold the game. I've only done that one other time. The gameplay was mediocre, but the cardinal sin was the story. You take the role of a group of adventurers that are very similar to the fellowship, and for some reason are following in their footsteps. I guess it's just a coincidence. They also have really lame discussions that sound like rehashed lines from the movies. Maybe that's a coincidence, too. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't finish it. From what my friend told me about the final battle, it's... *Shudder* No, it's too horrible to say.

Haven't played 'em: The Battle for Middle Earth games and Lotr online. I hear they're good. If I remember correctly, there was a Lotr RPG for the Super Nintendo, but I never got a chance to play it. I heard it was half decent.

Looking to the future, LOTR: The White Council looks promising. It's an RPG set in the years leading up to the Hobbit. A giant rpg, it should be good, I hope. But, for me, it's not the ultimate LOTR game I'm looking for. In fact, none of these games are, and that brings me (rather long-windedly) to my main point: There's a perfect LOTR video game out there, and I want someone to make it.

I believe that there's a way to make a fantastic series of video games based on LOTR. Not only that, I believe that a video game can, and should, be the ultimate visual adaptation of Tolkien's works, and here's why:

-Movies are great. They are visceral and intense like nothing else, but they're short. Too short to truly do all the characters and the full story justice.

-A TV series is a good idea. It's long enough to really delve into the characters and the story, and it's ultimately more emotionaly rewarding, but there's something missing.

-A video game can place you inside that world, make you really experience what it's like to be there. You can go to every town, city, and village in middle earth and actually explore it, actually talk to the people who live there. Not only that, you could have a story at least as full as that of a TV series. In fact, I'm pretty confident that you could make a series of video games that are unabridged, scene for scene, line for line, from the books. If this seems crazy, I site game franchises like Metal Gear Solid and Xenosaga, which are ridiculously story heavy, but remain great games. In fact, the first Xenosaga game contains a full seven hours of cutscenes. If Lotr was broken into six games (for the six books), seven hours per game would be plenty of time to cover all of the story.

I'm dreaming of a game remeniscent of Square's Final Fantasy series on the original Playstation, but upgraded for the new generation. You should be eble to explore every inch of middle earth, and it should look kind of like The Elder Scrolls 4. This exploration, combined with skillful execution of the full story, and throwing in a great battle system, maybe a combination of turn-based RPG and the kind of action of the main EA games, will give you the ultimate LOTR-based video games. But, the real key would be to have a subtle, sensitive, skillful director and visual team to really bring the story to life: every scene, every line, as it was meant to be! Well, that's my dream. What does everyone else think? What are your favorite and least favorit LOTR games? What's the perfect LOTR game for you?

Coming to theaters, Summer 2012...

The Lord of the Rings 2: Back in the "Ring" of Things...

A wacky teen comedy in which Frodo, Merry, and Pippin are always trying to "get some". Don't miss it.


Jun 7 2008, 12:13am

Post #2 of 13 (367 views)
Accursed EA [In reply to] Can't Post

LOTR The Third Age is bad like you say, due to the parallel storyline to the Fellowship etc, and the re-use/paraphrasing of many lines from LOTR. But its worst element is that you fight one group of orcs after another... over and over and over. It get so insanely boring that I found myself playing only to see the different environments and sets from the movie... like Denethor's hall, etc. I ended up getting so bored by the time I fought the Witch King for the second or so time, that I just abandoned the game. They need to throw in some interesting side games within the game so that you're not just hack and slashing your way through one Orc group after another. And the voice acting in places was pretty bad to medioce.

Battle For Middle Earth II is also on the boring side. I liked it for about 10 minutes before I just started to feel like this was a typical real time stratefy game with LOTR characters thrown in. That should be enough to make it good, but for me... for some reason... it just wasn't. I did find playing the villains and the Mouth of Sauron to be a little more interesting, but I ended up being glad I only payed $9.99 for the game on clearance.

The White Council was a red herring to throw fans off the real project which was announced here on tORN a few weeks back.
What is “THE LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST”? Pandemic Studios’ Eric “Giz” Gewirtz Tells Us About It!

So I don't think there will necessarily be any White Council elements anymore.

Unfortunately that's all for my experiences with LOTR games. I hope a genuinely engrossing and innovative one might come along someday, but EA seems very good at churning out pre-fab games and slapping on different franchise names. The EA monopolization of the gaming industry is sterilizing everything that was exciting about games.


Jun 7 2008, 3:54pm

Post #3 of 13 (519 views)
your right [In reply to] Can't Post

Return of the King game was awesome. Still my favorite game of all time. Battle for Middle earth 1 is great too!! really good game. Its fun setting up matches online with your fellow LotR friends.
Its a shame the white council game was cancelled. At least we have Conquest to look forward to.

Theres some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and its worth fighting for.


Jun 7 2008, 7:31pm

Post #4 of 13 (427 views)
As a former hard core gamer... [In reply to] Can't Post

I have never found a Game that could do a book justice. I might be a purist, and I've been called worse on other sites, but that's my opinion. I am glad however that games that help make the expereience more real for some people do exsist. They're just not for me. I can also verify the exsistence of the LotR game on the super nintendo, I was cleaning out my closets a while back and came across a page of game genie codes for it.

Eglario Valar!
It's me!
It's me!


Jun 8 2008, 5:22am

Post #5 of 13 (391 views)
All LOTR games are awesome! [In reply to] Can't Post

I own every LOTR game to date: LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring, The Hobbit, The Third Age, Return of the King, The Two Towers, LOTR: Tactics, both BFME's (BFME 2 on 360), LOTRO, all of em. They are all so fun and none of them are bad. The Third Age is a great game, in my opinion. I like the mysterious storyline surrounding the characters. And the characters in TTA were actually IN LOTR trilogy. Berethor was at Osgiliath with Boromir and Faramir, Idrial was at Lothlorien with Galadriel...

Can't wait for LOTR: Conquest and LOTRO: Mines of Moria.

The HUGEST Lord of the Rings fan ever!
Owner of all LOTR merchandise.
In 2011-2012, The Hobbit is going there and back again.
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Sr. Staff

Jun 9 2008, 6:44pm

Post #6 of 13 (327 views)
I think LOTROL is about a good as I can hope [In reply to] Can't Post

A game and a book are very different experiences.

I think the current on-line game is about as good as it is going to get. It gives the flavor of M-e with the components of a good game. I am constantly shocked that more don't try it.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

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The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie


Jun 9 2008, 10:51pm

Post #7 of 13 (520 views)
EA needs to improve on their games [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't play video games, but I play the computer games. I am very familiar with the Battle for Middle Earth games. I even got a new computer and monitor just for the graphics card to play the second game. In the end, I didn't think it was worth it. The graphics were incredible but the campaign was so short. I finished it in three days, and that was while I had to homework. So I am currently going through the skirmeshes, every single one. The create your own hero was a very nice option I liked that. But alot of the creatures they had were unrealistic as far as how they related to the story. Armies went back and forth, wyrms popped out of holes in Rivendell, and a Balrog came up during the battle at Dol Goldur. What's with that? Over all, I thought the game to be satisfactory.

I was pleased more with the Battle for Middle Earth 1 on the new graphics card. I thought the game stayed true to the story and had long, complex battles that were quite similar to the books and movies. I enjoyed playing it so much, and I still am. It's a challenge and I have masterd many of the levels. I do wish that it had started at the beginning. Possibly where Frodo had to run from the Nazgul and when they had to find their way through the old forest?

The ideal game for me would be a combination of battles and quests, like helping the hobbits through the Old Forest and getting to Bree before the Nazgul get them. It would be cool to have a little bit of both so that you're not stuck with just one way to win.


Jun 11 2008, 12:23pm

Post #8 of 13 (401 views)
Anorien... [In reply to] Can't Post

you should try playing BFME online now!

Theres some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and its worth fighting for.


Jun 12 2008, 12:10am

Post #9 of 13 (323 views)
The Third Age/Battle for Middle-Earth [In reply to] Can't Post

When I first started playing The Third Age, I got the same reaction most of you did: What's the point of this? I admit, most of the battles were tedious and boring, and the game itself (although the graphics were quite good) really had no variation. As I played along, it got a little better. I mean, you only are told most of the story line after you get to Osgiliath. Then there is a cool moment, but other than that I agree...the game was quite boring.

Not only were the graphics AMAZING but you get to play in SO MANY cool places and create your OWN heroes and play as ROHAN and ELVES and you can get HOBBITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *squeeeeee!!!*

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Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea

Jun 12 2008, 7:34am

Post #10 of 13 (331 views)
LOTRO completely conquers the EA games [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, but LOTR Online is simply so much better than BFME and the other games. BFME was fun, but... you simply cannot play that game for a year nonstop.

LOTRO you can. I have a lifetime account and plan on watching Middle-earth unfold throughout the next 6 or so years... maybe longer :D The social interaction, too, is fabulous. I've made many friends in the game and on the forums.

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Tol Eressea

Jun 12 2008, 11:54am

Post #11 of 13 (463 views)
Well I made it to that last battle [In reply to] Can't Post

Having fought endless troops of orcs... and yes, the last battle was borderline ridiculous. You are fighting.... The Eye!!! How would that even work?! Somehow, you are up there, atop Barad-dur, fighting The Eye of Sauron. It was the most deflating final battle I've ever played, mainly because it was so stupid!

*Jazminatar the Brown*


Jul 15 2008, 12:07am

Post #12 of 13 (268 views)
They're generally great games. [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved the Return of the King and the first Battle for Middle-earth as they both made excellent use of their licenses and made you feel like you were living the movies. I also really enjoyed my two week trial of the Lord of the Rings: Online because there were so many familiar places and faces and exploring Eriador with my Hunter was a great experience. Those who haven't tried the Lord of the Rings: Online really have no excuse as the game is constantly being advertised on this very web site with a 2 week free trial, although a powerful system will be needed to really take advantage of the games breath-taking sites. Smile

The only Lord of the Rings game I don't like is the Fellowship of the Ring, which is licensed for the books but not the films. It was fairly mediocre and unworthy of my time or, for that matter, it's name. Frown

I'm a bit skeptical about conquest. In the trailer I've seen the graphics don't look so hot and it doesn't look like the game is going to stay very faithful to the films. I saw completely redesigned armour that isn't in the films as well as unrecognisable battle-fields and glowing swords. It may shape up to be a worthy title, yet though. Unsure

"The city of Osgiliath has been reclaimed, FOR GONDOR!"

(This post was edited by Gondorian_Ranger on Jul 15 2008, 12:16am)


Jul 15 2008, 12:19am

Post #13 of 13 (435 views)
Sorry! [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, my edit time has run out and I really need to correct a horrible misspelling in my other post. It should be 'breath-taking sights', not "breath-taking sites". Blush

"The city of Osgiliath has been reclaimed, FOR GONDOR!"


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