Lord of the Rings Conquest – Xbox 360

What’s it about?

Star Wars Battlefront 2 in Middle Earth with more Hack n Slash. The game sees the player battle through various set-pieces from the world of Peter Jackson’s vision of Lord of the Rings, fighting for either the cause of good or evil.

LotR Conquest - Cover

Review it:

OK – My hands are in the air. I loved Battlefront 1 and 2 and am not averse to hack n slash game play or the epic setting of the Lord of the Rings. I first tried the demo of this on The Nuge’s recommendation and with no real pre-conception I thought “Ooh – Battlefront with Elves and Uruks! And Sword swinging!”. So I bought it. The game has had mixed reviews so far so i thought I’d add my own two-penneth with some honest to goodness Geek Syndicate opinion…

Game Engine

The game plays smoothly enough with the player finding themselves in combat in a specific part of the battlefield. Off the edges of the maps, panoramic views and other parts of the battle can be seen. Giant Eagles and Nazgul patrol the skies and can swoop down to pluck unsuspecting combatants at inopportune moments. While I thought “cool” the first time I was treated to such a fate, I have to say it got annoying as my reinforcement number was dropping due to me being repeatedly eaten by an aerial foe like that. There are also a vast number of “instant kill” elements to the terrain. Fire pits in Isengard for example. So much as pass by one and you’re dead. These elements add a dimension to the gameplay but often it’s a frustrating one. Speaking of gameplay …

Gameplay

The choice of “character classes” is somewhat limited – warrior, archer, mage and scout and the special moves for each class are the same whether you are a good player or an evil one.

Class Selection - A choice of four

That said, the four classes work well together and offer a good cross-section of battlefield roles. The archer is devastating at range but vulnerable in melee combat, the Warrior is the game’s Tank with some powerful close-in attacks. The Mage offers defence, healing and decent attacks and the scout is one deadly chap in the right hands. One hit-kills are fun to pull off – especially against human opponents!

As the levels of the campaign, or instant action map unfold the player may get the opportunity to play as a hero. Unfortunately each map has just the one hero for each side. In Helm’s Deep – for Good it’s Aragorn. I’d love to play that as Gimli or Legolas or even fight alongside them. Presumably they’re off elsewhere defending the keep…

Another nice touch is the ability to jump on a horse or warg in some levels or even take control of a troll or ent.

Cavalry on Pelennor Fields

Cavalry on Pelennor Fields

I’ve heard elsewhere that the heroes and these larger characters are cumbersome and under-powered… I couldn’t agree with that. I expect my Ent to have a slow sweeping swipe of the arm that takes the head off anyone stupid enough to still be stood where I can hit them, thanks very much. I’ve played as Aragorn, Faramir, Gimli and Gandalf and they all seemed suitably ramped up from the standard classes without being invincible to me!

Multiplayer

I’ve played team deathmatch and conquest (this latter being like a standard capture the commmand points game in Battlefront) and played campaign and both work well. There are other game modes, such as capture the ring and Hero mode (which I believe pits good and evil heroes against each other!) that I’ve yet to experience. The multiplayer campaign is limited to 2 players splitscreen – which is a tad limiting I feel. Otherwise up to 16 people can share a single map.
Overall

The game is fun. Not spectacular but fans of LotR, hack n slash or capture the command point style games should enjoy this. Unless you’re a hardcore gamer or fan of such things, I’d suggest a rental rather than purchase though – especially in the short term.

Rate it: 3.5 / 5 – While I enjoy it, the gameplay is limited and single player replayability is maybe limited to non-hardcore fans.

Dry Slaps: 1 / 5 – Cheap death scenery is a pain at times.

Reviewer: WedgeDoc

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