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Lord of the Rings Conquest Review
Posted on January 14, 2009 by Oscar Gonzalez

I know what you've been thinking. You've been thinking that you need another Lord of the Rings game because they've all been soooooo good. That's when I know that you're a Lord of the Ring fanboy and you're going to cream your pants over Lord of the Rings Conquest. For the rest of us, this game is just full of MEH.

If you don't know the story of Lord of the Rings, you're either too damn cool to even play videogames or a retard. I'm leaning towards the latter because someone too cool for videogames wouldn't be reading this review. Anyways, the game goes over the whole Lord of the Ring saga, and creates a whole "what if the Nazi's won" type alternative reality. Some of the battles are right from the movies and books keeping the same outcome. While the sadistic bastard within us will enjoy the evil side of things, the good heroic will enjoy being that fabled hero. Too bad the fun wears out pretty quickly.

Star Wars Battlefront errr I mean Lord of the Rings Conquest works on a simple premise. You are just one of many soldiers within an army. You can pick from the warrior, mage, archer, and scout class. These classes will be the same whether you're good or bad, but of course the race of class will change. You choose the class at the beginning of each battle and at certain points on the battlefield, there will be an object that can let you switch your class around. Warriors, as you may expect, are the strongest of the bunch as they take the most hits and do some great damage. They'll use sword to attack switching it up between weak, medium, and strong attacks. What's annoying is that even though these three attacks will make a combo, there's not enough of a variety of combos so you're stuck doing the same combos over and over again. Warriors also have the ability to light their sword on fire to do even more damage. There's a crowdbreaker move they have access to that will use up all the energy in your energy gauge. Finally, to help out with this short range fighter, a warrior can through an axe but it there's a long recast time to use it again so you quickly stop bothering with it. Defensively, warriors can block and evade attack although the evade doesn't do much evading.

Archers are long range experts have the ability to use three special attacks. The fire arrow deals extra damage, knockback, and does some area of effect damage. Poison arrows will do some damage over time and aoe damage. What's great about the archer is the multiple arrow attack that will take down up to five enemies at once as long as they're spaced out just right. They even have a zoom mode to get some sniping action for extra damage when getting head shots on enemies. For close range, archers have a quick kick that doesn't do much damage but will give you some space from enemies. Sadly, archers don't have a block button like warriors so they can quickly be taken down if they're surrounded.

Scouts are kind of like sneaky warriors. They attack the same way as warriors with the combos and can do a slightly better long range attack because it has some aoe. Where the scouts really change it up is the cloak ability. This can be a lifesaver in some scenarios where you need to pick up an item. Rather than slaughtering tons of enemies, you can sneak right on by. The scouts have the coolest attack which is the backstab. While cloaked, a scout will come up right behind an enemy, and stab the hell out of their back, rising them up off the ground then slamming them back down to the ground. As you would except from a scout, they don't take much damage but they can thankfully block/evade.

Mages are a fun class because they're so versatile. Their standard attack is a lighting bolt from their hand that can be charged to do even more damage and hit multiple enemies. Then there's a fire attack that will shoot out and put the ground on fire causing damage to whatever enemies touch it. For area of effect, there is a shockwave attack that wills knockdown whatever enemies that are near the mage. Also, surprisingly, they have a heal spell. This spell will heal not just yourself but whatever allies are nearby. Luckily, the other allies aren't yelling "I NEED A HEAL YOU STUPID HEALER", but you can tell which allies need a heal via a green cross on their back. You can heal them if you want, doesn't matter. To help with defense, mages can create a defensive bubble around them protecting them from projectiles. If you want, you can knock the enemies out with your staff doing some fancy staff moves. When playing as the mage, never get near the frontlines because it will not take long for you to die.

During battles, a prompt will pop up asking if you want to choose a hero class. Typically this will come about whenever the enemy has their own hero class appear. These hero classes are the main characters from the Lord of the Rings such as Aragon, Legolas, Gandalf, and even baddies like Sauron. Each character falls within a certain class so they'll play just like powered of versions of those basic units. For example, Gandalf plays like the mage class so he'll do the same magic attacks, but is much tougher and has a good melee combo. These characters are not invincible, and once they die, you'll have to respawn as one of the regular classes.

Battles follow a certain line of events within the battle. The main task you'll have to do is take over a designated area, usually signified with a flag. Other objectives include killing certain enemies, destroying certain objects, or surviving an onslaught of enemies for a period of time. There will be tons of enemies to fight, and you will have an endless amount of backup. Sadly, you're backup is full of jackasses. They die easily and they'll pile up causing their own deaths by pushing each other off a platform. If there's any actual strategy involved it's you having to find the mage to hopefully catch a heal or two.

You have a set amount of lives that will increase whenever you complete objectives. What's annoying is that some levels are filled with enemies that can kill most classes within a hit or two. There are even some environmental attacks that will kill you with just one hit without any way to stop it. It comes down to being in the wrong place at the wrong time taking you out. Once all the lives are gone, that's it game over. What annoys me is that after you've been beaten, you're taken to a screen asking if you want to restart or quit. Then if you choose to restart, it asks if you're sure if you want to restart because you'll lose all progress so far. My question to this is, HOW THE HELL CAN I SAVE MY PROGRESS IF I'VE USED UP ALL MY LIVES!! It's like a slap in the face each time because it reminds you how far you got only to die.

While I realize that having tons of enemies on screen means most enemies will be fairly generic, you hope they would look better than these guys. All characters look so mediocre; barely better looking than the Lord of the Ring games on the PS2/Xbox. If there's a part where the game excels at, it would be the backgrounds. Each battleground looks a lot like they do in the movies with a long viewing distance.

Even though the game makes use of the epic soundtrack of the Lord of the Ring movies, it's like they have a time limit on how long they play. If you stay in an area for too long, the music will go away, and all you hear are the sound effects and voice actors. Each battle will have a designated yeller who will announce what you need to accomplish. What's annoying is that this particular yelling guy will yell the line, wait a minute, and then yell again and again and again. Aside from these annoying bastards, they did bring back Hugo Weaving, Agent Smith himself, to narrate the intro to each battle.

Multiplayer is 8vs8 action in modes such as Team Deathmatch, Conquest, and Capture the One Ring. So far, multiplayer is pretty bleh since it's limited to just the 8vs8. Granted there's some strategy involved, but come on, this game was begging for a 64 person epic online battles. If a game like Resistance 2 can have this action, why not this game?

It's just another game and another dollar for EA with this game. Lord of the Ring fans will find reasons to get excited over this game while everyone else will just not care after a few hours. So if you're a fanboy that dresses up like Gandalf on the weekends, you should definitely buy this game. Everyone else that's actually sane rent it if you want to press the same buttons over and over and over and over and over again.

Oscar Gonzalez - Editor-in-Chief og (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

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