Lord of the Rings - Return of the King Xbox Review

Lord of the Rings - Return of the King
Games - Lord of the Rings - Return of the King Xbox Review
Lord of the Rings - Return of the King Xbox Review

EA release the third part of their Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Lord of the Rings - Return of the King. J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece fantasy trilogy has been lovingly adapted for the silver screen by maverick director Peter Jackson to unrivaled success. Electronic Arts secured the license for the "games of the films" & have done a fine job of putting you in control of all of your favorite middle earth characters.

There is no doubt that the forthcoming movie is going to be an excellent spectacle & for anyone who knows how the story unfolds - the excitement of seeing the mind boggling battles & intense conclusion is almost too much to bare.

EA have already earned their stripes when it comes to rendering the movies for a console coherent audience and The Fellowship of the Ring & the Two Towers were no disappointment. The format, if you haven't played the other games, is hack and slash you control different characters for different tasks, you build up

Games - Lord of the Rings - Return of the King Xbox Review

special moves and experience as you advance and the plot is obviously that of the classic stories.

Due to the game being released before the film, there is a risk - for those of you who don't know how the tale ends - that the game may take some of the impact away from the movie, although, the Return of the King includes very few cut scenes from the movie. Most of the full motion video within the game is actually from The Two Towers.

You will get the chance to play as most of the main characters from the film. You'll be able to play as Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli the Dwarf, Gandalf and Samwise. If you played the other Lord of the Rings games you will find that the characters moves are very similar and you can pick up where you left off. So you don't have to re-learn too much.

The fighting works with differing styles of attack such as; parrying, fast attacks, fierce attacks, physical attacks, killing moves & range attacks such as firing arrows or in Gandalf's case firing magic thunderbolts. As you kill more foes you will gain experience points which can be used to upgrade your special moves. The more effective your fighting the more points you earn. The main advantage of Return of the King over the other two titles is the multi-player function. You and a friend can fight back to back in the same battle. This takes the game-play to another level. Hack and slash games have never been my favorite but with the fact that you are using different characters, you can kill in tandem and the beautiful backdrop of Peter Jackson's middle earth make this game a lot of fun.

The sound in Lord of the Rings - Return of the King is great. Ian Mckellan as Gandalf has done some voice over just for the game and the LOTR theme keeps seeping in to the cacophony battle to enhance the feeling of being a part of it.

Lord of the Rings - Return of the King is a very accessible game with top "pick up and play" value. It uses the best from the movie without spoiling your trip to the cinema. If you have the other two you would have to be insane to not follow the story through to the end. If you are new to the series then EA have saved the best until last.

8.5 out of 10

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