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Lord of the Rings: War in the North Preview

Snowblind's journey into Middle Earth is a bloody one indeed.

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North isn’t your average LOTR adaptation.  Even with a story that focuses much of its attention on war and the horrors that lie within that beast, the movies and books have always been rather accessible to even the youngest members of the family.  That’s about to change as it's best the little ones sit out what is shaping up to be the bloodiest vision of Middle Earth yet.

War in the North is an action oriented RPG with a focus on co-op play.  1-3 players can take control of a unique fellowship and their battles in the northern realms of the land as detailed through many of Tolkien’s writings and appendices that accompany the Lord of the Rings.  While most are at least vaguely familiar with Frodo’s journey to destroy the ring, most will be unfamiliar with the trials and tribulations that harried our heroes in the north.

While a large chunk of the game takes place in the north, your band of adventures will also trek through many locales from the books and movies such as the transient filled town of Bree, the dark an ominous forests of Mirkwood and the Elven city of Rivendell.

It goes without saying that you’ll be battling your fair share of orcs and goblins.  Those familiar with Middle Earth will know exactly what kinds of enemies they are likely to face, but what they may not be prepared for is how bloody the combat is.  Limbs can be lopped off with a well placed swing of the axe and blood of all sorts of colors will spew forth in a sight not previously detailed in a LOTR game.  The developers at Snowblind Studios noted that it wasn’t their intention to make an M rated game for the sake of it – they wanted to deliver an experience that was true to Tolkien’s writings, better defining the true horrors of war.

We’ll soon find out it Snowblind Studios is successful in telling a story in Tolkien’s world that doesn’t directly involve the ring.  Lord of the Rings: War in the North will be released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on November 1, 2011.  Stay tuned to PixlBit for our review to follow shortly.




10/26/2011 at 03:26 PM

i want the combat in this game to be....visceral.

I want to feel like I'm fighting tooth and nail....most of the LOTR games I've played weren't bloody enough, didn't convey the sense of an armageddon-style war going on/about to happen,

hope this entry changes all that

Jesse Miller Staff Writer

10/26/2011 at 03:29 PM

Don't worry, from what I've seen the game earns its M rating and I'll be sure to fill you in on all of the gory details when I post my review next week.


10/27/2011 at 08:03 PM

Nice preview Jesse I'll look forward to your review!

I actually just pre-ordered the game a few hours ago. I remember hearing a little about it from E3 but besides that I seriously haven't been hearing anybody talking about it, let alone see any advertisements or pomp and circumstance for it. I had to simply go to the games website and look at the gameplay videos they have there. I haven't had to go to any games' website, in ever, to get info on it lol. Usually there's enough info floating around on journalism sites about any given game. It seems this game is easily getting lost in the swarm of blockbusters coming out this time of year.

I was planning on Skyrim but I convinced myself to wait for the GOTY edition eventually, and LOTR is one of the games I'm going to use to fill the void. I really love Snowblind and what they've done in the past. They developed Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, Champions of Norrath, and Return to Arms back on the PS2. That hits home for me because I was actually brought into the general RPG genre in the first place by those three Snowblind games and all their loot filled fun, so I have a place in my heart for Snowblind and the way they design their action-RPGs. I don't expect War in the North to be the greatest game of the year but I'm definitely expecting to dismember monsters, collect tons of loot, develop my character, explore the Tolkein world again in a much more mature way, and have a ton of fun doing it.

Jesse Miller Staff Writer

10/27/2011 at 09:07 PM

Michael! Awesome to see you here, man! I agree on both accounts. I'm surprised that there hasn't been a bigger marketing push for the LOTR game, especially since it comes out the same day as Uncharted 3 and I'm also holding off for the GOTY edition of Skyrim - it's bound come out and will be a much better deal.


10/28/2011 at 12:53 PM

Thanks Jesse, likewise, it's awesome to see you working here! It's indeed surprising how quietly this game is going to hit store shelves. I've seen expansion packs or DLC get marketing that dwarfs this full game lol. I'm sure there's a least a few people that will seek it out, get it, and play it like I'm going to, but in large part I feel like I'm going to be playing a bit of an overlooked gem or at the very least partaking in an cool experience that not many of my friends will be. Back when Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, and both Champions games came out I never saw much of a marketing push for those in my own experience, but I ended up with all those games somehow anyways and loved them.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

10/28/2011 at 08:11 PM

I want this game. I love, love, love Champions of Norrath. It was one of my favorite PS2 games, and I had a blast playing couch co-op with a friend of mine. We may have to do that again here.

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