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PS3 Review – The Lord of the Rings: Conquest

February 16, 2009 Written by Adam Wolfe

Lord of the Rings: Conquest places you in all the epic battles you have grown to love from the movies, from standing strong at Helm’s Deep to fighting the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. You will come across, and be able to play as, all of your favorite heroes and villains from the movies. Now this may sound like a truly epic experience to you, but does it fall flat on its face, or will it be the one game to rule them all?

If you played the Star Wars Battlefront games, you pretty much know what you are in for. You choose your class of character: warrior, scout, mage or archer. From there you are thrown onto a battlefield with an objective. The objectives usually come down to “go to this area and capture it”, which will have you fighting off enemies in a certain area and then holding it for a few minutes until you seize control of it. Or the objectives state that you will have you go and kill a certain enemy. This usually will be a hero or villain you know from the movies, but on occasion, it will simply be a guard captain. Other than those two objectives, you will not be doing much else that’s different.

There are two separate campaigns to choose from: ‘War of the Ring’ which will have you controlling the good guys, and the ‘Rise of Sauron’ which will have you controlling Sauron’s army. I actually found quite a lot of enjoyment in playing as an orc and wiping out hundreds of Hobbits, or using the Balrog to burn the occasional Imp.

Depending on what level you are on, you will be able to play different heroes; Gandalf in the Mines of Moria, Aragorn at Helms deep and so on. This is a nice change of pace, since the heroes have a different set of abilities than the normal unoriginal class you will be playing as for most of the game. Now unlike your usual class, when you die as the hero, you will not be able to choose your hero again and will have to go back to the generic class.

Even though there are two campaigns, you easily can complete each in one sitting. The game is not overly difficult, although some areas even on easy can be quite a pain. There are no items to collect, no alternative paths, just straight forward “go from point A to point B.” All in all it’ll take 6 to 7 hours tops to complete both campaigns, and that is even being generous and accounting for a few deaths.

They also added in quite a bit of multiplayer. You can go through each campaign in co-op with either split screen or online. There also are the ever-present Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Hero Team Deathmatch, Capture the Ring (capture the flag) and Conquest (capture the zone) game types. All are pretty much what you come to expect from online games recently, but instead of running around with guns, you will usually be grouped together in a corner seeing who can hit X the fastest. It is fun in the beginning, but grows old rather quickly.

LOTR: Conquest is about as generic a hack-and-slash game can be. It does not do anything different between the short and overly-simplistic single player and the repetitive multiplayer. The only redeeming quality of this title is the fact that it takes place in the LOTR universe, and you get to see the epic battles from both sides while controlling all your favorite characters. It’s not the worst game, and it’s definitely not the best. If you’re a fan of this game type,  a fan of the LOTR, or just need a quick trophy fix, this may be a good rental. However, if none of these apply to you, pass on by. You won’t regret it.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Generic, repetitive hack-and-slash gameplay.

Getting to play as the bad guys is kind of cool.

Multiplayer is just the Single-Player Campaign in sheep’s clothing.

5 out of 10