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Hype Train: Lord of the Rings: Conquest
by Lewis O'Brien
As a Tolkien fan I have been frustrated at the lack of Middle-Earth titles available on next-gen consoles as games on the PC and earlier consoles from Tolkien’s universe have been so popular. So, when I heard of this up-and-coming title I began combing websites, gaming magazines, the lot.

Developed by Pandemic, Conquest seems to be very similar to the company’s successful Star Wars: Battlefront series, in the sense that you get to influence how certain battles during the War of the Ring play out without making it a RTS. You also get a choice of classes: (four up to now) Warrior: basic melee class. Archer: pretty self-explanatory and it gives the game a third person shooter feel. Mage: healer and ranged damage. Scout: the backstabbing class, go invisible and sneak around the battlefield.

On the surface it appears to be nothing more than a LotR version of Battlefront but if you delve into the depths of the game it’s obvious that there are influences from MMORPGs (in the healing and sneaking abilities) as well as FPS games like Battlefront and Battlefield that make their way into the campaign.

Once you’re finished with the campaign there’s also instance action battles that can be played online or offline with a variety of maps ranging from the Battle of Pelennor Fields -where you can face up to 150 enemies- to Balin’s Tomb where the smaller map provides more out-and-out action.

Although all of this is good and seems like it will add up to an excellent game, it seems too similar to Battlefront. However, it is never too late for Pandemic to stamp their personality on the game before release; thus separating it from the other games on the market.

Lord of the Rings: Conquest is due for release in Autumn/Fall of this year and will be available on PC, PS3, 360 and DS.


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- Lewis O'Brien

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