Written Review - LOTR: War in the North

Posted on November 8, 2011 - 4:17pm

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There's a lot of mythology in the Lord of the Rings universe, but it's never been touched upon in video games outside of the movies. Lord of the Rings: War in the North tells the tale of a smaller fellowship defending their lands from Sauron's forces far away from Frodo.


War in the North certainly uses the movie licensing well, as it accurately captures the look and feel of Peter Jackson's cinematic work. Certain locales, such as the town of Bree and Elf city Rivendell are fully modeled and explorable. More famous heroes look like their actor counterparts, and enemy orcs and trolls are straight out of the movie.

Everthing looks nice... at a distance. When it gets close, things look blurry and unpolished. Things like somebody's hair stand out as muddy, and some locations have constant texture pop-in just from turning the camera away. There can be brief slowdown when too many enemies are on screen, but it quickly passes. War in the North promised to have a more visceral look with violent decapitations and limb severs, but the blood effects are rather tame.

It definitely looks like the movies.


While it can look like the movies, it does not sound like them. The voice acting in War in the North is adequate at best, but the script is poorly written. It comes off more like a sixth grade attempt at Shakespeare than a well-written Tolkien transcript. Iconic characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn and Frodo have substitue voice actors, and they're bearable in their attempts to emulate the original actors.

The music is forgettable. Again, it has moments where it could sound like the films, but not even the classic Lord of the Rings theme shows up at any time.

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