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Lord of the Rings: Conquest Review

If taking over control points and killing massive amounts of soldiers sounds appealing to you, Lord of the Rings: Conquest will be right up your alley. From EA and Pandemic Studios comes an action packed Lord of the Rings game much similar to their Star Wars: Battlefront games. Conquest takes those same ideas from Battlefront and improves upon them.

To describe LotR: Conquest is simple; you take your soldier, kill lots of people, and then complete a simple objective. The objectives you complete boil down to killing a hero of the opposite faction, such has a Balrog, The Mouth of Sauron, and even Sauron himself. Conquest features two campaigns to play though, good or evil. The good campaign will follow the story line of the movies, playing clips before and after each level. The evil campaign is easily the star of the show. This side of the story takes some movie clips and remixes them to make a different story as you slowly take over Middle Earth.

Lord of the Rings: Conquest is all about combat, which unfortunately is held down by some cheap AI and the button-mashing nature of it. There is more to the combat than just mashing a button however. Every class has different abilities, all available with a press of a button. Warriors gain strength for more powerful moves such as setting their sword on fire. Archers get poison and fire arrows and with a multi-arrow shot. Scouts use stealth for killing blows and bombs. Mages can heal while using fire and lightning magic. It’s an overall good game, but it’s just unfortunate that it has a bundle of issues.

Liked:

Epic Scale: There are many battles where you can look in the distance and see hundreds of soldiers fighting. Take example the battle at Pelennor Fields. The battlefield is very open and there is fighting on just about every inch of the field.

Playing with a friend in co-op seemed to help build in the epic scale since it seemed like two heroes were killing hundreds of enemies wherever they went.

Heroes: Quite often you’ll have the option of play as a hero. To play as one all you need to do is finish a certain objective on that level. They are very powerful and can help you win in tough situations. I found that the magic users, Gandalf and the Mouth of Sauron, were the weakest, not just in health but their attacks as well.

Being Evil is Fun: As stated before, the evil campaign has you playing a number of evil characters to take over Middle Earth. This campaign takes the Lord of the Rings’ movie clips and remixes them to tell a what if story. This side of the story has more variety in the objectives and is very interesting to watch what unfolds–especially at the end.

Stylish: Since the main focus is combat, they seemed to have put a great deal of time into it. Movement and combos flow nicely and have a good look to them.

Disliked:

Cheap Combat: There’s an old saying, “Never kick a man when he’s down”. Conquest takes that to a whole new level. Maybe it was just my play style, but I got knocked down a whole lot. While knocked down the enemies sure take advantage of it, making some fights very frustrating.

Bad Value: Beating both of the campaigns, good and evil, took about five to six hours.

Multiplayer does exist but it probably won’t keep your attention for very long.

Messy Visuals and Bad Sound: Nothing about Conquest looks particularly good. While there are a lot of characters on screen at once and the frame rate rarely drops, I just couldn’t help but think that it looked like a good older-generation game.

The announcer of the game does not fit with the setting. The way he sounds seems like it’s coming out of a bad speaker. The dialog and sound design aren’t particularly strong either. Some sound effects seem muffled which can take you out of the experience.

Small Feeling: All of the settings seemed a lot smaller than they should have. The battle at Helms Deep seemed very small scale and during the battle at Pelennor Fields it seemed like I didn’t move very far from where I spawned when I beat it.

Final Word: Lord of the Rings: Conquest is fun to play while it lasts. Even with the flaws there is fun to be had, just keep in mind that it is short and you may get frustrated.

Originally posted on Endsights, January 27, 2009

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March 5, 2009 - Posted by | Review | , ,

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