You’d think by now they’d stop making games based off the Lord of the Rings movie license. After all, the last one in the trilogy came out over 5 years ago. That’s right! It’s been that long! When you play this game, you really can’t help but feel like the delivery truck that was delivering this game to retail stores went through some portal that propelled the truck 5 years into the future before it finally reached store shelves because the game feels very, very 2003.
From the Aesthetics, to the music, and right down to the controls, everything feels like a 2003 movie license video game. You know, the kind that shows brief clips from the movie in between stages while the stages themselves takes you through the exciting parts of the movie and artificially lengthen it for the sake of adding more gameplay because you just can’t turn a romance scene between Aragorn and Arwen into a mini game (or can you?). When done well, licensed games can be pretty good, but in this case, it’s simply mediocre.
It’s a Battlefield game with a LOTR skin on it, and yet it lacks the Battlefield game’s finesse and intricacy. Either because it’s on the DS or the nature of medieval warfare with some fantasy thrown in, this doesn’t feel anything like a regular Battlefield game. What it does feel like is Dynasty Warriors. You charge into hordes of enemies, that is if you call 5 or 6 of them a horde, and mash on the attack button occasionally mashing on the super attack button. That’s it, and that’s all there is to it. After the first 2 levels, you’ll be craving some kind of variety outside of capturing spawn points.
The DS’s technical limitations doesn’t help matters either. Battles involving over 5 people on-screen slows everything down to a leisurely walk. Enemies tend to pop in right next to you because the system just can’t handle that much sprites walking around at the same time. And the touch screen controls just feels outright clunky. The regular button controls doesn’t help either since the battles take place in a fully 360 degree playing field while your crosspad can only aim in 8 different directions. I can’t count how many times my arrows or fireballs flies just to the right of the guy I’m trying to hit.
Of course there’s a reason why the Dynasty Warriors formula have been around for as long as it has. Taking down hordes of enemies is still kinda, sorta fun. Conquest does not disappoint in that department, but that’s really not saying much. As for the other modes, Co-op is just an excuse to spread the misery around. VS mode gets pretty dull very quickly, and the instant action mode is just the single player campaign without any pretense of a story. Overall, there’s just not much to really sink your teeth into in this game. Unless you’re having some Lord of the Rings withdrawal 5 years later and need a fix, skip this game.
Pros: Really takes you back to the Lord of the Rings craze 5 years back.
Cons: Dull combat, lack of variety in gameplay, Slowdowns, Control issues
Final Verdict: Forget It