There are good things in this game: the RPG mechanics are fine (at various points in the story, you play as Frodo, Aragorn and Gandalf), the visuals are beautiful in parts, and certain aspects of game design are fantastic (Gandalf's magic-casting stands out). Little touches make it appealing to true fans, for instance when Aragorn receives the repaired Sword of Elendil and it glows during fighting. It would be a great game for even non-LOTR fans to play, since a good deal of backstory is provided in lengthy cinematics throughout the game. Fellowship's greatest asset, of course, is the story itself, as well as the bevy of villainous creatures that provide great boss-fight material. Many other games probably wished they had a Balrog to offer.
But the story deviates strangely from the book in order to satisfy the format of an RPG game. The final boss-fight (which we won't spoil here) is completely unrelated to anything devised by JRR Tolkien, and it seems hollow, strange and unsatisfying. The puzzles sprinkled throughout the game are random and often frustrating, as is your first encounter with the Ringwraiths (inevitably, you die many times--too steep a difficulty curve right out of the gate). This game is still strongly recommended, but with many caveats. Proceed with caution, and you're likely to enjoy yourself. Expect a masterpiece, and you'll be wishing you'd saved your money for a different title. --Jennifer Buckendorff
The game's big hype is that it contains 'fan-favourite' scenes which were ommitted from the film. This is true, and the story is worked quite well into the gameplay, except for the final part where the book goes out the window - what you expect to happen, doesn't, and what you don't expect, does. I won't be specific in case it spoils anyone's enjoyment. Suffice to say, the end is rather disappointing.
There are a couple of other major faults, too. The inventory system is terribly designed; trying to switch between weapons or spells during combat is a nightmare; you'll either end up using the wrong item, or lose half your health points while trying to find the right one. Plus, the camera is one of the most infuriating I have ever come across - you have to adjust it manually AT ALL TIMES, and even then there's only half a chance you'll be able to find a decent view. Combat is haphazard at the best of times ( I found pressing the attack button repeatedly while swinging the character round in circles worked best!!! ) and the levels are terribly dark and murky at times, making it difficult to find your way, or even recognise approaching enemies.
So...with all these problems, why did I give it three stars?Read more ›
To begin with, the game starts of nice and slow with several 'sub quests' based around Shire folk. It's a bit slow, but it gives you a chance to get used to the controls. Quite quickly you will become very annoyed with the camera angle control, as when you move it right, the camera angle pans left and vice versa and there is no option of changing it; I didn't get use to it until near the end of the game.
The 3D world is fantastically designed with excellent scenery, but it is let down by the fact that you are not free to explore it completely. You might wander down a path, and about three quarters of the way, you just can't go any further for no apparent reason (the character just runs on the spot)! There is also jerky animation that occurs quite frequently for no apparent reason.
The game follows the book quite well at the beginning (even Tom Bombadil is in it), but as the game progresses, it seems to wander away from the story line, especially when you enter Moria. The puzzles get more and more tedious as the game progresses. Initially they start off reasonably well (you have to find various objects and give them to people), but they then soon become quite lame, and move onto a sort of 'find switch, flick switch' kind of puzzle. I then nearly threw the game out when I had spent ages trying to complete a level, and nearly gave up until I happened to notice a VERY obscure ladder which led to the end of the level.Read more ›
Throughout the course of the game you are in control of Frodo, Aragorn or Gandalf. All three are required to be used in strategic ways in order to defeat your foes. Gandalf in possession of rather spectacular magic attacks, Aragon with great strength and agility, and Frodo with manoeuvrability and speed.
You begin the game with Frodo in the Shire where you can at your will go straight to your objective or help around with the townsfolk that will fortunately present you with equipment suitable for your journey.
Levels are expansive and varied. Some levels throughout the game cool down from the heat of battle, such as visiting an Inn, preparing you for the battles ahead.
Weapons are rather simplistic such as a small sword for Frodo and a long sword for Aragon. The magical attacks from Gandalf make up for the limited number of weapons though. One problem arises however. In order to cycle through your weapons the d-pad or the right and left triggers are used. Trying to find the right gadget or weapon can usually be time consuming especially if you are in possession of a lot of equipment, and can be life threatening if you are in the heat of battle.
You can save any point throughout the game making things a little to easy.
Music is suitable for game play and is well done, though the voice acting is only average. It feels rather scripted than feeling life like.Read more ›