The developers have, as with the enjoyable Two Towers tie-in, opted for a beat-'em-up in the style of old classics such as Golden Axe. It proves to be a wise choice. Seamlessly incorporating some of the finest cinematic moments from the film, the game is a frenetic, rip-roaring and hugely entertaining affair. And surprisingly, it's a well-thought-through and highly challenging one too. The gameplay rewards the player willing to try things other than the same old moves, and through a series of combos and upgrades, it constantly pushes you onward. It's no one-weekend wonder either, with a healthy long-term challenge packed in.
Downers? A couple of levels don't quite reach the standards set by the game's best, and the toughness of the challenge may also deter more casual gamers. They'd be really missing out though, for not only is Return of the King one of the best movie tie-ins of recent times--certainly eclipsing the aforementioned Two Towers title--it's a tremendously enjoyable game in its own right. It's just a shame now that EA have run out of films and books, as we'd happily thirst for another instalment 12 months down the line. Best make the most of this one, then... --Simon Brew
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King allows players to journey through multiple gameplay paths, taking control of the motion picture trilogy's heroes. Defend the walls of Minas Tirith as Gandalf, raise the Army of the Dead as Aragorn, Legolas or Gimli and, with Frodo and Sam, deliver the ring to the fiery depths of Mount Doom.
Based on environments from the upcoming movie, The Return of the King has third-person gameplay that includes immersive action and adventure elements set in rich, interactive levels. An all-new multiplayer co-op mode will let players form their own Fellowship before embarking on their journey through Middle-earth.
Characters you start with are Gandalf, Frodo, Sam, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas. There are also three unlockables available when you have completed all the missions. As you kill enemies you gain experience points for your character, which can then be exchanged for new abilities or upgrades, these are usually combo attacks that you can use to kill enemies quicker.
One thing that did strike me as strange was that the game despite having only fifteen levels came on three disks. This is explained by the fact that the game contains exclusive interviews with cast members which must take up a lot of space. It should also be mentioned that one or two of the levels are rather short. In particular the first level at Helm's deep.
This game contains 15 highly interactive levels, 12 of these I thought were excellent, 2 of them were good, and one level which was consequently the last level of the main missions was slightly boring. The level which I thought was boring is called the crack of doom and basically you have to push gollum off the edge of the platform, this in itself isn't so hard except that you have to do it six times.
You can choose between about 8 characters from the film including secret characters and the like. Each level promotes a challenging task (or tasks!) which has kept me at this game for hours on end. Some people, I have noticed from the reviews, find the lack of saving options and the difficulty of the level very annoying. I can see their point since most of the levels require playing countless times to get to the next but I find that this balances out the disapointing amount of levels.
Once you complete the game it can be done again but with an unlocked character. There is also a co-operation mode. This is also amazing although the screen should have been split on this since you have follow each other around instead of doing your own thing.
The Return of The King is a better game than, say, Prince of Persia which is rather tedious with the immensity of moves, showing that you can go over board on games such as this.
This has been criticised by many for being a simple arcade clicking frenzy. But the gameplay is smooth and crisp and is easy to get the hang of. Aiming with the ranged attack is easier than the two towers and the result on all the different enemies is excellent.
Well, this is where you have to pat EA on the back. The graphics are superb and look stunning. The only fault I have found on the game is on the Black Gate, where the Urik Hui and Orks are walking through the solid metal of the gate. If you have a high spec pc, then Return of the King will look like it is in your room. The fellowship look even better now as the faces sre much improved.
The voiceovers are great and it is the real actors speaking them. I found that it was easier to put subtitles on however because on occasions you can't tell what anyone is saying over the howls and yelps of the Orcs.
This game has surely exceeded my expectations except it may be a little to easy after the 'king of the dead' level. It is great how you can unlock interviews and stills fom the actors (I highly recommend watching the 'Hobbits on Gaming' interview!)
There are six characters in all, and three unlockable ones. They are Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Sam, Gandalf and Frodo.