Lord of the Rings: Conquest

Lord of the Rings: Conquest is a solid release from Pandemic Studios and EA that will delight fans of the novels and films as well as gamers who crave lots of action and options in their games. The game allows players to decide to play for the path of good or evil and once that decision is reached, then the real fun begins. If you chose the path of good, then you will follow Frodo on his mission to destroy the ring. Should you decide to ally with evil, then the game shows a world where the ring was not destroyed and allows you lay waste to the land.

Using the Star Wars Battlefront style of gameplay, players are able to play in first and third person perspective and control other players during the battle. Should a player wish to play as Gandalf or an Ent it is up to them.

The game offers four classes such as Scout and Warrior who are great at close range battles, or if ranged attacks are your thing, then an Archer or Mage is available for you. I also enjoyed the ability to ride various mounts in the game which allow players to make strategic charges and retreats when called for.

As much fun as the solo portion of the game is, the true joy for me was found in the multiplay portion of the game. Modes ranging from Conquest, Capture, the Flag, and Hero Deathmatch are contained within. I remember an early online game where I was still trying to master my skills where the battle was not going in my favor. In order to remedy my lack of experience, I manned a mounted ballista and gave my side some cover fire which allowed the more skilled players to advance and kept the enemy on the defensive. It was nice to have a game that I could contribute to even when playing more advanced players and be something more than a distraction for the enemy.

The graphics in the game are solid and the sound effects also add a nice sense of being there as the clangs of weapons at close quarters are sure to get the blood going in any fan.

The game has come along nicely from when I first played it at PAX as it was an impressive and fun game then but is now a complete Lord of the Rings Experience not to be missed.

My only real regret was that the solo portions of the game are a bit short and once completed the only real relay value of the game is online, unless you are one of those people who must keep at a game until you earn every possible trophy. That being said, Lord of the Rings: Conquest brings all of the joy of the Star Wars: Battlefront series to the Lord of the Rings universe.

4 stars out of 5.