The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
|The Lord of the Rings: War in the North|
|Publisher||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
|Platform||PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360|
|Genre||Action, Role-playing game|
|Modes||Single player, two/three-player co-operative, online|
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is an upcoming role-playing video-game developed by Snowblind Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows. The game takes place during the War of the Ring but adapts the seldom-mentioned battles that took place across Eriador and Rhovanion. The game will be released in 2011.
Whilst the Fellowship of the Ring travels towards Mordor to destroy the One Ring, Sauron has sent one of his most cruel servants, the Black Númenórean Agandaûr, to the North to destroy Rivendell and defeat the Free Peoples of Eriador and Rhovanion. The player controls his own fellowship, a trio of fighters - a Dúnadan "Ranger of the North," an elven "Loremaster of Rivendell" and a dwarvern "Champion of Eriador" - to get behind enemy lines and have to stop Agandaûr before his plan succeeds.
Although the game includes familiar locations from Middle-earth it doesn't deal with the core story of The Lord of the Rings, instead choosing to create a tale which didn't happen but could have done.
Developed in association with Middle-earth Enterprises, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North explores both original and familiar narrative elements as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment holds the rights to develop video games based on both the literary and motion picture content from The Lord of the Rings. Breaking new ground as a mature RPG video game set in Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North advances the RPG paradigm through innovative online, interdependent co-op play for up to three players who form their own Fellowship to fight Sauron’s forces in the North.
In The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, players can become the heroes in the great battle of the North as part of the epic War of the Ring. Exploring unseen lands, story elements and characters from Middle-earth as well as elements familiar from past feature films, gamers will experience extensive character customization and development, expansive co-op gameplay options and upgradeable weapons, skills and special abilities.
—Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, product announcement
Commentators have noted that this is the first iteration of The Lord of the Rings-based games which is aimed at an older audience - predicted to be the first game in the series to be given and M-rating - with the inclusion of graphic violence and gory bloody detail with players being able decapitate orcs and slash limbs off enemies. The gameplay - in both single and multiplayer modes - revolves around strategically combining the different abilities of the threesome to good effect, for instance the dwarf can find treasure and spot weaknesses in structures whereas the man can find herbs to heal other party members. When in single-player, the other two characters will be controlled by computer AI.
Since the first announcement in March 2010, Warner Bros. have periodically released trailers demonstrating various aspects of the gameplay and revealing the characters. All video links are to YouTube, and times are in minutes:
|Unite Your Fellowship||1:03||17 March 2010||Teaser trailer; short clips of action and trolls|
|E3 2010 Trailer||1:03||10 June 2010|
|Extended Fellowship Trailer||1:34||12 August 2010||Expanded version of teaser trailer|
|War in the North @ PAX 2010||1:22||c. September 2010||Coverage of Penny Arcade Expo 2010 exhibit|
|Untold Story||1:22||17 November 2010||Outline of plot with various shots of locations|
|Snowblind Tolkien Toast 2011||1:22||3 January 2011||No gameplay; Snowblind's birthday toast|
|The Black Númenórean||1:59||1 February 2011||Exploration of Agandaûr, the game's protagonist|
|Behind the Scenes: The Untold Story||2:38||17 February 2011||Outline of the several locations of the game|
|Snowblind Studio Tour||2:42||11 May 2011||No gameplay; A guide through Snowblind's studio|
|Brutal Combat Trailer||1:35||9 March 2011||Coverage of The War in the North's combat gameplay|
|Pax East Hands-On||0:52||16 March 2011||Coverage of Penny Arcade Expo 2011 exhibit|
|Blood and Steel: The Combat of War in the North||2:33||31 March 2011||Exploration of game's combat and Middle-earth's darker side|
|Dev Video: Art Direction Process||2:09||11 May 2011||Coverage of The War in the North's Art, including concept art of several locations|
|Combat Vignette||0:44||13 April 2011||Gameplay vignette covering the different combat styles|
|Gameplay Video: Mount Gundabad||2:28||5 May 2011||Exploration of the gameplay in Gundabad|
|Prepare for War: Weapon Development||2:01||12 May 2011||Coverage of weapons|
|Heroes will Rise||1:36||1 June 2011||Teaser trailer|
It's a very handsome game with well voiced cutscenes, and places the compelling Lord of the Rings realm in the hands of a developer with solid RPG credentials. Fans of both have good reason to look forward to a unique entry in the series.
Commentators immediately picked up on Snowblind Studios' experience with role-playing games (such as Baldur's Gate and Champions of Norrath: Realms of EverQuest) along with frequent mentions of the more "mature" and "brutal" design of the game, and the desire for an action RPG in the manner of previous Snowblind games.
- Images from The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
- The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest, a 2010 game also published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, a 2006 game which also took place in the north of Middle-earth
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 War in the North, "Product Announcement", dated March 17, 2010 (accessed February 5, 2011)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kotaku, "Lord of the Rings: War in the North Eyes-On Impressions: A Party of Three, dated June 17, 2010 (accessed February 5, 2011)
- ↑ Atomic MPC, "Lord of the Rings: War in the North dev interview, page 1", dated December 22 2010 (accessed February 5, 2011)
- ↑ Kotaku, "Lord Of The Rings: War In The North Is Cutting Throats, Taking Names, dated June 14, 2010 (accessed February 6, 2011)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Kotaku, "There Will Be Orc Blood In Lord of the Rings: War in the North", dated August 27, 2010 (accessed February 6, 2011)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Atomic MPC, "Lord of the Rings: War in the North dev interview, page 2", dated December 22 2010 (accessed February 5, 2011)
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: War of the North's Official Site, Locations (accesed at February 6, 2011)
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: War of the North's Official Site, Media, Videos, The Black Númenórean, dated February 1, 2011 (accesed at February 6, 2011)
- ↑ ComputerAndVideoGames.com, "E3 2010: LOTR: War in the North screens, dated June 14 2010 (accessed February 6, 2011)
- ↑ Kotaku, "The Untold Story Of The Lord Of The Rings: War In The North", November 18, 2010 (accessed February 6, 2011)