The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

aka: A Gyűrűk Ura: A Király Visszatér, Der Herr der Ringe: Die Rückkehr des Königs, El Señor de los Anillos: El Retorno del Rey , Il Signore degli Anelli: Il Ritorno del Re, LOTR:ROTK, Le Seigneur des Anneaux: Le Retour du Roi, O Senhor dos Anéis: O Regresso do Rei, O Senhor dos Anéis: O Retorno do Rei, Pán prstenů: Návrat krále, Ringenes Herre: Atter en Konge, Ringenes Herre: Kongen vender tilbage, Sagan om Konungens Återkomst: Härskarringen, Władca Pierścieni: Powrót Króla, Zhihuan Wang: Wangzhe Wudi
Moby ID: 10862
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King video game again puts the fate of middle-earth in the hands of the gamer. In the last installment of the movie trilogy, destroy the Ring by casting it into the Crack of Doom, which frees Middle Earth from Dark Lord Sauron.

Return of the King's third person gameplay allows immersive action set in rich, interactive levels. The new game also features an all new co-op multiplayer mode which lets players form their own Fellowship and eight playable characters like Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimil, Sam and Frodo all played out by thier actual actors from the films, battle vicious boss monsters like Shelob and the final showdown with Dark Lord Sauron, all backed up by Academy Award winner Howard Shore.

Spellings

  • שר הטבעות: שיבת המלך - Hebrew spelling
  • ロード・オブ・ザ・リング: 王の帰還 - Japanese spelling
  • 指环王:王者无敌 - Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • 魔戒:王者再臨 - Chinese spelling (traditional)

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Credits (Windows version)

577 People (403 developers, 174 thanks) · View all

Executive Produced by
Produced by
Lead Designers
Level Producers
Lead Engineers
Art Directors
Audio Director
Character Animation Supervisor
Lead Character Artist
Lead Environment Artist
Lead Lighter
Supervising Editor
Producer (PC)
Producer (Localization/User Interface)
Producer (Quality Assurance)
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 80% (based on 58 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 101 ratings with 4 reviews)

Proof That Beat-'Em-Ups Still Have Their Place In Current Gaming.

The Good
For those who love a good side-scrolling fighter, or even a game that captures the action of fighting from the books or films, this is the game.

This game is a masterpiece as far as movie-based and fighting games go. Everything from the soundtrack, to the three branches of hero quests, to even gameplay, this game is exceptional. "The Two Towers" was a great movie tie-in game. This game takes all the popular elements of that and eclipses the previous installment.

The Hobbit quests are interesting, as are the Hero and Wizard quests. They follow the film very well, but add in elements that could possibly happen in the story. Even when they take liberties, it still feels proper.

The music does nothing but inspire the action of the game. The movie had a great soundtrack, and it's once again proven here. The actor voices taking the roles of their characters only adds more to the sense of realism, as does every slash, explosion, grunt, and roar.

Graphically, this game is stunning. The heroes look and move like the actors. The backgrounds are just jaw-dropping with the particle effects, and even if every enemy doesn't come at you, it looks like there is a huge war being fought just a little farther over the path or hill. Nothing in this game looks empty. The production value is just stunning.

Gameplay, it just adds another layer of polish on "Two Towers"' gameplay, but this time, it's a two-player romp, and this is the kind of game that multiplayer action was meant for. The Hero path is the only one that starts this way, but once you open certain features....

And gameplay also offers more than just hack 'n' slash action this time. There's a bit of strategy involved, and times needed where the player is called to try and use the environment in their favor. And quite simply, upping the character select to pretty much cover the entire Fellowship, it clears up a complaint that I had from the previous title.

Even the bonuses push this game to a higher level. They give you three noteworthy surprises at the end of the game, and it makes it worth tromping through the game one more time just to test it all out.

The Bad
Don't expect an easy romp. Not leveled up properly, this game will eat you alive, especially in later levels, when you get closer to Sauron's Keep. And there a lot of timed areas that require you to move quickly, or figure out a strategy before you're overrun.

The level where you have to keep the Fellowship alive at Sauron's Gate is a test in patience. It takes a lot of effort to make sure everyone is being taken care of properly. Controlling the characters, each member is a skilled fighter. Computer controlled, they sometimes get a little slow witted.

Since it came out just before the movie, the game is very protective not to release any major scenes from the film. The game improvises around that, but most of the footage could be seen from the second film, or ROTK's theatrical trailer.

And truthfully, there's nothing more embarrassing than getting stepped on by an Ent.

The Bottom Line
If you remember and loved the days of early '90's beat-'em-ups in the arcades, this is a recommended game. Tolkien and movie fans are not going to be disappointed. This game has so much going for it, with its increase in strategy, character selection, multiple story branches to take, and multi-player action, it takes the good of the previous installment, and goes beyond.

ROTK is a fantastic title all around.

Even when players are done with the game, there are still several interviews and production stills to look over, and with the bonus content unlocked, it's fun to cheat the story a little bit with the rewards given.

This is old-school gameplay at its finest. I haven't played a brawler this good since the heyday of Konami's games. It's simple, but aggressive, and ranks as one of my favorite titles released in 2003.

Well worth the look.

GameCube · by Guy Chapman (1748) · 2004

Perfect, perhaps the best Lord of the Rings game and a good beat'em up.

The Good
The gameplay has been improved a lot from The Two Towers, there are more characters and they have lots of different skills each other. The levels are cool, they have lots of interaction and feel more alive, you can use objects to kill enemies with timing, open doors with switches and some more things.

The RPG elements are very good too, not very complex but good, the abilities you get are more useful than in The Two Towers game, there are more strength and vitality upgrades and some good new killing moves.

Also, the three different routes that merge into the final levels are a nice addition, you can play with Gandalf, Aragorn and his two companions (Legolas and Gimli) and the hobbits Frodo and Sam, you can progress each route in the order you want, and when you have reached the end of the three you will be able to play the final levels, where the fellowship gets together again.

The music it's cool, the same from the film, and it's very well implemented in the different moments of the game.

Also there are some nice unlockable extras and secret characters, which is good.

The Bad
I would have liked a more extended ending, the one in the game left me a bit empty, I suppose that's because the game was released before the film and they didn't want to spoil it very much.

The Bottom Line
I was surprised when I saw how good this game was, I normally dislike everything with the EA level on it. A great mixture of beat'em up and RPG, an excellent end to the epic trilogy.

PlayStation 2 · by Depth Lord (934) · 2005

I love medieval setting games this one rocks.

The Good
All a game that was based on a great film and a classic fiction story inspired for years. All the enemies and levels for all the fights make sword-fighting and archery magnificent. All the quotes like the ones featured in the movie, are amazing to hear. Although its off key from the movie a bit its great to see it in a new point of view, and since the game features a lot of enemies to fight in every level and featuring enough time, you can upgrade your characters quicker than in The Two Towers video game.

The Bad
Nothing. It was a great game.

The Bottom Line
I think that most people think the game might be bad for being made before the movie, but if they like the fantasy or medieval setting they will love this one.

GameCube · by Andrew Shepard (1389) · 2005

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Sales

In the first quarter of 2004 has The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (PS2) won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2003 – Best Movie Game of the Year (PS2)
    • 2003 - Best of License of the Year (PC)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tom McGuire.

Macintosh added by Kabushi. GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2 added by Entorphane.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, Jeanne, Corn Popper, Guy Chapman, Kabushi, Xoleras, Freeman, formercontrib, COBRA-COBRETTI, Crawly, Zeppin, DreinIX, Spenot, Paulus18950, erbaltan, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, BeNiSh McFly, Hipolito Pichardo.

Game added November 10, 2003. Last modified January 26, 2024.