Written by  :  James Kirk (168)
Written on  :  Mar 06, 2005

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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A throwback to an ancient era...

The Good

...An era where games based on franchises didn't suck. This game is pretty fun at first. The graphics are great, with the various units animated amazingly. The sound track is right from the movie and the voices are all very good (except the Hobbit's voices. Those are embarrassing.) The 4 races in the game (Gondor, Mordor, Isengard, and Rohan) All have their strengthes and weaknesses and are radically different from each other.

The Bad

An era where the "strategy" in an RTS is kept to a bare minimum. There is only one resource in this game. That's right, one. Ever since Age of Empires came out, pretty much any RTS that used only one resource that didn't have some kind of other more strategic element to set it apart from the others (the Total War series comes to mind) got rightly laughed out of the gaming world. Playing this game is like playing a really old game. Somethings just make you glad you live in this modern age. A distinct lack of strategy in the battles makes itself evident. Although there is the usual "archers defeat spearmen defeat calvary" element, it's much less pronounced and the game ends with you just flooding the map with as many units as you can, regardless of the type.

The AI obviously cheats. Destroy all it's resource centers and it will still churn out units like they cost nothing.

Lack of base building also is evident. Instead of just building bases where you want, you have to fight for special patches that allow you to build the various buildings. This turns the game into a gigantic war of attrition. Fight for this patch of land. Hold it. Build it. Rinse. Repeat.

The Bottom Line

Really just for fans of the movies. Doesn't really hold up compared to other games on it's own.