Lord of the Rings Conquest is a game that highlights some of the biggest moments from the movies. In it you get to participate in such scenes as the battle for Helms Deep as well as storming the Black Gate, among other things. Once you have gone through the campaign, then another one will open up for you to go through. The difference is that this second campaign allows you to play the evil side and has you working to accomplish all of Sauron’s goals. Even though both of these campaigns have different objectives, they are essentially the same. You either need to defend the area you are in for a set amount of time or capture a particular spot so your forces can advance or something of that nature. You have four different parties to choose from before you go into battle. You can either choose a Scout, Mage, Warrior or an Archer. Except for a couple of different instances I found that the Archer was the best class for me. I was able to take people out from a distance, although you will always run the risk of having enemies attack you from behind. Every once in a while you will also get the opportunity to play as one of the main heroes from the movies. There are even achievements for accomplishing certain things while you are playing as one of the heroes. There are eight missions in the “War of the Ring” campaign, which is the “good” side, and seven missions in the “Rise of Sauron” campaign. You can easily go through both of these in a single afternoon. There is also some co-op if you want to play with a friend. The story itself is told pretty well and has the narrative from Hugo Weaving. The storyline in between the missions is also presented pretty well.
In addition to the campaign modes there is also online multiplayer. You can either join an “EA Match” or create your own private match. Joining an “EA Match” will allow you to play standard multiplayer games such as death match, capture the ring(their version of capture the flag), Conquest and others. There didn’t appear to be any lag in the games I played which is always a good thing. You can have up to sixteen players at once in an online game. You can also choose whether you play on the good or bad side. Just like in the solo play campaign, you get to pick which class you want to play and depending on the map you might have a horse to ride on or something else to control. There are the standard leader boards so you can see where you rank against everyone else in the world as well. One issue I have though is the overall controls in the game can be fairly clunky at times. You can perform a combo on enemies but you need to wait a second for your first move to complete before you continue on with the combo making them difficult to pull off. You can’t simply push “X” quickly four times to do it which is going to frustrate some gamers.
Overall Lord of the Rings Conquest is a decent game. If you are a huge Lord of the Rings fan you will get some pleasure in fighting through some of the films most famous scenes. The game is really short which means it would make a really great rental for other people. If you have played the Battlefront series then you have basically played this game. Obviously with this game being on the XBox360 the game looks better than the Battlefront games that appeared on the Playstation 2 and Xbox. The multiplayer could add some longevity as Lord of the Rings fans will enjoy battling over the ring or seeing who is the better hero. Definitely try out the demo on Xbox Live to see if this is your type of game. If it is, then by all means give it a chance. Otherwise move along, nothing to see here.
Originally published on January 25, 2009 on Totally Gaming Network