Lord of the Rings Conquest is set to raise the bar when it comes to the movie tie-in games. Not only will you be getting the chance to play both sides of the Ring conflict, but there will also be a 16 player versus mode similar to the Star Wars: Battlefront series.
I didn't see the multiplayer, but I was told that people will get to pick whoever they want, like Aragorn or Sauron, and play in familiar locations from the movies and books. There will be your traditional deathmatch modes as well as a Conquest mode, which is your basic "capture and hold more territories than the other team" type of deal. There will also be a two-player co-op mode for the campaign, through Live or local split screen.
For my hands-on, I played a level in the campaign where I had to defend the entrance to a castle, as it was being over run by Sauron's forces. You and your forces have to prevent the castle from being overrun. All sorts of enemies big and small are coming through and you have to take out as many as you can within two minutes. There is a ring on the ground that indicates how badly you're getting overrun and you have to keep Sauron's soldiers out of the ring. If too many get inside the ring, you've lost.
As you play the game, you'll have the ability to switch between four different warrior classes on the fly. Warrior, mage, scout and archer were all available to me and each one offered up different attacks and spells to use. The X, Y and B buttons are all used for attacks and each of the button attacks represents either low, medium or strong attacks. You'll have a meter on the bottom of the screen that fills up as you kill enemies and holding the left bumper in conjunction with your attacks will increase their strength until the meter is depleted.
I only played for those two minutes (actually, not even, as I died before the time was up) but I liked what I saw. The controls were good and I liked the whole swapping on the fly deal.
After I was done playing, I just had to know more about the campaign. The game basically follows the movie more or less and even includes clips from the movies too. By now though, I'm sure people are sick of playing the same thing over and over again, as far as the story goes. That's where the villains step in and change the Lord of the Rings story up.
What if Frodo had failed? What if he was killed just before dropping the ring into the lava and Sauron was able to get the Ring? That's what Pandemic is exploring here with the evil side of the game as you play as Sauron and his forces. You'll lay waste to Middle Earth as you go and destroy the places Lord of the Rings fans have grown to love, such as the Shire, and annihilate everything in your path.
Both campaigns will take about 20 hours to complete and the whole villains aspect really adds a refreshing perspective to this well known universe. Lord of the Rings Conquest will be out this November for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
And as promised, here's the second funniest Lord of the Rings spoof ever:
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