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Ever remember the classic Golden Axe? Enemies ran at you, and you had to beat them away with a sword? Or if there were lots of them use a magic potion. And at the end of the level there was a big boss baddie you had to defeat.
Well Lord of the Rings: War in the North is basically a modern Golden Axe with A-Levels.
The story is simple. While Sauron is stirring up a hornets nest down south of Middle-Earth, his minion Agendaur is causing trouble up north. And its up to three brand new characters, Eradan, Farin and Andriel (Ranger, Dwarf and Elf respectively), to track him down and stop his evil takeover.
First thing I have to mention about this game are the graphics, which are absolutely beautiful. They really do follow true to the Lord of the Rings movie atmosphere, and every time I play this my wife feels the need to watch the movies again.
Each character has their own strengths. While the magic-wielding elf is the most powerful, my personal favourite was the dwarf. Characters can be swapped between mid-game which not only means you can pick the right character for a certain scenario, but you can also let them level-up at an equal rate.
The game starts at The Prancing Pony, where you have a brief word with Aragorn who gives you your mission, then after a brief stop to have a chat with some people and buy weapons if you need to, its off to your first mission.
And from then on, the formula doesn't change much.
Enemies attack you, you beat them away with a hammer/sword/staff etc. This sounds boring, and no doubt to many hardcore gamers this is dull, but I love it! There are various attacks, and finishing blows are often slowed and zoomed in, so you get the full movie effect of a slow motion kill (which is a lovely touch). You can use magic. Eradan has a spell which gives him stealth and basically makes him invisible to enemies, the dwarf has a cry of rage which strengthens nearby characters and can weaken enemies, and Andriel (being the most magical) can create a huge blast of energy that knocks nearby enemies for six! There are other spells, but these are an example of the best.
The story (such as it is) unfolds beautifully and I never got bored. Those gamers expecting a complex RPG should look elsewhere. But if you just want to experience all the orc-killing moments from Lord of the Rings then get this, you wont be dissapointed.