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Based on the blockbuster movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the sequel to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Gameplay remains exactly the same. Controls are unchanged, as are most of the moves. New characters have been added. There is also a new co-op mode for two players to hack & slash their way through hordes of enemies. The game is still a movie game, so it suffers from the usual problems, such as being short.
Graphics have been completely overhauled, new models and everything. Animation is much more realistic in attacking, with the exception of Gimli the dwarf, who now does crazy Harlem Globe Trotters style moves with his axe. Apparently swinging it behind your back makes an axe hit harder. Characters also have one new move: A special attack mode they can enter when they build up their meter.
- Aragorn - The King who does his returning. Wields a sword and a bow for range. Balanced attack. Special: Increase damage, get to "Perfect" mode faster.
- Legolas - The elf that everyone likes to play as. Wields two knives and a bow. He has the best long range attack. His melee is still the fastest, but also weak. Special: Increase damage, get to "Perfect" mode faster.
- Gimli - The dwarf who became comic relief. Wields an axe and smaller, throwing hatchets for ranged attacks. He swings slow, but they do a lot of damage. Special: Increase damage, get to "Perfect" mode faster.
- Gandalf - Magneto with a beard and white coat. He shoots beams from his staff, or if he's feeling plain, just whacks enemies in the head with it. Special: Surround himself with a shield that will cause damage to anyone that touches it. Great when in the middle of a crowd.
- Sam - A hobbit. Frodo's friend. Uses a short sword to stab folk. He throws knives for ranged attacks. Relatively weak. Special: Uses his elvish cloak to turn invisible, but cannot attack (Except for killing strikes) while it lasts.
- Frodo - Another hobbit. This guy really likes to bring up that he's a gamer. He uses a short sword to stab the bad guys. Special: Uses his elvish cloak to turn invisible, but cannot attack (Except for killing strikes) while it lasts.
- Merry - Essentially the same character as Frodo & Sam. They all use short swords for throwing & stabbing with the same special.
- Pippin - Essentially the same character as Frodo & Sam & Merry.
- Faramir - Boromir's brother. He's an Aragorn clone.
This is the basic gameplay that has not been changed from the first version. Your basic moves are: Quick attacks, fierce attacks, parry, killing strikes, knock down kicks and ranged attack. Quick attacks are for fast, but weaker, damage. Fierce attacks break shields, but are slower in execution. Parry attacks do not do damage, but if your timing is right, will block enemy attacks. Killing strikes will instantly kill any enemy that is knocked off their feet. Kicks knock down weak, unshielded enemies. Ranged attacks will attack enemies from afar.
Any combination of these buttons will result in a special combo move, if you bought it in the post-level store. The level progression is linear, although you can switch paths (Gandalf, Sam or Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli's campaign) at any time. Some levels consist of only a boss fight. After every level you enter a store where you can buy moves or weapon upgrades.
When in battle, the faster you kill enemies, the higher your skill meter goes. When your skill meter reaches maximum, you will enter "perfect mode", where your weapon glows, does instant kill damage, and you get great experience. However, the skill meter is constantly falling, so you have to be making fast, consistent kills to reach that level.
- There is now a special ability meter that can be filled up just by beating things up. It will trigger your characters special ability, but only the hobbits & Gandalf have really good ones.
- New Co-op mode. Two players can fight together, however your progress in the single player game does not carry over. The co-op compaign has the same levels.
Path of the Wizard
Path of the King
Path of the Hobbits
Unlockable gauntlet levels: Palantir of Saruman, Palantir of Sauron.
Game Boy Advance Version
The GBA version, much like the previous game, is basically a Diablo II clone without all the clicking. You control your characters as you dungeon crawl and slash your way through enemies, picking up randomized loot. Ranged attacks are harder to judge in the 2D Isometric format, but not completely unwieldy.