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LOTR: War in the North Review Round-Up

MarkvA November 2, 2011 User blog:MarkvA
LOTR War in the North

With yesterday's release of Lord of the Rings: War in the North, the reviews are slowly coming in. Whilst not nearly as positive as Uncharted 3, it's still quite positive with a 7 average. Check below for a list of the major reviews.

Metascore: 70

Official XBOX Magazine

Score: 7.5

On the other hand, thoughtful environmental details and enveloping ambient sound effects make these imaginary lands feel like real places, be it in the crypts of the Barrow-downs or the shadows of Mirkwood. Adding points to your stats has little impact from level to level, but as you travel hither and yon, constantly gathering new and improved gear as you go, you’ll find you’ve somehow grown from awkward newcomer to seasoned ass-kicker.


Score: B

A lot of people are going to overlook War in the North in favor of the plethora of amazing titles being released this season, and I completely understand why. In a time full of stellar sequels, it's difficult for anything new to stand out. But once the dust settles from the landslide of AAA autumn titles, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North will be there to provide a simple and fun way to satiate your loot-dropping addiction -- one eagle barrage at a time.


Score: 7.2

The hack ‘n slash category isn’t exactly thriving on consoles these days, so if you’ve been hard up for a cooperative loot bonanza, War in the North is worth sinking a weekend into. Its lack of variety and polish, however, makes it hard to imagine it having any sort of longevity. Unless you’re thrilled by the idea of exploring Snowblind’s take on this corner of Middle-Earth, you should approach with caution.


Score: 3.5/5

All in all, War in the North is a perfectly competent beat-'em-RPG, even if it doesn't do much to carve out its own niche in the Lord of the Rings universe. Its strength and weakness is that it's completely inoffensive -- the perfect middle-of-the-road game. Unfortunately, it's hard to see what helps differentiate War of the North from the pack, and the pack is where it's apt to stay.


Score: 3.5/5

And maybe it's only appropriate that The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is at its best when played with friends. After all, without the Fellowship, Frodo never would have made it to Mount Doom at all. As War in the North would have it, the exploits of its heroes were just as critical. The tale may not be as finely crafted as Tolkien's, but it's reverent of his work and worth experiencing – just keep in mind that you'll have to kill a lot of orcs to do so.


Score: 7

While it’s admirable that the team had opted to create an original story set alongside the events in the books, you’ll wish that they had attempted to take more risks with the project. The characters are bland and lifeless, and the combat, while fun at first, gets pretty repetitive before too long.


Score: 5.5

I can only say one good thing about War in the North: It could have been awesome. The conceptual framework is solid, and with some extensive tuning and polish, it would be fun to play. Just thinking of War in the North reimagined as an old-school isometric adventure (à la Dark Alliance) gets me pumped up…but it’s too late for that now. Snowblind Studios’ record proves that it knows how to make good action/RPGs. I hope that happens again in the future.

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