The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Original Xbox) by Vivendi Universal Games

The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Xbox) by Vivendi Universal Games Box Art



North Amercian Release Date: September 24, 2002.

Region(s) Released: North America, Europe

High Definition Resolutions Supported: 480p
Widescreen Supported (16:9): Yes
System Link Support: No

Average Overall Score:
7.30 / 10

I really wanted this game to be great. It's not bad, but i came up a little short for me, in an odd way. LOTR Fellowship is an adaptation based on the books morso than the movie, which is retold and played out wonderfully."

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The player controls Frodo, Aragorn or Gandalf as they explore eight different Realms within Middle-earth, solving quests and engaging in weapon-based combat. They will travel from the Shire to the Misty mountains encountering friend and foe alike such as Aragorn and Galadriel, Orcs, Black Riders and an evil Balrog in his quest to destroy the fabled One Ring of Power.


Friday, December 17, 2004
Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Cheat Codes

      Infinite Health:
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      Infinite Ammo:
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      Infinite Ring:
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User Reviews

Score: 73
Overall User Average: 7.29 / 10 (73.0%)
Gameplay User Average: 6.76 / 10
Graphics User Average: 7.95 / 10
Sound User Average: 8.05 / 10
Date reviewed: February 1, 2004.

Overall: As a fan of the LOTR trilogy (both books and film), I was exited to try this game, especially as it is based on the book, which is absolutely brilliant, but I was VERY dissapointed. For one, the dialogue is very hurried and cut. Although it gives the message accros (most of the time), the beauty of Tolkien's words is completely lost. I wouldn't mind if it was a hack-and-slash game, like the Two Towers, but this is meant to be an RPG-puzzle type game. The player is supposed to be living the book, and quite frankly, I thought all the characters I spoke to couldn't wait to get rid of me.
Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty simple: find and solve puzzles, kill enemies, avoid ringwraiths and try to stay pure. The clues to how to solve puzzles are mind-numbingly simple, even a child of eight who has never read the books or seen the films could've solved them. The enemies are mostly easy to kill. Most of them you take out from a distance or sneak past. The bosses are the ones who provide a moderate challenge.
Graphics: I was really dissapointed with the graphics. XBox boasts and amazing graphics engine, but obviously the effort just wasn't put it to make this game look good. I was pleased with the terrain though, especially on the barrows. The building however needed more work: it looked like they were painted. Also the characters themselves were very badly drawn. The hobbits were indistinguishable from one another except for the colour of their cloaks. The facial features were pathetic, especially when they were talking. The mouth was hardly moving. The movement of the characters was very repetitive and really dulled the atmosphere.
Sound: The sounds were excellent. They were the only thing that added tension and set the scene. The voices were good, but sometimes they sounded as if the actors were bored. Also the variety wasn't great. Rosie sounded just like Lady Goldberry and they both sounded silly. I thought that Rosie was voiced by a child. I do like the enemy sounds and battle sounds, especially swords clashing.
Suggestions: Spend more time on the game. Think about the graphics and how the XBox can enhance them. Try to make the players feel like they are in the book, not playing a video game. And for goodness sakes, get real people to beta-test the game and ask them about it!

Overall: 70 %
Gameplay: 40 %
Graphics: 30 %
Sound: 70 %

Date reviewed: January 31, 2004.

Overall: Film to video game licenses seem to be a pretty dodgy proposition. They often have to be released within a certain amount of time relative to the film's release, so as to capitalise on the publicity. This means that making sure the game is ready, quality-wise, to face the world often gets put on hold. Which is a massive shame in this case, because the license has potential beyond count. However, it is not alone in squandering a great license, as its second sequel in particular manages to take a great concept for an adventure game and flushes it away. Perhaps the worst thing that can be said about this license of Fellowship can be "mediocre". It really could have used another six months of development, or better still, a different engine. The Legend Of Zelda might be a great game in and of itself, but that doesn't necessarily mean one should copy it, change the cosmetics of the characters, and try to pass it off as part of The Lord Of The Rings.
Gameplay: A lot of the time playing this game will be spent trying to find your way around locations. While the maps themselves are wide and detailed, exploring them is soon reduced to a chore because of several elements. First, when one encounters an element they cannot walk through, water being the most obvious example, the character goes through the motions of walking forward, but goes nowhere, as if he is trying to move through an invisible wall. A quick animation of him putting his toe in the water and then shying away would have suited the game much better, especially in light of the X-Box's capabilities. The second massive strike against the game is the movement and camera system. Not only is the vertical axis inverted in camera movement, but so too is the horizontal axis, making it highly counter-intuitive. One wastes valuable seconds trying to get a look at what they are fighting in crucial moments. What makes the camera situation even worse is how the movement stutters when you're trying to move over certain areas. If you climb hills, for example, and the path along the top is narrow, you can expect the camera to have some difficulty making up its mind which angle to show you. Normally, I would mention this in the graphics section, but during the combat sequences, this can be so detrimental to gameplay that it deserves to be considered a reason why I am only giving this a 2.5 for gameplay. Finally, and this is probably one of the more amusing faults with the gameplay, one can often walk past fearsome enemies without them bothering to chase you. I lost count of the number of times I evaded a Ringwraith merely by running at full speed. I can see an Elf or a Man doing this, but a Hobbit? Get serious, guys!
Graphics: Another problem with the game is that the colours of the graphics leave little room for making the picture intelligible. The only remedy the game even offers is a colour-bar calibration screen, but as someone who has calibrated his display in order to do literally hundreds of DVD-Video reviews, it isn't your display unit that is at fault - it is the textures of this video game! Next up is the appearance of the characters. Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin are only distinguishable from one another by their clothes, and in the last two cases, even that isn't enough at times. Other Hobbit characters can be distinguished by their age or their hair colour, but the lack of detail really makes it difficult to see them as anything other than props. Gandalf's appearance is probably the best of the lot. He really looks the part of the tall, elderly Istari who bears the burden of much of the exposition. Another real problem is the Ringwraiths - the textures of their robes are utterly non-existent, making them almost invisible save for their armour in night scenes.
Sound: First of all, kudos to the developer for at least giving this game the Dolby 5.1 treatment. The placement of sound effects in the rears, even when those rear sounds tend to sound more like one channel than two, do wonders for the atmosphere. The sounds of combat are also a big help here, as are the sounds of animals either scurrying out of your way or trying to attack you. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the dialogue sequences. Tolkien is at best a difficult beast to translate into live action because of how much his characters say. Gandalf's description of what Gollum actually is stretches over most of a page, for example. The film performed a miracle by shortening it so that it didn't get in the way of the audience being able to pay attention while still keeping the gist true to Tolkien's word. The problem here is that the wordiness of Tolkien's text has mostly been retained, but a lot of things have been added that seem out of character, or worse yet, totally disruptive to the flow of the speech.
Suggestions: Stop doing film licenses. Obviously, these rarely translate into good video games. The time limit in getting this game onto the market obviously hurt it quite a lot, as there were some very obvious bugs or omissions that should have been sorted out long before the release date.

Overall: 60 %
Gameplay: 50 %
Graphics: 60 %
Sound: 60 %

Date reviewed: December 15, 2003.

Overall: This is a game for extreme Lord of the rings gamers and fans. This game is a thinker's game, so if you're just into slashing orcs and such, I suggest you buy Lord of the rings: the two towers. In this game you have to think and use strategy to get through the levels. A very good game overall.
Gameplay: In the beginning, you have to play as Frodo, which is cool because he has the ring, but if you put in on your purity level goes down and it gets complicated but once you get a sword with him I assume he kicks some butt because, he's frodo and he's awesome.
Graphics: The graphics in this game were outstanding. It looked like you were in the movie in some parts. A very good job. That's all there is to say.
Sound: The black riders sounded exactly as they did in the movie. Frodo and the fellowship were done very well.
Suggestions: Don't give Frodo a walking stick to fight off people. That's way too hard. Also make it two player. That would be a great game.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 100 %

Date reviewed: October 30, 2003.

Overall: This is a decent game for those willing to wait for the price to go down. It is more of a slow paced adventure game than a high action slaying game like The Two Towers. This game will be fun to fans of adventures and LOTR series. *I know many reviews already mention using sound and music from the movie, but you need to understand that this game was made by a different group of people, another difference between this and The Two Towers.*
Gameplay: This part got a tiny bit boring. Most of the sidequests near the beggining of the game deal with finding items and bringing them back. The action could be better, but it isn't as boring as Morrowind's fighting can get.
Graphics: The visuals were a high part of this game. They were great (of course they were, it's X-Box after all) with only a few flaws here and there.
Sound: This is about the same as the visuals. Good voice acting compared to many other games, and the sounds don't get annoying after only a few minutes, that's always a plus.
Suggestions: Make the next one with even better graphics and more action. Also, make the fighting system better.

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 70 %
Graphics: 70 %
Sound: 70 %

Date reviewed: October 22, 2003.

Overall: Could be better... i'm stuck in moria and need to get out. If anybody know how to get out form the light chrystal thing e-mail me ( entitle the e-mail: Moria.
Gameplay: Ummmm... could be better needs a little more esciting action. once again could be better. And.... 1.
Graphics: Ok i suppose. But i'm just so frustrated in moria. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR... somebody help me anyway graphics are good.
Sound: Not to shabby. But once again it needs more action (I should get two towers) and yeah needs more of it.
Suggestions: Make it an RPG more action make non-fruseration parts like moria!

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 70 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 80 %

Date reviewed: October 14, 2003.

Overall: i would say this game is boring. maybe it has some meaning for lord of the rings geeks or rpg losers. for us normal folks it just sucks. don't buy it. it's cheap but not worth 20$ because it's punishment. theres so many better things to do with your money
Gameplay: slow, boring, item kinda stuff, and is overall crap. find this give it this guy. trade snogglfots with ol' snicklefoot to get some other stuff. yea, more rpg -style slow stuff
Graphics: nothing amazing, good details, but i like something interesting to look at not some boring realistic dirt, trees, and water.
Sound: fine for me, music in these games is nothing that draws you into the story
or makes your heart beat. matches the game perfectly. (the game is so boring you actually begin to think wacking spiders with a stick in a frustrating forest is action)
Suggestions: Make em like the Two Towers and never like this one

Overall: 60 %
Gameplay: 60 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 60 %

Lord Vivic
Date reviewed: October 13, 2003.

Overall: The game is alright but it prabably should have stayed as a movie instead of becomng a game.That really blew it
Gameplay: The gameplay toyed around with you.You thought that you had the freedom to roam but you were cought if you did.
Graphics: The visuals were not the best in the world but they were not the worst in the world either.I guess they were mediocure.
Sound: The sound effects were the best part of the game.They still were not up to par with the rest of the games.
Suggestions: You all can do better

Overall: 70 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 70 %
Sound: 90 %

Date reviewed: November 24, 2002.

Overall: was really looking forward to this one. beat it the 2nd day i had it ( about 8 hours of game time ).this game needed to be either a full fledged rpg or a zelda rip-off. either one would have been better than the linear gameplay found in this title. i really wanted to like it but couldnt find it in my heart especially with all the other killer titles that are coming out now.
Gameplay: captures the look but not the feel of embarking on a massive quest.the side quests are pointless and add nothing to the game. I found a slight delay in attack and blocking ( most notable in blocking ) that caused me to want to throw my controller across the room. granted some levels were cool but this game had to pack on about 20 more hours of gameplay to do the book justice.
Graphics: awesome. the games only saving grace and the reason to at least rent this game.some slowdown present but not enough to really affect gameplay.
Sound: a lot of voice acting that aint that bad. even a song thrown in ( but the dancing had to go).everything else was what youd expect from this type of game.
Suggestions: if you have the license to something with the potential of lotr dont blow it buy trying to bring in the unconverted and dont be shy to steal tried and tested ideas (imagine this game with a real zelda feel to it)after all every fantasy game has borrowed something from lotr already.developers have to realize that 50 bucks is still alot of money and x-box is churning out games faster than the normal working shmoe can fork out and still eat. any game should have lasting appeal and 25 to 30 hours to get to the end sounds like 50 bucks well spent.

Overall: 40 %
Gameplay: 40 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 90 %

Date reviewed: November 18, 2002.

Overall: the game overall is great in my opinion. It gets difficult but the controls are easy and it provides fun. One of the best things is it has things that were left out of the movie and were in the book.
Gameplay: The gamplay is gets difficult and is a challenge pretty much through the whole game..wich makes it good in my opinion. The controls are simple for the game.
Graphics: The graphics are awsome...very very good. the lands and character graphics are equally good. a big bonus for the game.
Sound: sound is good and glitches that I have heard so far...over all the sound is good.. the voice overs on the characters isnt exact however.
Suggestions: Deffinatly make a Two Towers and Return of the King game...

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 80 %

Date reviewed: October 13, 2002.

Overall: Completed the game. It rocked! If you liked the book and the movie, you will like the game too. The game is a little lopsided in that you will spend more than half your time in the mines of moria, but, I'd rather spend more time there anyway. Its a more interesting place than Hobbitan. The game has a nice professional polish to it..unlike other games (Enclave)
Gameplay: You can save anywhere you want--geez! the game already gets a 4.0 just for having that feature. This game has a very low frustration rate. Not too hard...yet its no piece of cake either. Perfect difficulty. The combat system is very good and easy to get the hang of. The game pulls you in and keeps you interested. When you get done with the game you actually feel a sense of enjoyment, not the hatred I usually feel after playing a video game.
Graphics: Graphics are very nice. A little washed out and drabish (should have made the colors a little more vibrant in the shire), especially towards the beginning of the game...and a little too darkish in some spots of moria, but overall they are very sweet with a lot of detail. Cut scene animations are perfect!
Sound: Sound/music is great. Voice acting is decent. I'm so use to the voices of the actors in the movie that it takes a while to get use to the 'new' voices in the game.
Suggestions: Great job! Bring on the Two Towers!

Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 90 %

Megaherz *RAGE*
Date reviewed: October 13, 2002.

Overall: After a good workday, what is better than to extend in front of the television of the lounge by drinking a good beer and without forgotten with a very funny x-box video game.
So this fiday, for my ritual, i choose The Lord Of The Rings :
The Fellowship Of The Ring has
my weekend rent. In fact, before
i officialy rent it, i was able
to say that this game will be no
where close from the master
piece of the movie because
this kind of game is originally
made to make money. If the gameplay could have been really deeper with a little bit of work for the graphic
that game could have been awesome.
So has always, if you want more read
my review !
Gameplay: The first part of the game look like Zelda or Morrowind because you must help some villager to success, but after a while the game transform
itself into a bad hack and slash and what i mean by that is that you are always blocking and after you blocked their attack, you must fight. But the real deal here is that the ennemies are stronger than you, so three hits and you are practically dead and they never miss their target with bow or rock. Just check Frodo, he were unable to fight againt spiders or bees because he is always diying after five or six combat if he didn't have food. After all, the game had no real special feature except that you can put the ring when you want but you are losing a lot of purity and with no purity, Frodo will be corrupted by the ring and suddendly he will die. If you saw the movie you probably heard this sentence : The fellowship must stay and fight together to win ! This is funny because in the game you are always alone and when a cutscene appear the fellowship are all there, an another thing is that you are unable to take more than three character and they are : Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn. Finally, the story of the game is not the same as the movie but the new scene are supposed to be in the book, i must check it out.
Graphics: When you are playing, the visual is great but not even better than Halo and the in game cutscene are just so so . But the cinematic are the best ever seen on x-box and that probably why i put a so high excitement score. Also the character model are not realistic because if you are looking at the hobbit, they all look like the same. To conclude, i must said that the graphic has satisfied me but could have been better.
Sound: The soundtrack is really well done but the best part of the game are the voices acting, they look so real.
Suggestions: I have a lot to say so check my review, especially the gameplay part.

Overall: 70 %
Gameplay: 50 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 90 %

Date reviewed: October 8, 2002.

Overall: This game is bullsh*t. What did you think of the movie on a scale of one to ten, take that number and make it negative and that's how good this game is on a scale of one to ten. It was extremely rushed and directly ported from the PS2 and it's very very obvious. That's right, it's bullsh*t. I really really really wanted to like this game but after 10 hours, I have given up. I seriously don't think that they knew they were making this game for the Xbox because the Xbox has something special called.....a hard drive! Loading times are long enough that they should have a mini-game to keep an attention. The idea for this game was awesome and these people have just raped it in the butt. I don't mean to sound immature, but that's the best way to put it. Learn from my mistake and don't play this game, or at least rent it first to try it out.
Gameplay: This gameplay is so horrible, I've gone through three controllers because I got so pissed. There is no useful lock-on except for long distance attacks and even then you're getting smacked around pretty bad while the other guy is beating the crap out of you. The controls are alright until you get to Gandalf because in order to switch spells, you push D-left, then you have to scroll through them while you're getting your *ss whipped by somebody. Also, there are literally seven (7) "people" when you reach the doors of Moria and NO ONE fights the water monster except Gandalf (You). NO ONE!!! They don't even shoot an arrow at it. And also, you'de think that you would lead a group of people in the game and all of you fight the enemies, nope, when you regain control at any time in the game (or at least as far as I've got) everyone else just disappears. Poof. They're gone. Not only that, but the camera is COMPLETELY user controlled which is just plain stupid and wrong.
Graphics: Oh, come on!!! This is just plain unexceptable! This is PS2 quality graphics with horrible dialogue sync. It really makes me want to tear my eyes out. The characters are non-textured, non-bitmapped, non-everythinggood and there's a lot of that half-walking through a wall crap. Put some friggin effort into making the game! (In case you looked at the pics on this site, the game setup is completly different)
Sound: The sound is auctually not that bad, it's very subtle and the voices themselves aren't bad. But watching them "talk" (moving their lips every other word) completly overshadows the ok voice acting. They did choose appropriate music for each level which surprised me.
Suggestions: EVERYTHING needs to be revamped! This is really sad and disappointing that you guys obviously didn't give to two (insert curse word of any nature) about this game, I wouldn't even suggest this game to PS2 owners. It's a disgrace to hardcore gamers to even know that you expected us to accept this as a great video game.

Overall: 30 %
Gameplay: 20 %
Graphics: 30 %
Sound: 50 %

Date reviewed: October 8, 2002.

Overall: The game starts out a bit slow for my taste. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw "give an egg to Fatty" as my next quest.
Gameplay: The controlls are not bad, but I'd prefer something more like enclave where you can do 1st or 2nd person view.
Graphics: I think the graphics were great, provided ambiance, and deserve at least 4.5/5
Sound: NPC's talk, thats worth something.

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 60 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 90 %

Date reviewed: October 6, 2002.

Overall: This game is a decent title that could have used a little more time in the polishing stage. It sets a good mood and has good gameplay but has some little things that let you down.
Gameplay: It does well in the gameplay departement. There are three stages of a chracters walk to run cycle. You can walk, push the joystick a little more forward and jog and then run. It has good transitional stages in between those. The fighting is quite easy to get into and you soon start to chop and slash your enemies like crazy. In order to eliminate a hoard of enemies you need to play a little smarter though. You can ofcourse block which helps immensly in some spots. The enemy AI is decent, better than Enclave I would say. Enemies will chase you but only for a certain amount of distance. If you are faster than them and start to pull away then they will ealve you alone. The enemies themselves block and you will find quite often that your swing is blocked and you get hit will you character recovers from the sudden stop of his weapon. You can do this to enemies as well. Block their attack and they will be sort of stunned for a short period and you fit a quick starting attack in. Usually when you start an attack you can keep going for about 3-5 swipes. The enemy, if still alive, usually gets a block in around then. There are hidden spots that you can find, personally I only found one. However there are alot more. The ring starts to spin in you inventory whenyou are near something hidden. Each character you can play as has his own style and you can use it to your own advantage. I quite enjoyed playing as Gandalf.
Graphics: The graphics are well done for the most part. The characters and your enemies look good. Leaves fall from trees and there are little squirrels running around in the shire and forrested areas. The water is good. It is the first water I have seen to actually bounce off of the shore. I was very pleased to see this. I think it is better than Halo's and somewhere around Morrowinds and Enclaves. The only gripe I have is some of the environments are quite bland. The shire has hills and so on but the grass texture is pretty bad and very repetetive. However, there is good usage of bump mapping and pixel shading in many areas.
Sound: The music is great. It si the only real sound I noticed during gameplay aside from the characters grunts and moans. The characters voice acting during in game cutscenes is alright for the most part. I didn't really like the way some were done though. Notably Merry and Sams voices. They never seemed what I thought they would sound like and thier voices did not always reflect the situation they were in. There is also a young lady in Bywater that had a horrible voice. It sounded like a childs. She is at a food shop in the town center. Mostly everyone elses voice acting was good though.
Suggestions: Spend a little more time in development. It could have been a way better game. Why was their a Nazgul in the first game?!? That kind of ruined it I thought. They don't even know what Nazguls are until late in the second book, I think. Graphics could be improved a bit. It just seemed like the game wasn't really finished. It was kind of like I was playing a BETA not the final version.

Overall: 70 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 80 %

Date reviewed: September 30, 2002.

Overall: This game overall is very well put together. While it lacked in some fields that i desired as a LOTR fan, it was a very impressive starting game. The graphics took advantage of the xbox's capabilities and the story line was very well put together. Playing as individual characters really puts you into the story
Gameplay: The gameplay was a little too easy. Basicallyk, you lock onto an enemy , hold block, and wait for an opening. However, the play was very smooth and getting used to fighting was relatively easy and it actually takes a couple of hits to down an enemy.
Graphics: The graphics were very impressive. The cinemas were almost real. Very good job on the graphics. However, the voices needed to go with the lip movement just a little
Sound: Sound was great. From every aspect, of slowing down, sneaking, shooting arrows. Very nice affects and extremely good sound quality
Suggestions: Make the next 2 games longer. Add more things that really stood out in the book like the Urk-Hai battle. I was very dissapointed when i didnt get to play that. Also, let the player pick from all the members of the fellowship. Hitting enemies with Legolas' bow or chopping them with Gimli's axe would have been amazing. Good job on a first title for the LOTR series. Just add onto this and the next one will be even better. Great job guys

Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 100 %

Date reviewed: September 29, 2002.

Overall: The game is an overall impressive game. A cool feature is that every person that you talk to talks with voice not just subtitles it has both. The graphics are alright. They a little plain but close up to items the graphics are good. Great Story and you get to play as Frodo, Aragon, and Gandolf. I was immpressed with this game.
Gameplay: The gameplay is the weak part of this game. When you control a character it will be a little getting used to until you will get very comfortable with the controls.
Graphics: As I said earlier, the graphics are kind of plain from a distance but if it is a close up of items or people the graphics are smooth and well done.
Sound: The sound is a strong point is this game. They are clear and easy to know what is being used. They character voices are clear and could be under stood. When you are in battles the weapons have nice sounds when they strike an enemy. The music in the game in accurate to the movie and gets you in a Lord Of The Rings mood.
Suggestions: I can't wait for the later games. Two towers and return of the king. Good job on this one, make the next ones better.

Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 100 %

Date reviewed: September 29, 2002.

Overall: This game is really cool..It is so much fun..Everything is great graphics, gameplay, sound, awesome game!!
Gameplay: Good gameplay, took me about 5 minutes to get comfortable with contorls, and then i was cuttin up orgs :) the gameplay was terrific
Graphics: Unbeleivable graphics..some of the best i have seen..perfect lighting affects and costumes, weapons, everything is done very well
Sound: the sound is terrific also, you can hear everything like you are right there, it is even scary sometimes, it is awesome with surround sound:)
Suggestions: Awesome job on the game..cant wait to see the two towers :)

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 100 %

Date reviewed: September 29, 2002.

Overall: In this game, you travel through Middle Earth in search of a way to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. In your quest, you will play Frodo, Aragorn, and Gandalf. The game does have a good overall appeal, however, there are a couple of flaws, some major, some minor, that bring it's score down.
My suggestion is this: If you want to play the game, then play the game. It is great and follows the book very closely. However, DON'T buy the game. Rent it. Save yourself some $$$ in the process. Even if you have to rent it 2x in a row cause you don't have alot of time, it will still leave you with a more "satisfied" feeling than if you purchased it.
Gameplay: I would have to rate this as such because of a few flaws in the gameplay.

One such flaw is some areas when you are fighting, what I would term a undead creature, it has to "die" 3x in a row for it to really be dead. This takes a bit of time and get's VERY tedious as well.

Another reason is the game is too short, as I mentioned earlier. One reason for this is they do too much for you. For instance, when Frodo gets attacked by the Ring Wraiths, after a few minutes of fighting, an elf shows up and they place Frodo on the horse and send him off towards Rivendale. Then it goes to a cut scene. As I mention in the suggestions to developer section, let us ride Frodo through the forest across the river. Let us command the river to drowned the Wraith's horses.

Another such instance is they just tell you about crossing over the mountain but having to turn back to go through Moria. It would have increased gametime if we could have tried to trek across the mountain ourselves.

However, on the good side, there are several points I would like to mention.

My personal favorite character to play is Aragorn. He fights really well and is easily controlled. Not your stuffy kind of fighter like Bond can be, but just a direct "yes I called you a horse's butt, just get over it and get out of my way" kind of character.

At the beginning of the game, they go very indepth into "optional" quests in order to raise up your Purity points (which are needed later on to be high to use the ring) but also give you a little background into the Shire as well. My only fuss is that they needed to make more of these "optional" quests later on in the game. Not only would it help to lengthen the game, but it would also lend to being able to use the ring just a little bit more ;)

Another great point is the game follows the book very closely. From Tom Bombadill to regretting stealing mushrooms from Mr. Maggott. That was a nicely pleasing element, plot line was followed nicely.

It takes a little bit of time to get used to the controller setup, but once you are used to it, it controls the characters wonderfully. The developers made good use of all of the buttons on the controller and none go to waste.

Also I find that Merry and Pipen give some well needed comic relief at points in the game, which lends to the appeal of the game itself.
Graphics: The cut scenes are great. I found myself marveling at the level of detail in both the playing realm and the movie cut scenes as well.

The water could have been a bit more realistic (after seeing what Morrowind could offer), but it was still visually pleasing to the eye.

Gandalf's spells give a great light show from Chain Lightning to a simple healing spell, the look of the spells was very nicely done.

As the fighting and cut scenes were running, I was watching for any frame drops but really found none. The game ran smooth and free.

However, that being said, I did run into some problems in some of the houses where random polygons in the walls and ceiling would randomly flash white. Not small pixels, but rather large chunks. It kinda gave the effect of being in a disco dance hall.

But if you can get over that, the visual style and detail in the game was done very well.

I would, however, liked to have seen more movie cut scenes and less talking when moving from section to section on the map screen.

Also, a local map of where you are would have been nice as well.
Sound: The sound in this game is very good. All of the voice over characters give the game a more pleasing quality, so that if you do not want to (or are too lazy to) read the dialog, just sit back and listen.

The background music really sets the stage for the levels I find as well.
Suggestions: Make it longer! Nobody want's to pay $50 for a game ($75 here in Canada) that only lasts around 10 hours. That's a serious ripoff. Don't do everything for us, let us ride Frodo into Rivendale. We are big kids you know :)

More optional quests throughout the game, not just at the beginning.

Also, if you want to make the game harder, fine make it harder. But get rid of the lame dead creatures that come back to life 3x in a row before they are vanquished :(

Overall: 70 %
Gameplay: 70 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 90 %

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