Lord of the Rings: War in the North – There is trouble up North!

By Gandalf’s beard! What have we here, another Lord Of The Rings adventure? Set up North, very interesting you might think, well I am afraid that is the only interesting thing about this game

Is it a long lost Tolkien story that has mysteriously resurfaced after all these years? Nope, in fact poor old JRR would be spinning in his grave if he found out about this version.

Ok so it's quite a brief to come up with, a game that is based on such a classic story and old JRR isn't around to pen one, so what do you do? Judging by what I see here nothing! It just looks like they hoped to wing it with a very vague and mediocre story. Let’s face it folks, if you are going to make a follow up to what was originally a pretty dull game, at least try and make it better, not worse.

This is a  poor show by SNOWBLIND studios and Warner brothers interactive, I mean what is going on here, the action, story and game play are consistently boring, I don't usually yawn whilst playing a game but I really lost interest after a about an hour of play with this one .

The characters aren't even one dimensional and I felt no affinity towards any of them, the dialogue is laboured and dull. We have no idea why they are on this quest, there is no interaction between the characters, and even the voice over artists sound bored.

The game is an action RPG  with plenty of fighting to be had, but the characters limited movement makes for a rather uninspiring experience. They have increased the blood and gore, but I am afraid it doesn't compensate for the what I would regard as lack of effort put into this game.

In the previous Lord Of The Rings games we had a similar thing going on, and it was sort of OK to play. At least the characters had more depth to them and it was an altogether better experience. This game has actually been rated as a 15 by some! But apart from the gore, I doubt even a 5 year old would find it interesting. I don't know whether SNOWBLIND are trying for a sort of retro feel with this game or they just wanted to make a quick buck.

Some bits are interesting and could have made for a great game. I like the way you can call on a great big eagle to help you out when times get rough. Of course the characters do have different abilities, it's just the limited moves let the game down ,

There are only a certain amount of Orc killing you can do before boredom sets in. There are of course opportunities to collect stuff and upgrade your outfits, weapons and abilities. But to me with the likes of SKYRIM and the up and coming ZELDA on the market, this game's only chance is to end up in the bargain bin. There should be plenty of them around soon as it doesn't take long to complete and I doubt anyone would want to play it more than once.

Not to be completely negative, there are some nice ideas within the game. But the overall mediocrity of it all tends to overshadow these parts. I mean a classic pain in the backside is that you can play as each character; an ELVEN MAGE (?), a HUMAN RANGER, and a DWARF… but you can't switch between them as you are playing. Instead you have to quit the game and restart, then change characters Another irritating thing is when you get to a checkpoint and you upgrade your character. If you get killed it goes back to the original checkpoint so you have to upgrade again…,what a pain!


I think you have already worked out that I don't rate this RPG very highly, so I will cut to the chase and give it 5 out of 10. Bit of a poor show all round I think. If you are a dedicated LOTR fan, then you might be into this game. Then again you could likely feel insulted by it. If it had less gore, then I am sure the younger generation who are just getting their first Xbox will enjoy it for its simplistic gameplay. As for ages 15 and upwards, I don't think so.

  • Lord Of The Rings: War in the North
  • Role playing game(RPG)
  • Release date: 25/11/2011
  • Xbox 360
  • PC
  • PS3
  • Publisher: Warner Brothers. Interactive
  • Developer: Snowblind Studios

Author: Dayvid

3D modeller freelance writer and artist based in the UK ,gaming enthusiast