Lord of the Rings: Conquest

By on July 21, 2009

A solid effort that fails in some crucial areas.

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First Impressions
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After coming up short on all consoles, Lord of the Rings: Conquest is looking to redeem itself on the DS. The developers, A2M, have become famous in recent years for movie licensed handheld games.  So if anything, they already know what it takes to perform under the pressure of such a big franchise name. The DS version of Lord of the Rings: Conquest manages to adopt so many elements from the console version of the game. Stuff like choosing different classes and fighting as heroes are all there. The same button mashing mayhem is back as well.

From the start, you will have a semi bird eyes view from the top. The view and camera angles are pretty functional considering the amount of characters on the screen at once. The one thing that made the console version of the game bearable was the story and cut scenes. Sadly those do not exist in the DS version of the game. Everything seems to be happening randomly without giving you a clue about what’s going on. The game will just throw battles from the movies at you one by one until the game concludes.  All we get is a short video before a few scenarios telling you what to do and what enemies to go after.

The gameplay itself is the least disappointing element in the game overall. You get to choose the side you want to defend first, bad or good. Each has a set of different classes of characters to choose from. Each class fights differently with its own set of strengths and weakness. Based on how you preview the battle ahead, you can choose the class that you see more fit. You can even change your characters in the middle of the fight when you respawn or at specific control points. Each class will only get stronger and stronger during the battles thanks to all the power ups you collect from defeated enemies.

The game even features a 4 player offline coop mode. This is probably the most fun we had playing the game, having 3 friends running around without a clue is priceless. And that brings us to one of the main issues in the gameplay, the AI. You have a ton of warriors in the each and every battle you fight. Sadly, those allies of yours cannot be controlled. Which means each one of them is simply running around fighting the closest enemy they can see. Imagine how amazing the game would have been if you actually gave the whole army simple orders at the very least.

This is a very hard title to convert to handheld systems graphics wise. With so many characters on the screen, even some consoles might struggle with this game’s demands. That means the graphics here is barely manageable with some enemies and allies looking the same at times. When the action really gets intense, you will be stuck attacking whoever is attacking you. Only lag we faced with this game occurred during the coop missions. The single player game manages to go by without any major hiccups.  Sound track wise the game borrows a few tunes from the original movies, adding some much needed motivating factor for LOTR fan boys.

Lord of the Rings: Conquest is a solid handheld title overall. If anything, the game was trying too hard – coming up short in certain very crucial areas. The game is not a simple DS game you can grab and play at anytime, and it’s certainly not one of those deep handheld games that require major playing hours. It’s stuck in the middle as a game that you will enjoy for a while before getting bored and moving on fast.


The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
8
A set of different classes to choose from, best thing about this game by far.
GRAPHICS
6
Colours are a bit too confusing at times. Enemies and allies look a bit too similar.
SOUND
8
The original sound track is fantastic.
VALUE
7
A handful of modes and some of these battles will take time and effort to beat.
FUN FACTOR
6
The fact that you cannot control the army is very disappointing.
OVERALL
6.7
While it’s important to note that this game could have better, it’s just as important to understand that the title could have been far worse.

About

I love my Sports games. Throw me on an Island with the newest FIFA, Football Manager and NBA 2K and i will live forever. Follow me on Twitter (@RabieA11) for updates or on the PSN and XBL (Rabie1).

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