The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest

As the first non-EA Lord of the Rings title in quite some time, Aragorn’s Quest is, fittingly, quite differentfrom what we’ve come to expect from the post-movie Tolkien series. It’s the adventure of heroic Aragorn as told by Samwise Gamgee, so while you play as the main man, it’s viewed through Sam’s warped perception – which is a handy way of explaining the stylised look.

The bulk of the game is all about combat, as Aragorn hacks and slashes his way through hordes of evil minions. The Nunchuk controls a shield, which can also be used to hit enemies and knock them back, and the remote takes care of the main weapons – a sword, a bow and a bit of wood with fire on the end of it. You can switch weapons on the fly and also fire arrows from horseback. The bow can be used for a spot of run-and-gun, during which the camera is lowered to offer a view over Aragorn’s shoulder to aid aiming.

A second player can drop in at any time, taking the role of elderly wizard Gandalf and offering magical assistance in the form of force fields, fireballs and healing spells. Gandalf can even batter goblins with his fancy walking stick, which is surely just the way Tolkien would have wanted it.

While Aragorn’s Quest looks to be aimed very much towards younger players, the developers reckon there’ll be enough depth to make it an appealing prospect for more experienced gamers. Fans of the books can explore the locations to uncover background information, and there’s always the prospect of seeing familiar characters and environments rendered in an unfamiliar graphical style.

It’s due out in the spring, and even though it’s hardly the type of thing we’re all wetting ourselves with excitement over, it’ll probably be interesting to find out if switching the Lord of the Rings games from EA to Warner Bros has resulted in an upturn in quality for what has, in the past, been a fairly patchy and uninspiring gaming series.

Feb 19, 2010