The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring is an action adventure role playing game that was developed by Surreal Software, published by Universal Interactive, and was released for the Nintendo GameBoy Advance, the PC, the Sony Playstation 2, and the Microsoft Xbox on October 15, 2002.
|Developer: Surreal Software
Publisher: Universal Interactive
Release Date: October 15, 2002
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PC, GBA
JustRPG Score: 68%
+Great for fans of the franchise.
+Fun combat system.
+Easy to learn controls.
-Little replay value.
-Appeal limited to fans of the franchise.
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Overview
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring is an action RPG that puts the player in the role of their favorite Lord of the Rings characters. Take control of your hero of choice and defend the world from the orcs and other evils! The game has very easy to learn controls and a very enjoyable combat system. The story line also closely follows the books and movies movies which is well written and intriguing. Overall this game is pretty good as far as movie based games are concerned and worth a play, especially for fans of the LOTR franchise.
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Screenshots
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Featured Video
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Review
|The massive popularity of the Lord of the Rings movies has already spawned several video games, with many more to come. Unlike its EA counterpart, however, The Fellowship of the Ring is not based on the movies, and is instead based directly on the literary works of Tolkien. The game offers a very different experience than EA’s The Two Towers, which in some ways is a good thing, but overall The Fellowship of the Ring is a disappointment.|
There’s no real need to go into detail about the story here. Although, I should again mention that this game is based on the book instead of the movie, so you’ll see a lot of things that never made it to the movie. You’ll encounter Tom Bambadil, Old Man Willow, and the Barrow, to name a few. It’s also worth mentioning that this game does a pretty good job of relaying the story, especially when compared to The Two Towers, which seemed to jump around a lot with the story.
|You play this adventure as Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn. At set points in the game you’ll alternate between the three, and at times you’ll have other members of the fellowship, such as Gimli or Sam, fighting alongside you. Each character is pretty different from the next. You start off as Frodo, which is easily the most boring of the three characters. This portion of the game involves completing all sorts of little quests, such as finding the deed to Frodo’s house, dropping a key off at Sam’s house, and other things of this sort. Frodo is equipped with a walking stick, the one ring, and rocks. The walking stick serves as Frodo’s main offensive weapon, but it’s dull. It takes forever to kill anything with the stick, so you’re better off just running by any enemies. Leave the fighting for Aragorn and Gandalf. Eventually Frodo equips Sting, but he’s still not a very good fighter. Our little hobbit friend also has rocks, which can be used to distract the enemy when he throws them, or can be used as a weak projectile weapon.|
Frodo’s mission is all about using stealth and cunning, so it makes some sense that you won’t do a lot of fighting. Frodo has the ability to go into a “stealth” mode where he’ll begin to sneak around, and he can also jump and climb, unlike the other characters. Equipped with the one ring, Frodo can become invisible and hide from enemies. Unfortunately, this aspect of the game was poorly done. Frodo has a purity meter, which rapidly decreases when Frodo wears the ring. It goes down so fast that you can never really get any use out of the ring. On top of that, Frodo can either sneak by or outrun nearly every enemy he’ll ever encounter. When Frodo does good things, such as completing quests for people or saving his friends, his purity meter will increase, allowing him to wear the ring for an increased period of time. Unfortunately, the quests that increase his purity meter pretty much end a few hours into the game.
|Aragorn’s part in the game isn’t much more interesting than Frodo’s. Playing as Aragorn involves hacking and slashing armies of orcs, wolves, trolls and goblins. Unfortunately, combat with Aragorn is really basic and repetitive. He’s got a few moves he can perform, like a sword thrust and a kick, but other than that combat consists of pushing square and swinging your sword whenever an enemy is near. Aragorn also has a bow and arrow, so he can take enemies out from a distance. There’s certainly more action playing as Aragorn, and because of his different moves there’s a little more variety in the gameplay too, but certainly not enough. Enemy AI isn’t very smart, and they attack pretty much the same every time. More moves and better enemy AI could’ve made this a lot more enjoyable experience.|
Last is Gandalf, who is easily the most enjoyable character. Gandalf’s main weapon is his sword, but he’s also equipped with five magic spells, such as heal and lightning. You really don’t need to use his magic much, and simply hacking with his sword is usually enough to kill most enemies, but the spells make things a lot more interesting… and they can be pretty handy when fighting off a Balrog. Speaking of Balrogs, the battle with the Balrog is really pretty cool to watch (and hard to fight!). Unfortunately, you don’t get to play as Gandalf a whole lot. You don’t start playing as him until you reach Moria… and once you reach Moria, well, you know what happens. So, even though playing as Gandalf is much more enjoyable than the other characters, it’s not developed as well as it should be because of the fact that he’s not playable for very long.
|Both Frodo and Aragorn have several different weapons they can wield throughout the game (Gandalf probably would have gotten one, but he’s not around long enough), and there are also various items that you’ll collect throughout the game. Frodo has a thing for mushrooms, and he’ll suck those things down like there’s no tomorrow to restore his HP, and Gandalf and Aragorn have a thing for Lembos bread. Along with his magic, Gandalf has a “spirit meter”, which is basically an MP bar. As his MP runs out he can refill it by collecting Miruvor.|
The graphics are definitely a mixed bag in Fellowship of the Ring. The game is full of huge and often beautiful environments with a lot of detail. On the other hand, some of the effects are horrible, like the water for example. There were points where I had trouble differentiating between the ground and the water because the water was so poorly done. Other effects are decent though, like the lighting from Gandalf’s magic. The fight against the Balrog ends up a splendor for the eyes. Also, I don’t know about the other versions of the game, but the loading times in the PS2 version are AWFUL. It takes forever just to go from screen to screen, and saving a game takes even longer.
|The characters really aren’t too intriguing to look at either. That may be because I’m so used to looking at the characters from the movies, but still, they’re all pretty typical and seem uninspired. I couldn’t get attached to these characters no matter how much I wanted to. In no way at all did they seem alive… or even cool. Along with uninspired design was uninspired voice acting. It ranged from bad to bad, but not horrible.|
Aside from voices, the rest of the sounds were of good quality. The sounds of battle, like swords clashing and arrows firing, sounded convincing and really pulls you into the battle, even though the gameplay of combat is so dull. The soundtrack was also excellent, featuring tunes that fully capture the magic of Tolkien’s world.
|The Fellowship of the Ring is a game that might appeal to the hardcore Lord of the Rings fan, but even in areas where the game does a good job, it doesn’t really excel. The gameplay is too repetitive and basic to enjoy for more than a few hours, and the fact that the game seems to lack inspiration makes things even more dull. Combine that with the fact that the game is only around 10 hours long, and you’ve got a game that you may want to skip. But, seeing the characters and events that were skipped in the movies is fun, and the game can be found for $15-20 already, so it may be worth picking up if you really enjoy The Lord of the Rings and can put up with a mediocre game.|
|Final Grade: 68%|
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Videos
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Trailer