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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PlayStation 2) artwork

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PlayStation 2) review


"As you sit there waiting for your new Two Towers game to begin, you begin to watch the opening FMV sequence. The first few words out of your mouth are “Ooh, Pretty…” in your most Homer Simpson esque voice possible. Then, to your surprise, you find yourself thrust into the battle fighting as King Isildur in the war of the ring. As the nostalgia begins to wear off, you see your character running around pathetically swinging his sword like a four year old with a stick. Then, you say “what the hell?..."



As you sit there waiting for your new Two Towers game to begin, you begin to watch the opening FMV sequence. The first few words out of your mouth are “Ooh, Pretty…” in your most Homer Simpson esque voice possible. Then, to your surprise, you find yourself thrust into the battle fighting as King Isildur in the war of the ring. As the nostalgia begins to wear off, you see your character running around pathetically swinging his sword like a four year old with a stick. Then, you say “what the hell?”

Those three words, “what the hell?” can pretty much sum up this game. Apparently, the people at EA must have thought that if they put enough footage of the movie that it would cover up the pathetic excuse of a hack and slash game that they have here. In some cases it worked, because I’ve seen more good review of this game than I can shake a sword at. The theory that Americans will buy games if they’re pretty has been proven once again.

The depressing combat is the worst part of this game. Adding some of the dumbest ideas I’ve seen, the game attempts to make an RPG style point system to gain new moves. This may all be fine and dandy, but the moves are such a royal pain in the ass to do that you’ll mostly find yourself mashing buttons just to do the standard attacks. And even you do manage to master these moves there’s no real luster to them anyway. The lack of visual appeal to the attacks may at times have you wondering “what the hell” is going on? Meanwhile, as you try to speculate, you get ganged by a group of angry orcs and die.

The real sad thing about this game is that everything else is done superbly. Whether you’re in Fanghorn forest battling to save the Hobbits, or defending a Rohinian village from an onslaught of orcs, you really get the feel that you’re there. Hearing people beg for mercy as they’re killed or the sound of an orc screaming in pain never gets old. The soundtrack, although ripped straight from the movie, is an enjoyable experience as you tear through each orc one by one.

What’s even more impressive than the sound is the seamless integration of video and gameplay. As you watch the movie begin before each battle, scenes from the movie will lead you into battle transferring the movie into the game without stopping in between. The lush backgrounds complement the sound once again to give you the illusion of actually being there. Besides the pathetic attacks, everything else visually is on par with the best.

You know, when I bought this game, I really thought I had something. Excellent sound and graphics complement this game so much that if you just watched someone play you would think it’s awesome. Sadly, when you’re at the controls, it seems to lose the magic it once possessed. What we have here is a could’ve been; could’ve been fun, could’ve been simple, could’ve been the best damn game of the year. However, when you put all your eggs in the sound and graphics basket and forget about the gameplay, what you get instead is a luke-warm serving of pie that hasn’t been in the oven long enough. As is, this game is so-so, ever so stuck in the world gaming purgatory. Sorry EA, but your pie’s not done yet. 5/10

Rating: 5/10

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Community review by heroofthewinds (September 23, 2004)

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