The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age review
Lord of the Rings: The Third Age

The good:

Unique perspective in Tolkien's world
Decent skill system
Ability to go back to previous chapters

The bad:

Disappointing Evil Mode
Too reliant on the movies (use more of the books!)


EA games comes out with an other RPG adventure based on the Lord of the Rings movies. Notice how I say movies and not books. This is not a bad attempt, but it certainly could be better.

Graphics: I like how different equipment will show up on your character during battles, walking around, and in various cut scenes. Some of the spells are cool and others (especially light and shadowcrafting) are forgetable. The fellowship looks like their movie counterparts. I don't like how the scenary changes abrubtly throughout the game (3.5/5.0)

Gameplay: Battles are random and turn based which I'm used to having considering I'm a big fan of the GBA Golden Sun series. But those of you who like Gauntlet will probably find this a little frustrating. Equiping and using items is easy to figure out. Picture line ups in battle mode help you determine who attacks next. I like the ability to substitute characters in a battle. But I don't like having to all of them be powerful to complete a certain part of a chapter. Its hard to tell which quests are necessary to pass a certain point in a chapter and which ones are not important. Evil Mode is sad. I had visions of causing destruction as a troll, but I did nothing but fight my party. However, this does allow to get to know your enemy better. Finally you can adjust the game difficuty to your liking. (3.0/5.0)

Plot: This game features a twist on Tolkien's story as presented in the movies directed by Peter Jackson. You follow Berethor as he chases the fellowship. Yes, at times you do get to control fellowship members, but primary this Berethor's story. While being an unique perspective, it is a little weak. Some of the character's motivations for joining are hard to understand. Still, its refreshing to get away from the fellowship character setting. Yes, characterization is weak, but hey that's why you should read the books instead of relying a video game for it. (3.0/5.0)

Sound/Music: Sounds are good, and the music comes from the soundtrack of the movies which is compelling. Speech sounds borrows heavily from lines in the movies.
All in all a pretty decent job (4.0/5.0)

Replayability: You can go back and play previous chapters to complete those quests you have missed. Plus in my ending the game, I found the conclusion to Berethor's story completely open ended which tells me there is more to be unlocked in this game. (4.0/5.0)

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