This weeks entry is The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Giant Bomb|Wikipedia) for the Xbox. Despite hearing glowing things and being a huge Tolkien fan, I somehow never played this game or its sequel when they were released. Thankfully, these two have become incredibly cheap (I paid $3 for my copy) and since they sold like crazy, very easy to find.
The game starts with no menu – just the opening sequence of The Fellowship of the Ring (there was no game for that movie made). Then, when the elves and men charge the orc army, you are instantly placed into the game. This opening sequence acts as the tutorial, and the transition is seamless. I was surprised by this in a good way. Sure the graphics are a bit dated compared to today’s standards – but at the time of this writing they are 14 years old so it’s understandable.
The gameplay is a fairly standard hack and slash brawler. You have 2 attack moves (quick and strong respectively) as well as a parry to deflect enemy attacks. I will say my main gripe with the game is that every attack has a set duration – if you press the button for a strong swing you have to wait the 2 seconds or so for it to finish. There is no canceling out of an attack that I saw. Ranged attacks suffer worse for this as they are multi step (trigger to prepare attack, then quick attack to throw the weapon).
Once you pass the tutorial and intro mission, a map opens up for you to select your next mission. This screen allows you to select your hero as well – Aragorn, Gimli, or Legolas. I used Gimli for the second mission in the mines of Moria and he played quite a bit differently than Aragorn. Each character gains experience and can use it on perks and each have their own unique attacks. This adds a lot more depth than I expected, since you can replay past missions. Speaking of missions, there are 12 in the game. They don’t take too long to finish so I imagine this game would take well under 10 hours to finish.
The music is taken right from the movie, so it is of course excellent.
Overall, I enjoyed my time and can see going back again.
Verdict: Revisit – this is great fun and the tie-in to the movie works very well.
Images courtesy of Giant Bomb