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The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

A few years ago The Lord of the Rings was the talk of everyone, regardless if you were a gamer or not. People all over the globe had the Lord of the Rings on their minds regardless of what time of day or night it was. Theaters were raking in huge profits and the book was selling like wild fire. When the LOTR games arrived every platform jumped on the cash cow. Finally, something new came to our screens and LOTR was placed on the back burner.

Peter Jackson decided to re-ignite the blockbuster and his new film is in the making. Now a new game War in the North has taken the world by storm just as its predecessor. This one promises more bite as it is unleashed onto the World.

If you enjoy RPGs, then War in the North is the ultimate. This game is best played co-op to enhance the excitement. The three warriors unite to form a band of blood brothers in a new and exciting adventure. Broken armory can be repaired in the town. The sword and axe combine to form some of the most brilliant action scenes to date. The violence in this game is extreme so be warned.

Now everything so far may sound perfect. Action lovers may be dying to get their hands on the game, but there are a few flaws. The fighting is pretty standard. Basic RPG elements are present in the game, nothing spectacular. The strategy is based on staying safe, rather than taking real risks. The storyline is mediocre and the graphics and music is just like any other tower defense game. This game doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

You and your two friends embark on a journey to wage war against a Lieutenant in Sauron’s army. If you don’t have two friends to play with, the game’s A1 will assume that role. During the last episode players were totally immersed in the well being of their comrades. When Gandalf fell to the Balrog and the part when Boromir was killed by the orcs people cried real tears. Such was the depth of the emotion portrayed in the movie and game. However, War in the North, there is no such closeness between friends.

The three friends are only interested in the mission. There is no emotion attached to each other’s personal well-being and happiness. It’s as if they are colleagues working together only to achieve one defined result. The conversations are restricted to the storyline and again no personal interaction is present.

You will enjoy the combat of which there is plenty. One is good with the axe, the other a master in sword fighting and the third warrior is a robin hood with his skills in bow and arrow. They can however, use a variety of other weapons at their disposal which is often necessary in the many skirmishes they fight.

The killing does get brutal and many moves are a combination of brilliant play, but again, it won’t move you like the very first game. You will see the rating M has been assigned to War in the North so there are pretty gruesome graphics present. You will kill orcs by slashing off their arms and heads and the blood letting is not for the faint hearted. But you won’t see any sexy elves this time and that’s a pity.

Sometimes the game can become boring, especially since you’re fighting the same hordes of enemies over and over. Regardless of the small faults, the game is pretty much solid and if you liked the first one, War in the North, isn’t all that bad.

RTS Gaming Wars

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with strategy games. I love watching the little wars you create unfold, with one side’s attack force breaking or being broken by the others defenses. Or maybe having a huge fleet of bombers or battle ships take your opponent’s completely by surprise and completely dominating them. While all of this is very fun for me, I also hate the other aspect of these games, micro managing.

My first experience with a real time strategy game, or RTS for short, would have to be Warcraft for the PC. This fun little game introduced me to the idea of building buildings, gathering resources, and generally figuring out how to outplay your opponent. Simple by today’s RTS standards, Warcraft still had enough depth, and especially charm to keep me interested for a good while.

Next came Warcraft 2, the sequel to the original Warcraft. This game introduced more complex maps, flying units, and after the expansion naval units as well. This is the first game that the dreaded micro managing really reared it’s ugly head. With the ability to attack, and be attacked, in one of three ways or all at once, you really had to make sure you knew what everything was doing at all times.

Starcraft, what some consider to be the best RTS to date, was the next of these type of games to be installed on my PC. Starcraft could best be described as “Warcraft on crack” because the sheer jump in both numbers and complexity of units and building was staggering, especially after the expansion pack. It’s this game that micro managing really became a must, as the dreaded Zerg race for example, would send attacks from multiple sides of your base at once, causing you to split your forces.

A lesser known game, but still one of my all time favorites was Total Annihilation. In this game you had land, sea, and air units plus the addition of long ranged artillery and even nuclear weapons! These addirtions made base defense a real chore, because while you were preparing for one, the opposing team would hit you with the other.