The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
|The Lord of the Rings: War in the North|
|Publisher||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
|Platform||PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360|
|Genre||Action, Role-playing game|
|Modes||Single player, two/three-player co-operative, online|
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is an upcoming role-playing video-game developed by Snowblind Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows. The game takes place during the War of the Ring but adapts the seldom-mentioned battles that took place across Eriador and Rhovanion. The game will be released in 2011. The game will be based on both the books and the films.
Although the game includes familiar locations from Middle-earth it doesn't deal with the core story of The Lord of the Rings, instead choosing to create a tale which didn't happen but could have done. The player controls his own fellowship, a trio of fighters - Eradan, a Dúnadan "Ranger of the North," Andriel, an elven "Loremaster of Rivendell" and Farin, a dwarvern "Champion of Eriador" - to get behind enemy lines and have to stop Agandaûr, the game's antagonist, before his plan succeeds.
The main characters Eradan, Andriel and Farin start at a Dúnedain camp at the Sarn Ford, which has recently been attacked by the Nazgûl. The leader of the camp, Halbarad, sends you to Bree, where you’ve to speak with Aragorn. The fellowship travels through the Barrow Downs after which they meet with Aragorn in The Prancing Pony, who sends them to Fornost. In Fornost they rescue a giant eagle, Belarum, from the Goblins.Rivendell the fellowship meets several members of the Council of Elrond, scout the land around Rivendell and fight Orcs with Elladan and Elrohir.
Whilst the Fellowship of the Ring travels towards Mordor to destroy the One Ring, Sauron has sent one of his most cruel servants, the Black Númenórean Agandaûr, to the North to destroy Rivendell and defeat the Free peoples of Eriador and Rhovanion. Eradan, Andriel and Farin travel to Gundabad to discover the strength of Agandaûr's army.
Eradan, Andriel and Farin travel with Belarum to Mirkwood in search of Radagast. In the air they’re attacked by Wolfram, a sorcerer and a Fell Beast rider, after which they fall from the Eagle’s back. They defeat Wolfram, after his death Wolfram’s Fell Beast tries to escape but is killed by Belarum. Andriel leads the others deeper into Mirkwood. They are ambushed by a group of Orcs and an Orc shaman. Eventually the fellowship enter a cave where they defeat a Cave-troll.
Developed in association with Middle-earth Enterprises, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North explores both original and familiar narrative elements as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment holds the rights to develop video games based on both the literary and motion picture content from The Lord of the Rings. Breaking new ground as a mature RPG video game set in Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North advances the RPG paradigm through innovative online, interdependent co-op play for up to three players who form their own Fellowship to fight Sauron’s forces in the North. with players being able decapitate orcs and slash limbs off enemies. When defeating enemies you can gain experience and loot. With experience you can gain new skills, there are twenty skills for each race. Every skill has five different ranks. Loot can also be found in chests. Some items can only be used by a certain race, therefore it is possible to trade with the other characters of your fellowship. The gameplay - in both single and multiplayer modes - revolves around strategically combining the different abilities of the threesome to good effect, for instance the dwarf can find treasure and spot weaknesses in structures, which lead to alternate roads, whereas the man can find herbs to heal other party members. When in single-player, the other two characters will be controlled by computer AI. Working together with the other characters of your fellowship is very important to defeat stronger enemies.
In The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, players can become the heroes in the great battle of the North as part of the epic War of the Ring. Exploring unseen lands, story elements and characters from Middle-earth as well as elements familiar from past feature films, gamers will experience extensive character customization and development, expansive co-op gameplay options and upgradeable weapons, skills and special abilities.
—Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, product announcement
It is possible to co-up (cooperatieve mode) both local and online, players can join the game on every moment. While the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 support split-screen, online split-screen and online multiplayer, the PC only includes online multiplayer.
The game will not be open world, nevertheless some areas will be more open then others. It is still unknown if it is possible to return to earlier locations. There will be severel NPC's (Non-playable characters) in the game, some of them will have a more passive role while others fight beside you. Like many RPG's the dialogue system is very important, and effects the game's storyline.
If you are in need of help you can call the eagle Belarum, who can help you to defeat bigger or stronger enemies. Calling him is limited in the begin, but while leveling you can find items which make it possible to call him. It is impossible to call Belarum underground or in building and there is a cool down for using him.
- Eradan: Eradan is Dúnedain and one of the Rangers that acompenied Aragorn as the Grey Company. He is very good in tracking enemies and fights with a sword and a bow. He can move undetected behind enemies with his skill envission.
- Andruil: Andriel is an Elf of Rivendell and was sended by Elrond to investigate Sauron's armies that were gathering in Eriador and Rhovanion. One of her abilities can create a shield that protects her and the other characters of the fellowship against ranged attacks. She can use her staff as both a melee and a ranged weapon.
- Farin: Farin is a dwarf of Erebor that has travelled to Eriador to repay his debt to Bilbo Baggins. He can be used as a tank and his strenght is in battle enemies in close quarters. His main weapon is an axe, but he uses a cross-bow as his ranged weapon.
- Carn Dûm
- Sarn Ford
- Barrow Downs
Since the first announcement in March 2010, Warner Bros. have periodically released trailers demonstrating various aspects of the gameplay and revealing the characters and locations. All video links are to YouTube, and times are in minutes:
|Unite Your Fellowship||1:03||17 March 2010||Teaser trailer; short clips of action and trolls|
|E3 2010 Trailer||1:03||10 June 2010|
|Extended Fellowship Trailer||1:34||12 August 2010||Expanded version of teaser trailer|
|War in the North @ PAX 2010||1:22||c. September 2010||Coverage of Penny Arcade Expo 2010 exhibit|
|Untold Story||1:22||17 November 2010||Outline of plot with various shots of locations|
|Snowblind Tolkien Toast 2011||1:22||3 January 2011||No gameplay; Snowblind's birthday toast|
|The Black Númenórean||1:59||1 February 2011||Exploration of Agandaûr, the game's antagonist|
|Behind the Scenes: The Untold Story||2:38||17 February 2011||Outline of the several locations of the game|
|Brutal Combat Trailer||1:35||9 March 2011||Coverage of The War in the North's combat gameplay|
|Pax East Hands-On||0:52||16 March 2011||Coverage of Penny Arcade Expo 2011 exhibit|
|Blood and Steel: The Combat of War in the North||2:33||31 March 2011||Exploration of game's combat and Middle-earth's darker side|
|Combat Vignette||0:44||13 April 2011||Gameplay vignette covering the different combat styles|
|Gameplay Video: Mount Gundabad||2:28||5 May 2011||Exploration of the gameplay in Gundabad|
|Snowblind Studio Tour||2:42||11 May 2011||No gameplay; A guide through Snowblind's studio|
|Dev Video: Art Direction Process||2:09||11 May 2011||Coverage of art, including concept art of several locations|
|Prepare for War: Weapon Development||2:01||12 May 2011||Coverage of weapons|
|Heroes will Rise||1:36||1 June 2011||Teaser trailer|
|Belarum Gameplay Trailer||0:48||22 June 2011||Exploration of Belarum, one of the games’ main characters|
|Behind the Scenes with new heroes||2:14||24 June 2011||Coverage of some of the several characters|
|E3 Walkthrough||2:34||1 July 2011||Walkthrough of the game at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)|
It's a very handsome game with well voiced cutscenes, and places the compelling Lord of the Rings realm in the hands of a developer with solid RPG credentials. Fans of both have good reason to look forward to a unique entry in the series.
Commentators immediately picked up on Snowblind Studios' experience with role-playing games (such as Baldur's Gate and Champions of Norrath: Realms of EverQuest) along with frequent mentions of the more "mature" and "brutal" design of the game, and the desire for an action RPG in the manner of previous Snowblind games.
Development on War in the North started at early 2010 or late 2009, Saul Zaentz Company claimed the name The Lord of the Rings: War in the North in June 2009. Tough, the game wasn't officially announced untill 18 March 2011. Since its announcement several images, traillers and concept art of several locations and characters has been released.
- Images from The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
- The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest, a 2010 game also published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, a 2006 game which also took place in the north of Middle-earth
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Gamespot, Interview with Ryan Geithman, dated 10 June, 2010 (accessed 5 July, 2011)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 War in the North, "Product Announcement", dated March 17, 2010 (accessed February 5, 2011)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Kotaku, "Lord of the Rings: War in the North Eyes-On Impressions: A Party of Three, dated June 17, 2010 (accessed February 5, 2011)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Gamefront, GDC 11 – War in the North Hands-on, dated 10 March, 2011 (accessed at 6 July, 2011)
- ↑ Atomic MPC, "Lord of the Rings: War in the North dev interview, page 1", dated December 22 2010 (accessed February 5, 2011)
- ↑ Orginally the human was a mage and the Elf a ranger, but their classes were switched.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Offical Xbox Magazine Online, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, dated 28 April, 2011 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Gamespot, Game Videos, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North New Heroes Movie (accessed 7 July, 2011)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Atomic Maximum Power Computing, Lord of the Rings: War in the North dev interview, dated 22 December, 2011 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 The Lord of the Rings: War of the North's Official Site, Media, Videos, Gameplay Video: Mount Gundabad, dated 5 May, 2011 (acessed at 20 June, 2011)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Middle-earth Center, War in the North Gameplay Trailer at PAX, dated 6 September, 2010 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)
- ↑ Kotaku, "Lord Of The Rings: War In The North Is Cutting Throats, Taking Names, dated June 14, 2010 (accessed February 6, 2011)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Kotaku, "There Will Be Orc Blood In Lord of the Rings: War in the North", dated August 27, 2010 (accessed February 6, 2011)
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 The One Ring, Lord of the Rings: War in the North Dev Interview at PAX, dated 1 December, 2010 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Gamespot Asia, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North Q&A, dated 31 January, 2011 (accessed at 6 July, 2011)
- ↑ Game Reactor TV, [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfDfuN-8Bjo&feature=related Interview with Ian Scott], dated 16 October, 2010 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)
- ↑ Gamespot, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North - Ruth Tomandl Interview (PlayStation 3), dated 1 June, 2011 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Atomic MPC, "Lord of the Rings: War in the North dev interview, page 2", dated December 22 2010 (accessed February 5, 2011)
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: War of the North's Official Site, Locations (accesed at 6 February, 2011)
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: War of the North's Official Site, Media, Videos, The Black Númenórean, dated 1 February, 2011 (accesed at February 6, 2011)
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: War of the North's Offical Site, Media, Videos, Behind the Scenes: The Untold Story, dated 17 February, 2011 (accessed at 20 June, 2011
- ↑ Gamefront, GDC 11 – War in the North Hands-on, dated 10 March, 2011 (accessed at 23 June, 2011)
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: War in the North's Official Site, Media, Videos, Dev Video: Art Direction Process, dated 11 May, 2011 (accessed at 20 June, 2011)
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 The Lord of the Rings: War in the North's Official Site, Media, Videos, Heroes Will Rise, dated 1 June, 2011 (accessed at 20 June, 2011)
- ↑ ComputerAndVideoGames.com, "E3 2010: LOTR: War in the North screens, dated June 14 2010 (accessed February 6, 2011)
- ↑ Kotaku, "The Untold Story Of The Lord Of The Rings: War In The North", November 18, 2010 (accessed February 6, 2011)
- ↑ Cinema Blend, Lord Of The Rings: War In The North Revealed, dated 28 June, 2009 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)
- ↑ Cinema Blend, Lord of the Rings: War in the North Announced For PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, dated 18 March, 2010 (accessed at 7 July, 2011)
- ↑ The Six Thaxis, War In The North Collector's Edition Revealed, dated 5 July, 2011 (accessed 7 July, 2011)