The Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King (GameCube) Preview

By Ross Morley 09.05.2003

The third Lord of the Rings movie will be viewable in cinemas everywhere this December, meaning there must be another game in the popular franchise in development. The Two Towers replicated the success of the award winning film, so it's only fitting that this incarnation will sell similarly well. The complaints from our point of view with the previous game were that it became repetitive, had no multiplayer and lacked originality. It was prettty much a by-the-numbers hack 'n' slash 'em up, so can the sequel pull out all the stops and take us by surprise?

The Return of the King will play much like it's predecessor. What the creators are boasting about is not so much how it will play, but more about what is to be included in the experience. Three new characters have been announced, making a total of six when added to the three warriors we saw in The Two Towers.

The most interesting piece of information is that some scenery apperars to be interactive, meaning your character will be able to operate catapults and other varying weapons accoring to the level. We also understand that each character will have an expanded list of moves at your disposal. The fight engine will be more refined, but as we mentioned before the game will maintain a similar feel to it as before.

As a multi format game, The Return of the King will (typically) look pretty much the same on all three consoles. With that said, the first game did look stunning, so we shouldn't be complaining too harshly. The graphics will show the rugged, grimy but sometimes beautiful appearance of middle earth (a factor which we have not yet seen in another Tolkien adventure title, The Hobbit) and they will emerse you in the atmosphere and the general hardships of war.

Final Thoughts

We're expecting this game to outshine the original, although we're not holding our breath for any major improvements. The two player cooperative mode is a great addition to the game, and it should hold some of the magic and atmosphere captured so wonderfully in the novels.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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