previews\ Jun 2, 2002 at 8:00 pm

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - GBA - Preview

E3 2002

Take a hit movie, one with a following that spans the world and has been in place for decades since the original novel was first published, and sooner or later portions of the literary work were bound to make their way into the world of video gaming.

This year there are two titles being released based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels. Electronic Arts has the rights through the movie, thus everything there is based on the film – though that game bridges both the first and second Tolkien novels (Fellowship of the Rings and The Two Towers).

Universal Interactive has the literary rights to the game and are releasing a game based solely on the Fellowship of the Ring. The company showed off the title at E3 2002 in Los Angeles.

This is a single-player game that will be released for the Xbox, GBA, and PC. Those demonstrating the game stated that players would likely see subtle differences in the combat systems between the platforms. However, Xbox fans will see increased graphical rendering on that platform. The Xbox version will include spell effects for Gandalf, dynamic shadows, volumetric fog and environmental maps.

Now the big difference between this release and EA’s is that Universal’s game remains true to the novels. While a single-player outing, players will get to play as different characters throughout the game. From the Shire to Moria and the River Anduin, gamers will take on the role of Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn.

The animation in this game was superb. Aside from the fact that this was computer, player-controlled animation, watching Aragorn battle Orcs was amazing. The movements were true-to-life, and seamless.

The game will feature 28 types of enemies that possess various degrees of intelligence and behavior. Of course, there is magic, and the One Ring, which can be used, but do you really want to do that? If you are a fan of the novels, you will remember that by using it, you may be required to pay a very high price.

This is a game that looks good and seems to have a simple player interface. Not only do Tolkien fans have something to look forward to, but this is a game that should appeal to any action-adventure fan.

This product will be released in the fourth quarter of this year.

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