The Lord of the Rings The Third Age

 
List Price: $19.99

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Product Description

Lord Of The Rings: Third Age allows fans to explore the world of Middle-Earth from an entirelynew perspective. Players get a chance to fight alongside or against key characters from The Lord of the Rings, like Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Eowyn, even the Balrog. Travel in the wake of the Fellowship, exploring your own path while intersecting with major characters and events from the films. Choose to align yourself with the people of Middle-Earth or undertake missions on behalf of Sauron. See the action from any angle, with the user-controlled cameras. Uncover various side quests as you discover hidden characters, secret weapons, and powerful items Voiceovers from the original actors and footage from all three The Lord of the Rings films

Features:
  • gameplay that expands all three films
  • customize your hero or villain
  • free-roaming gameplay; Explore, take on side quests, and uncover secret characters to join your party
  • Innovative turn-based combat system as you ride horses or Wargs through massive armies
  • Free-roaming adventure as you explore a beautiful and realistic game world

Customer Reviews:

  • incredible!!, but frustrating.....
    some of the levels u need certian powers... kind of a pain the fanny to keep going bk and forth. ive played all of the games ( the ones for ps2 anyway) and i say this one should get a damn sequel!! ( for ps2) the graphics are incredible!!...more info
  • DO NOT BUY!!!
    My son received this Christmas morning. The disappointment on his face within the first five minutes of play broke my heart. His complaints were that he didn't get to actively participate in the battles -- he just chose a weapon and the game battled for him. While searching for battles & things, the characters would just run and run -- we all got laughing at it because it was so ridiculous. A complete waste of money!...more info
  • Its an RPG for Goodness Sake!!!
    You people you critisize this game don't realize what an RPG game is! This game has you exploring more openly than Two Towers and Return of the King and the fighting system is turn-based. That is what an RPG game is all about. Third Age is a fun game and its very strategic as well. The spell powers your characters use are awesome! And you can even play on the dark side. Now thats cool! I highly recommend that you buy Lord of the Rings: Third Age!...more info
  • I Love This Game
    I am not a fan of turn-based video games, but this game is very enjoyable! The graphics and sounds, character personalities, etc., all make for really enjoyable game playing....more info
  • They just can't get it..........
    Ok, let me start by telling you that I am a HUGE LOTR fan. I love the books, and I love the movies. That makes me a rare individual, because most of my friends either hate one or love the other. Anyway, you'd think I would dig the video games. Well, kinda.
    I picked up LOTR: ROTK when I got my new slimline PS2, and it's cool, with all the cutscenes from the movies and the hack and slash stuff going on. Still, I'm thinking....if I wanted to watch scenes from the movies, I'd just put the frickin DVDS on and kick it. So, it's something I play from time to time.
    Well, I got LOTR: TTA for Christmas, and read the back....and lo and behold, it's an RPG where you play new characters that traipse around Middle Earth at the same time the main characters are getting the job done. Well, it went to the bottom of my pile below Prince of Persia 2, Need for Speed Underground 2, and San Andreas. It's unopened, and worth 49.99, and frankly, it's going back to the store to be put toward Metal Gear 3 or Burnout 3: Takedown.
    Why, you might ask? Well, I went to a friends house and saw it being played and heard the lowdown on it. It's not even really an RPG, playlength is ridiculously short, and for rewards, you get to watch little mini-interviews with the stars about the movie. I think EA Sports really missed the boat with this one. I mean, do a LOTR game and make it like Prince of Persia or something. I saw a group of guys playing this game, and they looked freakin bored. They had more fun playing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban than this turkey.
    It's a shame, really. LOTR rules. This game was just thrown together to cash in....more info
  • Don't waste your money...
    I started off LOVING this game but after spending hours and hours wandering around Moria fighting the same things over and over and over and..(you get the point)..What could have been a great game was spoiled by one simple ommision..Maps..Never have I played a game with such a BAD map system..(I got SO frustrated the game came close to being snapped in half a few times)..I never did bother finishing it..waste of time.....more info
  • What a joke
    I mean, c'mon! Did these guys ever play EA's LOTR: Return of the King? I guess the RPG aspect was lost on me, but I've played boardgames that were more intense than this tedious, repitative snore. I really missed the cooperative, actually collaborative, play of Return of the King. That two-player spirit is completely lost here as you await your turn to select an attack from a menu (exciting!) and sit helplessly as enemies attack you.

    Ultimately, this just a game designer's wet dream: you watch as they [...]graphically. Sure it looks great, but don't expect to be able to do anything: after each stage of endless lame battles, you unlock a "scene," so you may admire the designers' prowess some more, as if the pointless cut scenes you endured during the "battles" weren't enough.
    Bah--thank God we rented. ...more info
  • Know What You're Getting
    This game's a very simple, short RPG based on a FFX platform using a LOTR's motif, though not really directly employing Tolkien's characters.

    Only buy it if you're ok with those facts.

    If you're unsure of your stance, rent it - it can easily be played through in the time that you'll most likely have - or wait until it's being resold...it won't take long for used copies to get on the market....more info
  • A Poorly Made Game
    This game stinks to high heaven for many reasons. First of all people don't want to play a game like this one, because its like playing checkers. You have this guy attack this other guy and its boring just to look at that. The only impressive thing on this game is the graphics. To make this game more impressive is to make all the characters independent and let them have a little more freedom fighting. To make a well made game you have to think about what the player wants instead of how you make it. For instance, the player wants a game that has more exploration from a battle, ways to get a character stronger, and use out of this world imagination. To all who are reading this review I suggest you never buy this game. ...more info
  • Fun game, but grating for the LOTR junkie
    I like the game--really, I do. The characters so far (I'm about 25% through) are entertaining and likeable, and the fight sequences can be a challenge but easy to figure out how to play. The graphics could be better--I swear, the ranger's hair looks like one matted lump and moves like it, and I'm REALLY tired of the face mask on the dwarf.....

    The basic storyline is that a Gondorian knight following Boromir north, an elf from Lothlorien, a northern ranger and his dwarf-friend, and later a Gondorian woman raised in Rohan and a Rohirric man all form their own group, following the fellowship through adventures found in the movies, such as Moria, Rohan, Helm's deep, and so on.

    However, the game makers must have gotten LOTR confused with Dungeons and Dragons or Everquest, because the feel of the game definitely isn't LOTR! You fight your fair share of goblins, orcs, urikhai, wargs, and other such middle earth creatures, but there is much more magic involved and worse, a whole soap-opera style love triangle story that I find to be irritating myself.

    I loved the movies even with the changes made, and I felt that the changes there were in keeping with the Tolkien mythos; this game, however, has many departures that just plain irritate me.

    However, if you aren't a LOTR junkie like me and just want a game that is fun to play and easy to learn, this is definitely it! I've never played an RPG before, but I picked this up in minutes and learned the control-sequence quite easy. Its map is a pain at times, however, as it rotates with you and you can never see an overview of it, making it easy to get lost and driving you nuts trying to figure out where to go. But even with that, the game play is fairly fast-paced without being short. As I said, I've made it 25% through the game, but the constant battles make the game go quickly--and I haven't tired of it yet; in fact, I hate quitting it for the night!

    Overall, the storyline really needs work, the graphics need work, but the gameplay itself is fun and can keep you entertained for hours....more info
  • Lord of the Rings Meets Final Fantasy
    Pros:

    +Some good graphics
    +Fantastic Music
    +Simple to pick up and play
    +Allows for multiplayer

    Cons:

    -Unbalanced leveling system
    -Incredibly short
    -Not enough side areas
    -Generic characters devoid of any personality
    -Tedious ability system
    -In short, the game doesn't feel like it belongs in the RPG genre. The entire game itself is very generic, only putting in the most basic of basic RPG principles. Yet there are no towns, or NPCs to talk to. The game feels like it should've been an action/adventure game... not an RPG.

    Lord of the Rings The Third Age is what you would get if you mixed The Lord of the Ring with Final Fantasy (in particular, Final Fantasy X). The end result is a game that feels less like Lord of the Rings and more like a game trying to cash in on a popular genre. Lord of the Rings hardly feels like it should be an RPG to begin with. If the developers wanted to develop an RPG for Lord of the Rings, they probably shouldn't have done it within the trilogy and perhaps had it in the same world but as a side story.

    You are Berethor who is out to find Boromir. Your quest takes you through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. You are, throughout much of it, just one step behind them. In short, it's the Lord of the Rings trilogy, only not played out by the cast featured in the films. This isn't the only problem with the story. Most of it is narrated by Gandolf. In fact, so much of the story is told by Gandolf instead of your characters that you begin to wonder what your characters are even doing. The characters do very little to drive the story forward. They're also very generic. You don't care about the characters who join you because they're so generic and devoid of any personality.

    The gameplay doesn't do much to save it either. Much of the games battle system feels almost exactly like Final Fantasy X. You roam around until you are thrust into a random encounter. While in battle, there's a gauge on the side that shows you the turn order. Again, it works almost exactly as Final Fantasy X does. Your characters all have an obvious class and a set of unique abilities. Characters can learn more abilities the more they use them. The game also has a gauge beside your characters names. When it fills up you can initiate perfect mode and pull off an incredibly powerful attack. The end result is a system that eventually becomes tedious rather than unique. There isn't much customization outside of equipping characters with different items either. At the very least the game puts an emphasis on using different characters for different situations. But another thing that borrows from Final Fantasy X, is that you can swap characters out of battle on their turn and bring in someone to substitute. The game's level up system is a little unbalanced, though. You'll level up quite a bit, and very fast. What makes it unbalanced, however, is that your characters who partake in the battle gain more experience based on how many actions they take, and who they finish off. A character who does nothing in a battle loses out on a lot of experience while characters who partake can gain two or three times the amount a character who sits out gains. You'll have characters fall behind before you know it.

    As a bonus the game is also multiplayer so you and a friend can play. Unfortunately, the only thing your partner can do is act in battle. Outside of that he can't roam around the land with you or interact with anything.

    Interacting doesn't really mean much anyway. You won't be visiting any towns. All your items, equipment and such are granted to you through finding them in chests or hoping that an enemy drops them in battle. The entire game is one giant dungeon. It tries to throw in some quirks. For example as you roam you'll run through certain snippets of the dungeons where the eye of Sauron is in the corner. When it fully forms you get into a battle whether you're moving or not. It seems weird, but you won't be complaining about battles for too long. While the random encounter rate is through the roof, there are save points scattered almost everywhere. Save points aren't few and far between by any means and they always restore you to full health.

    In terms of production values, The Third Age isn't so bad. The voice acting (particularly from Gandolf) is brilliant, and even your characters don't sound bad when they speak. The graphics are also nice. Not the best to grace the Playstation 2 but good nonetheless. It's not a bad game to look at. You get a little tired of some of the animations for when enemies attack, or for certain abilities, but it's a small price to pay. The only other bothersome thing about the graphics is that there just isn't enough originality put into the game. No creatures they decided to make up. Everything you battle was in the films, but that leaves for little variety in the enemies you'll face. On the other hand, you do get clips directly from the films, which is nice.

    The music, however, is easily the best part of the game. It's all ripped directly from the films and it all sounds very good.

    Lord of the Rings: The Third Age isn't a great game, but for what you get it isn't bad. The biggest problem with the game is that it's an RPG when it clearly isn't suited to be one. You play as generic characters not even featured in the films on a quest that's better suited for a different genre.

    The experience doesn't last long either. In the long run, it'll take you less than 20 hours to complete the game, and there aren't very many things to do off the beaten path either. It's very straightforward.

    The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age comes off as more of a game that wants to cash in on a popular genre. It doesn't feel like it should've been an RPG in the first place. It isn't a bad game. It just feels out of place by being in the RPG genre....more info
  • Could have been better
    First of all, I just want to say that I think this game had some incredible potential to be the best of the LOTR games. Unfortunately, the game was far too short and far too easy to warrant anything higher than a 3 star rating.

    The high points:
    1. The battle/level-up/character system is excellent, with unlockable skills/moves that kept me wandering around to fight random battles much longer than was neccessary to complete the game.
    2. The addition of secondary characters to expand upon the LOTR storyline.

    The low-points:
    1. Too short. I imagine the game could be easily completed in about 12-16 hours. I spent about 20 hours, and I basically unlocked everything the game has to offer.
    2. Lack of replay value. The game is very linear, with few if any side quests. The only thing a replay would allow you to do is cut down on the completion time and choose your skill upgrades more carefully...boring!
    3. Shallow characters. The addition of new characters is laudable, but they seem too much like mirror images of the existing cast, for the most part.

    At the end of the game (after I had played for about 6 hours a day for 3 days straight) I was left wishing for more. There was an empty feeling of incompleteness in the story (it doesn't really conclude for the fringe characters that are the center of this game). There was so much room for more battles, more plotline and more levels that the game as it stands just seems...half-baked at best. I would definitely rent this game rather than purchase....more info
  • Great
    Okay, I'm 13 and my name is Kate i just dont have a user name. I honestly think this game is fun, although fighting gets old so fast. I mean your walking down the road and all of a sudden, Goblins, Wargs, Cave Trolls, Orcs and all sorts of evil things pop out and it gets annoying after a while. But still, I think its fun, and better than The Two Towers and the Return of the King. Maybe not the Return of the King, but i'm mad at my game of the Return of the King becuase I was like on the last level and it set me back becuase of the two player stuff. Right now in the Third Age I am in Eastern Moria. That's the easiest one so far.

    This is whats good about it:
    You can play as girls...FINALLY!!

    You can play in Evil Mode, which is you play as the bad guys, which is cool.

    When you get to Western Moria, you can go into Travel Mode, which is great.

    The sound is amazing.

    Characters have their own special talents, and my favorite chartacter is Idrial, an Elf and my favorite taletns are her Spirit Spell. Use Loudwater Furry.

    Berethor is probably the the one you wanna drop when you pick up Hadhod, bye the way.

    Elegost is the best aimer with a bow, besides the Legolas guy, in the game.

    Hadhod is a Spirit guy too, but he has axes insted of swords.

    You can make yourself faster, stronger, Spirit bigger, dexerity better, and all that jazz.

    Bad things about it:
    TOO MUCH FIGHTING!!

    All in all, this is a good birthday or Christmas present, so I would definetly get it. Happy playing!
    ...more info
  • D & D, not an extension of the previous games
    This game is not what you might think. It is well done. The graphics are fine. The characters are appropriate. The problem is that the packaging, timing, and makers (EA) implies that it is another swordfighting battle game like "The Two Towers" and "Return of the King". It isn't. It is like Dungeons and Dragons. You have hit points, moves lists, and stuff like that. It is turn based, making it not much more that a dice-based strategy game with good visuals. ...more info
  • Repetitious, poor characterization, boring
    This game had a lot of potential; it barely lived up to minimal expectations. If There is one thing a video game shouldn't be, its BORING. This game didn't challenge the player in any real way - once a strategy was found, it could be used throughout the entire game.

    Terrible characterization. After 30 hours of gameplay, I don't even remember my main characters' names. There was nothing memorable about anyone in my party.

    Battles felt like FFX but without the fun. Switching party members in and out of battle felt like a chore. All the monsters, save a few bosses, used the same animation/artwork throughout the entire game. There are only so many times you can kill a party of orcs/goblins without getting tired of it. ...more info
  • Not What Is Expected
    I was a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy masterpiece LORD OF THE RINGS years before the movies were even announced and over a decade before the series was considered cool and in vogue. I really enjoyed the movies and the video games based upon the film series have been very enjoyable to play. When I heard about THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE THIRD AGE, I thought this would be the ultimate LORD OF THE RINGS video game. I had thought that the game was going to allow players to play their own character from the Middle Earth universe that had adventures spanning the time frame of the trilogy. I also thought that the characters would have different adventures than the characters from the movies, but would occasionally meet some of them.

    The general plot follows Berethor, former Captain of the Citadel Guard of Gondor. Berethor was a close friend of Boromir. Apparently sometime after Boromir left for Rivendell and didn't return, Berethor was ordered to seek him out. As the game progresses, gamers soon learn that this isn't the case. Along Berethor's journey he is joined by several other adventures: a female elf named Idrial, a Dunedain and friend of Aragorn, the dwarf Hadhod whose ancestors ruled Moria, a village-woman of the Plains of Rohan named Morwen, and Eaoden of the Riddermark. Berethor and his companions seem to only be a few steps behind the Fellowship of the Ring. The journey through Moria to the plains of Rohan to Edoras. From there it's off the Helm's Deep, next to Osgiliath, then to Midas Tirith and the Pelennor Fields, and ultimately a final confrontation in Mordor.

    The game follows a traditional turned-based role-playing format of rounds where each character attacks. The visuals are very nice and the overall movement of the screen characters is easy to manipulate with very few quirks. The mini-movies that are unlocked as you progress the game that are narrated by Gandalf also do a good job of connecting the adventures of LORD OF THE RINGS: THE THIRD AGE to the film series. Also, it's kind of fun getting to play main characters from the series in certain places, such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Eowen, and Faramir. After beating each level you can reload the game in Evil Mode and play evil characters from the game including giant cave trolls, the Balrog, Grima Wormtongue, the Nazgul, the Witch King, and even Sauron.

    There are some minor problems with the game. For instance, even though all characters get experience, characters who are actually engaged in combat receive about twice as much experience as those who aren't. This can be kind of annoying because a character like Morwen, who fights with a couple of axes and doesn't have much fighting stamina, really aren't very fun to fight with.

    Minor annoyances aside, the biggest issue I had with the game was the plot. Except that there are no hobbits, the characters that you play have a strong resemblance to the main characters from the books and movies. Not only that, but Berethor's party seems to be following in the footsteps of the Fellowship as the traverse Middle Earth. There's also the issue that the general plot of the game doesn't make much sense with the story from the films. This isn't such an issue earlier in the game, but it becomes more and more blatant as you progress. For instance it isn't a stretch that Berethor's party might have come to Moria and had to finish the business of killing off the Watcher of the Deep. However, they would not have been with Gandalf fighting against the Balrog, nor would they have fought Grima Wormtongue, the Witch King, or Sauron. You don't even have to be a purist to be somewhat upset by that--after all since this is an "Official Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy" product you would think it would fit with the rest of the canon. However, even worse is how the actual plot of the game unfolds. It starts off interesting enough and even though it turns into a three-way love story, it's enough to keep one interested. That is until the last two levels of the game. The game quickly skips the plot of the story and at the end offers no resolution whatsoever. It feels like the gamemakers rushed to finish the product to get it on the market. I'm not sure why as THE THIRD AGE didn't appear until a year after RETURN OF THE KING was in movie theatres. Therefore, once a player finishes the game there really is no replay value except trying to complete the game in co-op mode.

    Overall, LORD OF THE RINGS: THE THIRD AGE has an interesting premise, but doesn't really live up. It's an okay game to play once, but offers nothing new to the canon and has no replay value. Die hard fans will be disappointed, but younger fans of the movies might enjoy playing the game....more info
  • Not sure what I wanted, not sure what I got
    I wanted a good role playing game, but I know that most movie properties are terrible games, so I didn't expect much. EA games may put out really great sports games, and the Sims, but from what I understand most of their other games aren't so hot.

    I bought this game on a whim, it was there, I wanted a new game, voila. I'm somewhat pleased with my decision to do this.

    First of all, the game looks good. It's not great, it's no Square game, but it looks good. The character images on screen constantly chage with what you equip them with, that's cool.

    Gameplay is fairly easy. I don't think I used any of the items in the first chapter. As soon as you realize that your characters heal when they gain a level or you save, you've got the basics for how to avoid using your items.

    I hated the fact that like every 10 minutes of gameplay there's a cut scene from the movie. It got to the point where they were reusing imagery from a previous cutscene, and Gandalf's voice over was repetitive. There's a save point before almost every new threat in the game, so it sometimes feels like there's too many. But don't get used to that because there are occasional long stretches without.

    Evil mode is something interesting. Once you complete a chapter, you can go back and play as Orcs and such and kill the characters you've been using over and over again to gain items that you may then use in your saved game.

    The Balrog was incredibly tough, completely out of proportion to every other threat for several chapters around it, and the amount of exp you gain is disproportionately low for how difficult he is.

    EA put together a fairly amusing game, but I can't help but compare it to the FF series, by which it pales in comparison. Star Wars KotOR 1 may have been a touch better, but not much.

    I think that if they would've done a better job with character modeling, w/ more realistic (less stiff) clothing movement, and had less than 109 movie cut scenes, with a few enhancements to the game itself, it would've been pretty good. As it is, it's fun but no great need to own it for hard core RPG fans....more info
  • A pleasent change to EA's LOTR gaming franchise

    Most people have been complaining about the once-current LOTR video Game "The third age" by EA Games, stating that they couldn't care less about the original characters, they're background stories, plots or even their development character-wise. Just because you could not play the usual Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf and the hobbits (and maybe Faramir) Characters.



    While I will agree that my curiosity makes me wonder what the Game itself would've been like had these characters been in the drivers seat, but the truth of the matter is: I was right and tired of playing with the Fellowship Hero's after the release of EA's "Return of the King," a much needed improvement over their "Two Towers," video game and "Battle for middle earth." So with that said, I have to disagree with everybody else when they say this game is bad (yes, its a marketing scheme in which to find out who would buy it, but what game or anything else for that matter isn't?). The third age is an excellent RPG Game for first timers, with a much better storyline than Final Fantasy could even conjure (suck it fanboys/girls, I shall not back down).



    There are over several levels divided into several storylines in the Game: A forest type landscape (I forget the name), The mines of Moria, Rohan / Edoras, Helm's Deep, and lastly Minas Tirith / Pelennor Fields. All of witch are beautifully designed and true to the movie locals in ever detail you can imagine. You can practically roam anywhere in theses levels, I know, because I tend to get lost (that map was much help until my brother helped me out with it) and enemies pop out of nowhere giving you a right good scare most of the time, but around next several hundred jumps and surprises it gets old and isn't impressive any longer. Small Note: Helm's Deep is still the hardest level since "The Two Towers."




    The basic Plot is this: You start off with a narrative voiced by Ian McKellen(?) - Gandalf the Grey/White explaining the third age before being introduced to Berethor; a soldier of Gondor in search for Boromir and the Fellowship supposedly having come from Rivendell on his way to Moria. He is attacked by several Ring Wraiths [Nazgul] and is defeated & about to meet his doom before the second character, Idiral appears and saves his life (and ultimately forcing the Nazgul away) with her Elven magic. From there your two characters journey across the forest landscape until you reach a snowy mountainous area where you then are introduced to Elegost, a Ranger hunting a pack of Wargs and searching for his Dwarven partner, Hadhod, a grouching Gimli-type character. These four characters travel through Moria and meet up with the guest character Gandalf who battle against the Barlog of Morgor. The last two characters you'll meet on the plains of Rohan; the shield maiden Morwen & Eaoden a rider of Rohan, being a part of the Rohirrim. These character's ultimate goal is to aid Middle Earth and the fellowship in its time of need (the background story for Berethor is especially interesting).



    The RPG elements of the game are fast pace and easy to understand and vary from Taunt, Special Abilities, Summons, Items, and Perfect Mode (Which has to be the coolest thing in the game aside from CO-OP mode). You can Level up your characters given the strength or number of times you've used them. They are equipped with different clothing, armor, swords, helmets, shields that really don't protect them if not beef up their armor value as the game progresses, and my all time favorite: New abilities and special items to use against your enemies.



    The boss battles (set on any difficulty) are tough and aren't as easy to overcome as everyone's has been stating. It takes some actual patience, time, and careful strategy to defeat these (The Balrog, Grimma Wormtongue, The Witch King, The Orc Captain in RTOK, and Suaron himself) bosses and its good payoff at the end. The enemies (Goblins, Orcs, Wargs, Uruk-Hai, Trolls, Ring Wraiths, among other things) are as equally tough in challenge, however, their easy to overcome despite the fact that they're abilities range from, Swordfighting, magic spells, spear attacks, etc.. Sometimes it'll usually take more than one hit to kill most of the enemies (mainly Wargs, Trolls, Nazgul, and Uruk-Hai. Goblins and Orcs are easy pickings).



    Lastly The Graphics for the Cut Scenes in the game are simply beautiful, especially in the Elven forests and Gondor, the character models are nicely done, and the voice acting is the best I've heard since Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia. I'll admit this game has it lagging points and hiccups but this does nothing to put a damper in my enjoyment of this game. [a 5 out of 5]...more info
  • This is what a true RPG is people!
    First off I have to say: Where are all of you people critisizing this game saying "This is not an rpg"...Ok people you forgot the meaning of ROLE-PLAYING-GAME. Basically an RPG is any FinalFantasy, Or other game like that. They are usually turn-based or they are real time. Real time is still you click the button and it says *Fight* and your character attacks. I guess what you are expecting is an ACTION/ADVENTURE game like The Fellowship, Two Towers, The Return of The King.

    I also want to say though...the thing says you can roam and it is an RPG...you can't roam and there are NO shops to buy things...Do you like chests? If you do then this is the game for you!

    This was an OK game...I was expecting more...but it was ok...
    IF you REALLY like the LOTR series...then wait untill this game goes GREATEST HITS and hits $30 dollars, or just don't buy it just because it says LOTR!!!!...more info
  • Great game (Not a waste of money)
    This game is excellent. Very hard at tmes, but excellent. The graphics are beautiful and very similar to the movies and how Tolkien describes in the lotr books. I am a huge lotr fan I think that this game is awesome! At first, I thought it would be very boring and a waste of money, but it wasn't. It is hard once you get to higher levels but you just have to keep trying. I personally think I spent good money on a good game! 5 stars Very fun...more info
  • Ugggh
    Uggh. Where do I start with this? Well, maybe I should start by criticizing myself. I am a silly, silly person for ever believing that a monopolizing, greedy company that cares about nothing but exclusive licenses could know the first thing about RPGs. Now that I've given myself a firm lecture, I'll start in on this game.


    I'll begin at the beginning. You are placed in the shoes of an unattractive, personality-less "ranger" who you know and care nothing about. A few minutes into the game, he meets a female elf who, far from being awe-inspring and regal, as elves are meant to be, is about as exciting as a limp carrot. They find some sort of flimsy excuse to travel together, and off you go, finding more lifeless tag-along party members along the way. There is absoloutely no pretense of story. And seeing as it doesn't even follow the traditional Lord of the Rings storyline, the feeling that you are in the world of LOTR is just not there.


    Now that I've gotten past the atrocious characters and story, I'll move on to gameplay. The combat system works, I'll give it that, but seeing as it also worked in the 500 other RPGs it has been used in, this isn't much of an accomplishment. You select attacks from a menu, you watch everyone attack, and then the enemy takes their turn. I now firmly believe that someone must have snuck into the EA offices, taken out their trusty white-out, and wiped the word "innovation" from every single dictionary. It's the only possible excuse for such a bland experience.


    And here we are at yet another failure: The menu system. Seeing as you have to bring up the menu every five seconds to level up, allocate experience points, equip items, watch over-used movie clips, check to see if you have any sidequests (they just show up on the menu, there's no sort of "you have a new sidequest" alert) fix the skill tree, and listen to Ian McKellan talk, you'd think that it would at least be fun to navigate. Oh, no. The menu is plain black, with the tiniest, most hard-to-read text ever, and almost no pictures. After awhile, I developed such a severe case of menu-aversion syndrome that I didn't even care about trying on new equipment or leveling up anymore. Seeing as getting loot and upgrading yourself is the heart and soul of an RPG, this is a very, very bad thing.

    Overall, this game just annoyed me to no end. I sold it two days later, at a loss of $5. And let me tell you, it was the biggest waste of $5 ever in my life....more info
  • Not Your Average Game
    This game deserves more credit than people are giving it. It is a very addictive game and fun all the way through with very few exceptions. You get to play as six different characters and you basically follow the fellowship around. Your party also has an elf and dwarf in it so you get to play as three different races. In certain parts of the game you get to team up with various characters from the movie whether it is Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, or Eowyn, and fight bosses from the movies. The battles in Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith are especially fun, and evil mode, a mini-game used to get new weapons and armor is a blast.

    The music is good, what else would you expect from The Lord Of The Rings?

    Graphics are good, but obviously not perfect.

    The story, well it's just kind of weird in some places. As you progress to the end there will be certain plot twists that to you may not make any sense. At the very end the plot just goes crazy and you'll have no idea what's going on.

    The skill trees are good, you can gain new skills by using old ones that are in the same category. The only flaw in this plan is that you will likely be stuck to either weapon skills or magic/leadership. The learning curve is pretty much non-existent, it's just a turned-based rpg.

    For those of you who dislike games where there are no cities or shops this game is NOT for you, you are almost constantly in the wilderness.

    My overall ratings:
    Sound-10/10
    Gameplay-8/10
    Graphics-7.5/10
    Fun-9.5/10
    Learning Curve-At most 30 mins.
    Replay value- 7/10

    So the average of all these aspects is 8.25, which is my rating for the game. By the way, this game will be even better for you if you are a LOTR fan.

    Well that concludes my review. I hoped you liked it and that it has helped you decide if you want this game. If you do buy this game it is a choice you won't regret.
    ...more info
  • Wwwwwwwowww!
    This game is AWESOME!!!!! A turn based Lord of the Rings game? Yeah, i know what you are thinking, this game is gonna be stupid. But it is actually a really good game. The graphics arent the best, but it really involves you into the storyline of the War of the Ring. This game is just the right level of hardeness to give you a challenge, but not to frustrate you. I recommend this game to any RPG lover, and any Lord of the Rings fan. It Rocks!!!...more info
  • a little effort could've gone a long way
    Ok, I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings, I am a hard core fan of RPG's, and I like adaptations that aren't afriad to branch away from the original stories. The Third Age has all of this. When I first picked it up I thought it was great, apart from the fact they blatently ripped the battle system directly out of Final Fantasy 10, but I can live with that. The sound and graphics were great, and the environments , claustrophobic as they were, didn't seem bad in the beginning of the game. However, when I got through most of the Mines of Moria, I realised the harsh truth that I had experienced the high point of the game, That the game wasn't going to get any better cuz it really did suck this bad, and that that Claustrophobic linear environments were all this game had to offer. I wanted to finish the game and I wanted to see what they were going to do with the story so I chugged through the rest of the game. What they ended with was a game that grew more monotonous as it went on, and the story revealed itself as a pale outline of a possibly good story. But they decided to drop the ball on a good story, and make all of the characters remain as pale as they were when they arrived, delve into a love triangle where they were truthfully only two people in it but in the end they decided to throw the guy together with a random wench you meet along the way which makes no sense, and they decided to end the game with a climatic battle with Sauron on the top of Barrad-Dur which is the most random ending they could have had. The dumb ass main character decides, "Hey I'm gonna romance the random wench." then the screen fades away into a confrontation and suddenly you're fighting Sauron's eye on top of the tower. When the player gets to this point in the game (if you play it long enough to get there), all of the gameplay and story elements come together and you open your mouth and fill the air with a resopunding WTF!!!!!

    It's sad cuz this could've been a good game, a little more effort would have turned this piece of crap into a decent RPG contender. But hey it's the movie game market, just sell the product even if it sucks...more info
  • An obvious marketing gimmick but pretty good play
    As I said, it's obviously a random attempt to make more money off the LotR success ('Let's make another LotR game! Oh...there's no more story! Ah well, let's make our own, while blatantly stealing Tolkien's dialog and themes!'), but really a fairly good game on the whole.

    You play Berethor, a Gondorian guard who follows Boromir around for no apparent reason. You will later acquire Idrial, a female Lothlorien elf; Elegost, a Dunedain Ranger; Hadhod, a peculiarly named dwarf of Fundin's clan; Morwen, a strange female Rohirrim sort of person who is actually from Gondor?; and Eadoen, another of the Rohirrim.

    Gameplay is nice; as an RPG fan, I found the open exploration and turn-based fights an improvement over the brawling, one-big-fight format of the TTT and RotK games. The plot is somewhat lacking, however. Your party merely trails along after the Fellowship with no real purpose.

    The levelling system is fairly good, although you have to make sure each character gets some battling, which is the fastest way to level up. The method of learning skills can be a bit of a pain, but is easy enough to master. I'm not a big fan of the points system where you have to assign points to the various attributes yourself. I found the Epic Scenes--where Gandalf (apparently telepathically) updates Berethor on what the Fellowship is up to--somewhat annoying.

    On the whole, however, I reccommend this game to RPG fans (such as Final Fantasy) and LotR fans. Book purists should stay away, as this game is more or less a blatant merchanising attempt.

    I wish they'd made the games with the actual Fellowship in this format!...more info
  • Boring and Repetative
    I have all the LOTR games and play them with my son. The characters don't interact with their surroundings, you stand there waiting to be attacked and can do nothing about it and wait your turn. We like to hit all the buttons and do the combination moves in the older LOTR games. Since when do Dwarfs do magic? My 10 year old son won't even play in the co-op version with me anymore and I've only completed 10% of the game. What an expensive disappointment. I do like the music and graphics. ...more info
  • LOTR for FF X fans!
    If you enjoyed the linear game play of FF X, then you will love LOTR: The Third Age.

    This is about the "other" hero's untold in LOTR world, it is a fun and interesting game.

    A must have for all D&D or LOTR fans!...more info
  • Cool game
    This game is pretty cool. It has awesome graphics and lets you get new armour and new weapons every time you achieve something. The game is not all about fighting though. It follows a good storyline and the characters have their own story as to where they came from and things like that. You start out in an elven land called Eregion. You start with a man named Berethor. He is from Gondor and he is very strong and is searching for his friend, Boromir. Now as you may know if you like the Lord Of The Rings Bromir gets killed in Amon Hen, after Moria. While you're in Eregion, Berethor gets hurt and is saved by a she-elf named Idrial. She is going to Rivendell when she gets stopped by Berethor and leads him to safety. That is when Idrial becomes a part of his adventure. You get many characters along the way. Their names are, Berethor man of Gondor. Idrial elf of Lothlorien. Elegost whom we find in the mountains(he is a ranger like Aragorn). Hadhod, a dwarven warrior from the clan of Fundin. Eaoden a man from Rohan who is very skilled with the spear, and Morwen a woman from Rohan in search for her family after her village is burned. Each character is skilled with different weapons and personalities. While traveling you can only control one character on foot. In battle, you use three different characters. You go to places where you meet some of the fellowship. You can go to Moria, Amon Hen (where you see Boromir die and where you try to let Frodo leave),Rohan, Helm's deep where you control Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas along with your party and many other places. You can even be evil and control orcs and anyone who you have battled in good mode. So order the game cuz its cool!!!!! ...more info
  • Lord of the Rings: The Third Age...........
    I found Lord of the Rings: The Third Age to be a solid, entertaining RPG, personally. One that can best be described with elements of Zelda, Final Fantasy X, and Knights of the Old Republic thrown in for good measure. Yet, while it is an entertaining RPG, The Third Age has several flaws that make it an RPG that's just as easy to forget afterwards as many RPGs on the shelves these day. These flaws involve character development(there isn't any, basically) and the fact that your group isn't making history alongside the fellowship(Personally, I feel it would've been way better if you played as fellowship itself). These two things, alone, make this game feel more like a second rate retelling of the story. Even so, it's still a great game. It's definitely a very competent RPG that's played much like a FF game. The gameplay is fun, the graphics are beautiful, and it's cool to visit middle earth all over again. ...more info
  • How can you pass this game up?
    This game is great and even though some people in the reviews say huge LOTR fans won't like this I disagree. I am a die hard fan(owning the return of the king video game, risk board game, all 3 movies which have seen 4 times each, monopoly board game and trivial pursuit game) and this is the first game that let's you leave from the trio of invincible characters that can take on thousands of orcs and live.

    Right when you start a new game you get into a fight and from then on it's action time-there's no very long cut scenes, no long tutorials, you just get right into the game.

    Co-op on this game is cool but my only probably is only 3 characters can be managed in a battle(so 1 player will always be short a character than the other such as 2:1).

    The graphics are great and sound is awesome. I don't know what you would like to call a long or short game but to me any game that puts out 40 hours+ of gameplay is a long game. That's just what this game does. I've played it for 6 hours already and have only finished 15% of the game. This game will be around roughly 40 hours which can supply you for 40 days of play if you play 1 hour a day.

    No matter if you are a die hard fan of LOTR or not this is a must have. I HIGHLY recommend this game for anyone....more info
  • Not Great
    This game is not what I expected it to be. I was really hoping for it to be an open battle game like the Two Towers and The Return of the King. I don't like how you have to go in to a battle similar to the Pokemon format. I also hoped you could be members of the Fellowship (especially Aragorn, Legalos, and Gandalf)But the graphics are unbelievable. Some of the best I've ever seen. I don't like how when your just walking and a battle comes up. Too much like Pokemon. I dont know about you but I hate Pokemon games. I am sticking to The Return of the King and The Two Towers. But then again I'm not a huge RPG fan. But whatever. ...more info
  • NOT the best LOTR game
    When I bought this game, this was supposed to be the best RPG game since Final Fantasy. Wrong. This is a hard game to beat, and usually when your fourteen things in video games come easy. and will most likely frustrate kids who are big Lord of the Rings fans.

    Here are some bad things about it:

    -Hard.
    It's hard to navigate around, even with the map. There's just so many roads, and some go above one.

    -Enemies
    The enemies start out easy. You can kill them with a stroke of a sword easily in Eregion, but as soon as you hit level two (Western Moria) it's just too hard.

    -Enemies "spells"
    That waste time. When you fight the Goblins, they have a spell that lasts at least 6 seconds. That just frusrates me, because When you just want to play for a quick ten minutes, you end up play half an hour

    -Levels
    They last too long. Way too long. Eregion took me an hour to beat (Eregion is level 1), where was Western Moria (level two) took me an hour and a half.

    However, there a good things they didn't screw up:

    +Characters
    These are made up characters. They are

    -Berethor (probably as Aragon)
    -Idrial (probably as Arwen)
    -Elegost (probably a cross between Aragon and Legolas
    -Hadhod (definetly as Gimli)
    -Morwen (as Eowyn, probably)
    -Eoden (probably as Eomer)

    And if you didn't know, two of them are girls. Thinking that we do live in a sexist world, this is a good thing.

    +Graphics
    Everything looks real! EVERYTHING! Even the things that don't even exist, like the Balrog, orcs, uruk-hai, goblins, warg, etc. And it's beautiful in some regions.

    +Sound
    This is probably one of the best video games that has sound in it. You can hear perfectly, and the voices fit the characters.

    +Music
    The music from this game is from the three movies. If you ask me, the soundtracks are the best movie soundtracks I have heard in a long time.

    +Combinations
    Two people have axes, two people have swords, one person a bow and one person a spear. That is a great combination of people. And three of them have "spirit powers".

    +"Spirit Powers"
    In the battle, you can call spirits and have them attack your enemy, or bring someone back to health, steal health or action points, etc.

    Overall, this would be a great game to rent, just make sure you have 30 hours to spare before you play this....more info
  • If the movies and books bored you, then this WON'T
    When I first saw it, I was kinda unsure. I mean, I had seen 2 of the 3 movies, and read the books, and been bored out of my mind and confused. I was basically the only person I knew (of my friends) who wasn't absolutely nutty about the movies or the games.

    Anyways, the title kinda made me think it'd be like the books and the movies. However, I also it had been high up in some reviewers minds, and that it supposedly rivaled Final Fantasy. So, liking to play Final Fantasy type games, I decided to try it out, and I got it.

    I was still kind of hesitant, after all, sometimes reviewers have a weird opinion of 'good'. But, I glanced through the book that came with it, and decided to try it. Boy, was I surprised.

    I expected a run-of-the-mill LotR game, with the same characters, same battles, same experiences, ect. as the original books and movies and games. I basically expected it to be virtually similar to the first games, with the only difference being that all three games were compiled into one game.

    However, LotR: The 3rd Age took the books and movies from a whole new perspective. It tossed six new characters into Middle Earth, with their pasts slowly being revealed and their destinies intertwined. Also, the whole concept of the game is completely believable. I mean, even if they are never mentioned in the books or movies, it doesn't mean they or some other group was lurking in the shadows, or 'between the lines', as the case may be.

    It slowly takes the gamer through all three episodes, entering familiar areas and battles, such as Rohan, Helm's Deep, and Moria. You also collect little spheres, called 'Epic Spheres' in certain areas or after completing a certain task. These spheres contain scenes from the movie, or scenes that were created for the game by the game. These spheres fill you in on what is going on, and give you little clues about your characters pasts', occassionally. It takes you throughout the movies without being overly confused, even if you never read a LotR book, or watched a LotR movie.

    It had good gameplay, and the images and sound was amazing. It wasn't too confusing, and even though the first battles are kind of tough, it gets easier. The save points heal and restore AP, and you can find items and weapons and such things easily in chests. It lets you know when a battle or scene, whether fixed or random, is going to occur without startling you.

    You can choose the stats, and weapons of your characters, and you can even choose their skills, which are often very powerful or helpful.

    You complete quests, and even those most are mandatory, some aren't.

    There are guest fighters, such as Gandalf (both White and Grey), Aragorn (kinged and unkinged), Legolas, Gimli, and so on. They usually don't appear until crucial moments, such as Helm's Deep or Pelennor Fields. But when they do appear, they are extremely helpful.

    One bonus of the game is 'Evil Mode'. Nost times, when you think of a mode being evil, you think of it being impossibly hard. However, that is not the case in this game. After you defeat a chapter, such as East Moria, West Moria, or Helm's Deep, then you can go back to that chaoter with Evil Mode, with a few changes. You go through different battles, whether it be Grima Wormtongue or a group of Trolls, against your heroes. However, you don't travel the map. And you don't play the good guys. You play the bad guys. After you complete the chapter as the bad guys, you get items that you can save onto your game (whether it be at the first chapter or last, just as long as its completed). You can complete a game, make a new one, and then go to 'Evil Mode'. Select the farther along game, play whatever chapter, and then save it onto your newer game. After completing a 'Evil Mode' chapter, you get exclusive items, such as an Orc Shield for Berethor.

    There were a couple parts that annoyed me though. For example, the ambushes. They are horrible, especially if you have to go through five fixed fights after the ambush in order to get to a nearby save point. And sometimes the save points are very far away from each other, which increases the risk of getting killed by a random battle if you just went through a boss.

    However, you can travel between levels, choose what to do with your characters, go through 'Evil Mode', and the camera is actually manageable!

    However, most hardcore, diehard LotR fans won't like this game since it doesn't follow the other LotR propaganda. (But, which would you prefer, a carbon copy ripoff or something original, mixed with something familiar without being a ripoff? I thought so.) However, the more...lenient...LotR gamers might actually appreciate this game, as will the people who only bought the game in order to play it, not because its LotR.

    I think this game is highly addictive, and although it goes kinda fast (depending on your rate of finishing games), it is well worth your money to buy, even if all you want is a game to pass the time.

    I highly reccommend this game to other curious, intrepid, brave, whatever gamers that lurk out there. Yeah, you.

    Give it a try, it might just turn out to be better than you thought. And don't just stare at it with diehard LotR comments and opinions in your head, clear it out and give it a try.

    If you absolutely hate it, try to return it or give it to a nearby cousin or Goodwill or Salvation Army or whomever, just TRY IT first. After all, you can't judge a book by its cover or title. Same goes with a video game....more info
  • the best game you can buy
    This is one of the most realistic games ever the faces and wepons look so real. Great buy for those who like lord of the rings and action games. ...more info
  • Hm...FFX anyone?
    I played this game a couple of years ago and i must say that its an ffx remake that never really caught my attention.

    From what i expeirenced, the characters are crappy in some form, and will perish easily in fights, even if they are at really damn high levels.

    The leveling system is very shady at best, since its not really based on how high your character's level is, but what they have learned on their way towards the end. Which means you'll be spend hours just trying to pump them up, even though it may not do any good.

    Its too linear and the only direction you got is going forward...into the heat of battle every couple of steps, which tends to slow you down more than the average FF game.

    Boss fights tend to get annoying as well, since it will take a couple of party deaths to figure out what the hell you are doing wrong. Sometimes you will not be able to figure it out at all and call a quits, or to use some form of cheating device.

    And finally, it doesnt make sense to have it set-up for 2 players when you only can see the lead player walking around while the other waits for a battle to start.

    All in all this game is below average and should be passed by those that are looking to get there moneys worth (noted to those that are FF and FPS fans)....more info
  • Not bad
    I'm always surprised how most games have people that loved it or hated it. I thought this one was good. Not great.

    The graphics were good. I liked the animation and art style a lot better then a lot of the games in this genre. Just my opinion. The cut away scenes from the movies were cool. and like someone else said, they were optional.
    The combat system is very similar to FFX. Maybe a bit of a ripoff, but I like it.
    And the plot line does follow the journey of the fellowship pretty well, but it works. I don't mind a pretty linear game.

    I do have a few problems with this game though.
    1. No shops in the villages. I hate having a ton of weapons that I never use. Selling them would be handy.
    2. not much interaction with NPCs. I think having this would help because it helps develop the characters.
    3. I have never played a game like this where the heroes miss so much when trying to attack. It gets REALLY frustrating.

    But overall it was still fun. Not a lot of thinking involved. And other then a few boss fights, not too hard....more info
  • Lots of Fun or a DUD? Well it depends...
    OK...As you can see by the other reviews, there are basically 2 camps of thought: great game or despite the awesome graphics and sounds it [...].

    I am a LOTR fan. Books, movies, games, soundtracks, etc. I enjoy playing video games, but I'm not a master at it so I get frustrated occassionally by games that seem too hard. I haven't played Final Fantasy X (FFX).

    It's pretty well accepted that the graphics and sound (THX certified) are exceptional and visually appealing. The accuracy of the graphics to the creations of WETA are amazing. I felt as if I was journeying into this world. The one drawback is the cut scenes are too repetative and made exclusively from the movies, though Gandalf's narration has been changed to fit the game. I was watching each one, but have pretty much quit altogether.

    At the outset, I was disappointed that the characters were basically ripoffs of the originals and I still am. My 10 year old son called them by the original names and I have to keep reminding him that they are different characters...by name anyway.

    Putting that disappointment aside, I was pleasantly surprised by the relatively easy learning curve and the challenge increase in battles. I don't like that you are limited to 3 characters (4 if another character comes to help you). I haven't played an RPG since Link II on GBA and on that I still haven't managed to get the candle or the hammer.

    The battles can be a bit monotonous, but with a little thought and some deft character changing I've managed to get through almost half the game thus far.

    The fact that you can play on the evil side of battles is a nice bonus feature to explore. The Co-op for 2 players is terrible and not worth it unless you want an extra hand in combat.

    I'm enjoying this game a lot and love the fact that I can get 100% completion on the chapters, even if I do have to go back and roam for a while to manage it. I like that it was relatively easy to learn and I'm definitely going to get FFX when I'm done with this game to try my hand at a true open RPG.

    Bottom line? If you're a hard core RPG fan and are looking for the "freedom" of going through a world and finding things out on your own, this game will be disappointing. If you are new to RPG's, like I am, this is a great starter game to learn the basics of battles, turned based combat vs. hack & slash, and the customization of character attributes. If you are a hack and slash die hard who loves the vibration of the console when you whack an enemy, don't waste your money on this one....more info
  • Mindless Entertainment - Makes you want to watch movies
    First off, a 4 year old could solve this game, since you have no choice but to move in only one direction, and there is virtually no way to fail. Battles are very easy, environment interaction is non-existent, and enjoyment is minimal at best. All this game has inspired in me is a desire to see the movies again. Possibly the entire point? Save your money and just buy the movies. It's basically the same thing. Overall, the worst game I've played in years. Fortunatley I only rented it. Oh yeah, have had it one week, played 20 hours, and 90% done....more info
  • great!
    I love the lord of the rings movies and love all of the lord of the rings games. third age is the best game by far. the graphics, sound, and especially the gameplay are all simply great! you should by this fun rpg video game for the ps2!...more info
  • RPG fun in Middle Earth, similar to Final Fantasy
    "Lord of the Rings: The Third Age" is the first Role Playing Game (RPG) set in Middle Earth for the Playstation 2. Previous LOTR games have been adventure games with a focus on hacking the bad guys with your sword. "LOTR: The Third Age" is a turn based RPG where your characters take turns attacking and being attacked. This game follows the storyline of the novel, but in a slightly different way. Rather than controlling the primary characters of the novel (Frodo, Aragorn, Legolas, etc), we start the game in control of a Gondorian named Berethor. I don't remember a Berethor from the books, but perhaps he was mentioned in an appendix. Perhaps not. Either way the quest begins with Berethor having been given a mission from Gandalf to aid in the battle for Middle Earth. As Berethor continues he meets up with other warriors: the elf Idrial, Hadhod the dwarf, a ranger named Elegost, and two others. Together this group follows just a few steps away from the Fellowship, so it is as if we are shadowing the storyline of the novels. From time to time we even find ourselves caught up in events from the novels. We help Gandalf fight the Balrog, Eowyn fight the Nazgul, and assist in the defense of Helm's Deep. While being a part of these events doesn't quite jive with the books or movies, at least it gives a sense of purpose and importance to the story while not just telling the same story of the novels over and over again.

    The combat system is clearly based on that of "Final Fantasy X". It is turn based and includes a listing of which character (or enemy) will attack in which order. When the party grows to more than three characters we are able to switch the character who's turn it is in or out of the battle to give another character a shot at the fight. This also works just like "Final Fantasy X". Combat is fairly quick and not exceptionally difficult. Characters gain enough experience points after each battle (if used in every battle) that they gain an experience level every couple of fights early in the game and still rather frequently much later in the game. When a character gains a level his (or her) health points and action points (points used to perform magic or special attack skills) are completely refilled. Using these skills frequently is a must because it is only through use that a character will learn new skills that will prove vital throughout the game (oh, how I wish I learned Elegost's Arrows of Sleep earlier).

    This is a very linear game without much opportunity to truly wander off and explore Middle Earth. In certain places of the World Map for a chapter you can explore that area as long as there is a path, but otherwise the rest of the world is off limits. On the other hand, this game gives the opportunity to explore Helm's Deep, and play in the mines of Moria and defend Osgiliath. We get to fight Grima Wormtongue and slap him around a bit. As I haven't played (and don't plan on playing) the other LOTR games actually starring the main cast, this game is my lone opportunity to experience Middle Earth.

    There are 109 sequences from the movie trilogy narrated by Ian McKellan (Gandalf) giving some history of LOTR as well as giving instruction to Berethor and talking about the characters in this game. It is well done and while the sequences are out of chronology, it is nice to see.

    There is also a setting called "Evil Mode". After beating a chapter in the game a chapter of "Evil Mode" is unlocked. In this mode you can fight as the enemies against the heroes. Unfortunately we don't get to play through the game or explore as the bad guys, but each chapter of "Evil Mode" is a series of three or four fights. The first fight may be a bunch of goblins against the heroes, then a troll battle, and then a boss battle. Throughout the various chapters in "Evil Mode" we get to play as the Balrog, the Witch King, Grima Wormtongue, and even Sauron himself. Winning one of the Evil chapters earns bonus items which can then be used back in the main portion of the game. This part is worth playing both for the items as well as the joy of using the Balrog and other main enemies.

    "Lord of the Rings: The Third Age" is a really well made game. It was a lot of fun for me to play, though I can see someone expecting an immersive RPG experience being disappointed. The main characters of this game do not really have personalities to speak of, though at least they are quite different in combat. Fans of Lord of the Rings should be in for a treat, though. This is a beautiful looking game and if the player is open to an RPG style slower paced combat, this is a game that could be a lot of fun. It took me around 22 hours to beat the game with 100% of the tasks.

    -Joe Sherry...more info
  • Lord of The Rings: The third age
    When i purchased this game, I had not looked at the amazon.com reviews, and when i got home and looked at them, i was suprised. At that point, i had not played the game yet so i thought that i may had just wasted 49.99 on a bum game. But when i got home and played it, i was amazed at how those reviews seemed wrong. This is now one of my favorite games. I must admit, i was disappointed that you Couldnt be the fellowship, but I didnt hate the game because you werent. You do basically the same thing, and more.
    You can collect many unique items, and the graphics and animations are excellent. I never really liked final fantasy, but i do REALLY like this game.
    This game is also very challenging. The balrog...whew...took me about an hour (5 tries) to beat. Very challenging game....more info
  • Numerous Issues
    An attempt to cross the Lord of the Rings with a Final Fantasy-style RPG, the Lord of the Rings: The Third Age is in most ways stuck in the shadow of many other greater things.

    The main characters are not the main characters of the Lord of the Rings, but rather similar characters that share many connections with them. Berethor is the captain of the Gondor Citadel Guard, and is looking for Boromir. Idrial is an elf woman serving Galadriel. Elegost is one of Aragorn's fellow rangers. And so on for the other three characters; all are made in the shape of other, similar characters. Their activities and encounters all follow the Fellowship, even at one point finding the campsite used by them when in the mountains (in the first film). The objectives are usually tantalizingly close to the fellowship - "Oh, that's our campsite, yeah, so come find us in the Mines of Moria! Oh, wait, we moved on." Gandalf narrates the scenes "speaking" to Berethor, usually encouraging him to try and catch up with the group. Many of the game's boss fights are against non-canon enemies, enemies the Fellowship dealt with (supposedly), or enemies that it wouldn't make sense to have killed. As a whole, the story appears more like a fanfiction than a professional work.

    The gameplay is reminiscent of most RPGs. Characters have HP and MP (or, rather, AP), and various class-specific skills. They can fight, use skills, use magic, or use items. Items tend to be LOTR-specific things like Lembas bread or Kingsfoil. Most of the attacks in the beginning are simply "hit harder" or "hit harder against certain things", but this later evolves into magical abilities as well. For the most part, the system is uninspired and not particularly exciting. The characters run around on the world map and have old-style random encounters that pop out of nowhere. The majority of the battles are fairly boring and have nothing to set them apart.

    The graphics are fairly terrible. The textures are blocky, the characters seem mis-proportioned, the animations are odd and unnatural, and everything seems to be blurry for some reason. The voice acting is decent, but not spectacular; the characters seem chosen, again, for their resemblance to established characters.

    As a whole, this game has nothing going for it. It seems amateur in many ways, and isn't particularly fun, either. Even for fans of LOTR, this isn't that rewarding because of the many inaccuracies and oddities present.

    4/10.
    ...more info
  • A Triple if Not Quite a Home Run
    LOTR: The Third Age by EA is a good RPG style adventure game set during the events of the LOTR films. Tolkien fanatics will not care for it but gamers should keep in mind that EA has the rights to make video games of the movies and not the books (which probably means there is a bunch of legal hair splitting going on). The connection to the movies remanins one of the strongest parts of the game. The soundtrack from the films lingers in the background and cinematic shots provide a good deal of the world you will adventure in. Even better Gandalf, with the actual voice of Ian McKellen, occasionaly talks to the main character as clips from the movie are played.

    The second string fellowship that is gathered wanders through all the normal haunts of Middle Earth from Moria to Helm's Deep. That is one of the chief problems with the game as there is little reason to linger behind anywhere since everything you need is pretty much shown upfront, including the not so subtle treasure chests just hanging out on the side of the road. The combat system is solid, not trying to be overly complex.

    Be warned going into the game this is not "Final Fantasy" or one of its clones. There are no towns full of people with inane dialogue and there are no merchants just hanging out in the middle of a dungeon. The heroes are stoic veterans, not a bunch of talkative kids in their late teens or early 20s. To play as a party of adults may take some adjustment for some gamers and there will be some letdown in terms of character development and romance. Fan girls and kids wanting to make music videos on youtube may want to stay away.

    For the rest of us, EA has cooked up a good adventure through Middle Earth which is fun and always holds the interest.

    ...more info
  • Good enough for 30 hours
    WARNING: I'll be going a bit in-depth partway into talking about "The Third Age's" endgame, so skip this review if you don't want to know about it.

    Okay. I liked the game, but it left me wanting just a bit more at the end.

    Overall, it's a refreshing change from the usual anime-flavored tactical turn-based fighting game, in that it's NOT anime-flavored. There's no better world to do this in than Middle-Earth. Some of you may feel disappointed that you don't get to play any of the major characters, but I think that this game is a step in a right direction. For me, there's a deeper sense of immersion playing alongside a major character rather than as one. It's a creative, satisfying twist.

    Note that I didn't refer to it as an RPG, as per the game itself. Strictly speaking it doesn't do the genre any real justice. A simple comparison to make this point: Considering Neverwinter Nights as a benchmark for the RPG genre in terms of its sheer depth and replayability, The Third Age is like watching the entire trilogy over Peter Jackson's shoulder and helpfully suggesting minor changes along the way. And then saving the whole thing to DVD.

    The most immersive aspects of this game are the fully realized Middle-Earth environments and the soundtrack, music and all. One of the pleasures I found in this game was the simple act of standing around just taking in the sights and sounds. (The fields of Rohan especially.)

    Now the gameplay: It plays almost exactly like anything out of the Final Fantasy series. (It actually reminds me more of FF VII than any of the more recent ones.) But it feels completely Middle-Earthy, again thanks to the visuals and sounds. Visual status effects (such as Fear, Stun, Spirit Resistances, Aura of The Valar, etc.) are well-made and manage to work well within the world and mythos of Middle-Earth. And I may add that playing dress-up is one of this game's better points; sure there's no point equipping less-beneficial items, but the chance to just put them on and view the whole package in real time is one of The Third Age's little pleasures.

    (Although I would note that the films themselves didn't display much in the way of physical manifestations of magic. Devoted Tolkien fans who loved the films would probably find these necessary visuals a seeming departure from the understated quality of magic in the movies.)

    The game itself isn't that tough. There were a few points when I thought I had broken the game, only to be surprised by later enemies you'd think were pushovers. (Case in point: Easterling warriors.) But there's a seeming imbalance here: in my opinion the most difficult enemies I faced in the whole game were, not even Sauron himself, but the Mumakil (the elephants on steroid megadoses, for the uninitiated.) The Balrog (even Sauron) in comparison, was a comparative cakewalk. Sure, given that the Balrog should indeed appear early on due to the game's linear nature, but I think that badass could've been a tad more... well, bad.

    And Sauron? Yes, you do get to fight him in the endgame (another event twice removed from the books), but it isn't that hard as long as you have the right characters in place and have the right spells and attacks ready to go. It's really just a matter of being patient and wearing him down.

    Now my real beef with the game.

    Assuming you've done everything the game asked, you should be at 99% completion and have all equipment and all epic scenes right after you finish fighting alongside Aragorn and right before you face off with the last eight Nazgul and then Sauron. The beef: you get level-ups after each of your two rounds with the Nazgul but don't get to save. And you still don't get to save after you finish off Sauron but instead get a final hidden epic scene that vaguely ties together the whole thing. (Kudos to Sir Ian for voicing the whole game, by the way.) And you don't even get to unlock Mordor as a final Evil Mode chapter.

    What I would have liked to see: 1) Mordor (specifically Barad-Dur) as an Evil Mode Chapter, 2) a chance to save after everything's said and done, and 3) a game summary screen to display stats, number of saves, items used, fave weapons, whatnot. Just to give players a better sense of completion.

    TO WRAP UP: Liked the game, wished Balrog was tougher, should've been a chance to save after defeating Sauron and unlock Mordor for Evil Mode.

    Hope it's been helpful. Thanks for taking the time to read my review. :)...more info
  • Solid RPG game
    This game sets itself up for criticism from 2 different camps.

    The hardcore Tolkien people aren't going to like it because it messes with their universe and plays into some of the changes to the mythos made by Jackson in the movies (Frodo & Faramir @ Osgiliath, elves @ Helm's Deep, evil Denethoer).

    Hard core RPG fans aren't going to like it because its a pale imitation of FFX or it doesnt have enough depth or there isnt enough problem solving or there arent any real sidequests.

    I liked this game and considering I picked it up for $10, I feel I got my money's worth.

    The in game story is kind of weak, but that might be because I was sick of the cutscenes halfway through the game and quit playing them. Although I should say that is one bonus to this game. Unlike FFX, you are not forced to watch every cutscene.

    The music & sound are excellent. The same cinematic score as used in the movies is applied here. You hear the Rohirrim theme when you meet them, you here the foreboding Nazgul music when they approach. You hear the Nzazgul scream. You hear the clink of swords on armour and the cries of the party.

    The graphics are outstanding. The character's image changes with new accessories. The enemies are faithfully detailed from the movies. Even the backgrounds in the battlescenes are faithful to the area in middle earth in which the action takes place. Fighting on the Pellenor Fields with Minas Tirith at your back and Nazgul flying overhead was great.

    The game is linear. You have to follow a certain track to the end of the game much like the early part of FFX.

    There is no buying or selling. All items are obtained from enemies or treasure chests. There really aren't any puzzles. I can only think of a couple of times were it is necessary to stand at a particular place and hit a particular button.

    The fighting itself is your basic formulaic turn based RPG fighting system with status effects and HP, etc... It seemed a little too easy to me until midway throught the game when I started to have some major problems missing hits, which leads me to my next point.

    The documentation on this game is poor. I had to discover on my own that the only way to recover HP & AP is to save or level up. Annoying. Also unless you look at the STAT screen you will not discover that every time you level up you are given discretionary points to allocate to a character. I discovered this halfway through the game after wondering why my players were so much weaker than the average enemy.

    One nice feature that I would like to mention is that the game keeps track of what armor/weapons are new to each character when you go to equip. I just wish it would have provided me with the numbers on how each piece would change my stats when equiped. I hate trying to remember 5 different numbers everytime I equip a new piece.

    All in all a fun game with great graphics and good gameplay. I had been waiting for a LOTR RPG for a long time and this fits the bill. It could have been better. I would love a kind of GTA approach to middle earth where I could explore on my own, but thats probably too much to ask. ...more info
  • One of the Best RPG Games Ever!!!
    The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age is an awsome game for the PlayStation2! It offers some of the best graphics and sound I have ever experienced in a game. The gameplay is very unique and the turn-based combat system is very fun! The Third Age is one of the best games of 2004!...more info
  • A very good game, but it could have been better
    *Spoilers*
    I thought this game was a lot of fun, but in some places the storyline was very very messed up. You are playing these people who are like the fellowship of the ring five minutes later. Basically, without your characters, Gandalf would never have beat the Balrog, and basically nothing for the fellowship would have worked out. WHAT THE CRAP!!! That was the really stupid part for me. And the last boss you fight is such a stupid end to the story. The game has a love triangle in it that does not end the way it should!! Also, the game is pretty easy, so I started out playing it in the hard mode. I did really like the Evil Mode part of the game which let you play the bad guys for a few battles in each chapter of the game. If you win Evil Mode you will get valuable items for your party.
    I thought the battle mode in this game was very fun, and the graphics were beautiful. The landscapes were pretty detailed and the people weren't too bad either.
    Overall, this game is pretty good, I would recommend giving it a try. I am a hardcore LOTR fan who will buy anything with that name on it, but I was sorely disappointed by some of the things in the story. ...more info

 

 
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