PC/Mac/Linux
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System Requirements
CPU: 600Mhz RAM: 128MB OS: Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP Video: DirectX 8.0 Compatible Video Card (32 MB with single pass, multi-texturing, and T&L) Sound: DirectX 8 Compatible HDD: 800MB Age: Teen
As you have probably guessed, this game is based on the now famous fantasy book series by JRR Tolkien. Yes, it is based on the book as opposed to the movie. In this review, I will lay out the facts and let you decide whether or not it is worth playing.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are pretty mediocre. Nothing jumps out as being particularly noteworthy. The Shire is probably the best part of the game. It has grass, trees, flowers and decent looking houses. However, the water in this game is pitiful. After seeing the water in games like Morrowind I would think this game, being released after Morrowind, would have some decent water. But, no it has lifeless and horrible looking water. I would venture to say Quake II has better water effects. The visuals in this game just don\'t live up to the license. In fact the graphical clipping problems in Moria detracts significantly from the game play. Excepting the hobbits, the character and enemy models are incredibly bad and completely detract from the enjoyment of the game and cut scenes. Gandalf\'s model is particularly bad, possibly the worst in the game. The pre-rendered cut scenes are downright blurry and incredibly dated looking. In short, if you play this game, it shouldn\'t be for the graphics. Now, on to the game play.

Game Play

In terms of game play, this game is very simplistic and the controls are downright crappy. All you do in this game is go around and kill stuff in 3rd person and move to the next level. There is very little in the way of challenge. If a puzzle does arise it is easy enough to figure out with your eyes closed. The mouse controlling of the characters is stiff and makes you feel like your moving around a puppet on a stick. The clipping problems are incredibly bad in Moria. One minute you will be backing up while fighting an enemy. In fact you are backing up into a wall and the next thing you know the camera is inside the wall and you can\'t see your character and are now completely disoriented. This makes me wonder if the developers took any time to actually play test this thing. My guess is that or they did notice and decided not to do anything about it and hope no one noticed. Well, sorry Surreal Software, I noticed. One more thing, fighting is not near average either. When you hit something, it has no punch to it. The fighting is uninspired and just plain boring after a while. Also, this game is incredibly short. It takes a seasoned gamer about 4-5 hours to complete and a normal person about 5-6 hours to complete. That\'s it. And they left out a great deal of the story which I\'ll get to next. Also, no replay value whatsoever here. Nothing will ever get me to play this game ever again. Don\'t play this game for the game play.

Story

This game follows the basic storyline of the book but leaves some holes, which is somewhat obvious since the game is a mere 4-6 hours long. In fact the story from the book is so sliced and diced, the game suffers from a case of serious incoherence. To someone who has never read the books, this story would be so chopped and incoherent they wouldn\'t know what is going on. Don\'t even think about playing this game to get the full Fellowship of the Rings story.

Sound

The sound is ok. Nothing spectacular here. The voices are are somewhat decent but nothing out of the ordinary. The music is orchestral but sounds dull and uninspired in my opinion. There is really nothing memorable about the music in this game.

Stability

This game crashed on me a couple times for no apparent reason. No other game does this, so it has to be the game. This was on a Windows XP system.

Offensive Content

Nothing really. No swearing and there is very little blood. There are no sexual situations of any sort.

Conclusion

In short, don\'t play this game. It ruins the Fellowship of the Ring. If you need a Lord of the Rings game to play, play The Two Towers for PS2, its pretty good. I feel cheated out of my money. If you pay 10 dollars US for this game, you should feel ripped off, I paid 20 :(. This game simply feels rushed and feels as if there was little to no play testing. Skip this one guys (and girls).

Final Ratings

Graphics C Game play D Sound C Interface B Stability C Offensive Content A

Overall D

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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