|PS2, GC, Xbox
| The Good
Fast, yet deep battle system
Game looks and sounds just like the movie
Lots to unlock
| The Bad
Not that long
Cutscene models look weak
Based on the film adaptations of Tolkien's The
Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, this
action title allows players to use Aragorn, Legolas or Gimli
to battle their way through certain portions of the story.
For those unfamiliar with the movies, or their literary source
material, the story is about Frodo the Hobbit, who must travel
into the dark Mordor to destroy an all-powerful ring before
it's master reclaims it. Along with Frodo is a band of men,
including Aragorn the ranger and Gandalf the wizard.
The game is broken up into missions, where each mission is
set at a stage in the story. Often, the mission's goals are
straightforward and usually involve just getting to the end
of the stage alive. Certain missions end with boss battles
that can test the player's mastery of the battle system's
techniques. During combat, you will gain experience for dispatching
enemies - the faster and more efficient you are, the more
experience you gain. At the end of the mission, you can spend
the experience towards new combination attacks or powerups
of that character's stats.
Combat is fast and furious. Players have a fierce and a fast
attack, along with an effective and even necessary block move.
You can also kick enemies and even jump a step back. Holding
the L1 button brings up a distance attack weapon, be it a
bow or throwing hatchets. The controls are crisp and responsive,
which is a necessity as combat is often one huge adrenalin-filled
melee where the player will have to fight quickly. Instead
of just hammering attack buttons over and over, players will
need to use a variety of techniques and combos to survive
each mission. If not, you may be spending a lot of time dying.
Visually, the game looks really sharp. Levels have lots of
details packed in that really aid in drawing the player into
the game. Detailed textures and some really nice lighting
effects show off levels that feel like they're pulled straight
from the movies. Animations from the main characters to even
the lowliest minion are smooth and fairly realistic. Every
character has a fine level of depth and detail. During certain
sequences, you'll be amazed by how many people are on screen
at once with very little in the way of slowdown. Both water
and particle effects are well done. Cutscenes are a mixture
of movie footage (including scenes from the upcoming The
Two Towers film), highly-detailed CG-sequences used to
transition from film to game and the occasional in-game cutscene.
Unfortunately, the sequences done with the in-game models
look rather clunky and are the only part of the game that
really feels weak in the graphics department.
As with most EA games, the audio portion of The Two Towers
is finely done. The music is powerful and works in favor of
the game's concept. Voice acting is pulled straight from the
films, so not only is it accurate, but it doesn't suffer from
a poorly written script or weakly delivered lines (which can
happen when you take professional actors from the set and
put them into a studio).
While the combat is well done and the game both looks and
feels like the electronic representation of the movie, I can't
help but feel the game is shackled by the fact that it is
a movie tie-in. The game is short - roughly around five hours
long. Even though there are three difficulty levels and you
can play through with three different people, the fact that
there is very little exploration and most levels are simple
in structure and goal will leave most gamers wanting a lot
With a lot of media and extras to unlock, fans of the movies
and Tolkien in general should give this one a play through.
The action is quality and the story is told, even if in small
portions and with very little in the way of depth.