The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 29th Oct 2011
The saga told within the multi-book masterpiece called The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy epic that was written by academic and author J. R. R. Tolkien, who was a philologist and a professor at Oxford University.
Created as a sequel to his earlier, far less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit (1937), The Lord of the Rings eventually developed into a much larger work that was created in stages between 1937 and 1949, with the bulk being written during the height of World War II, at a time when Tolkien admitted that the nation and the world was badly in need of a fantasy world to retreat into that did not include Hitler, Stuka dive-bombers, and war.
Statistically the Ring sage is the second best-selling novel ever written, with well over 150 million copies having been sold, and only the Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities selling more copies worldwide. You may find it fascinating to learn that the third best-selling novel in the world is another of Tolkien's books -- The Hobbit.
Due to the popularity of the story and its huge fan base, there have been many interpretations over the course of the past sixty years, including book translations, television shows, and movies, with the most recent taking the form of video games.
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is the 26th video game to be made based upon the LotR saga since 1982, and while it is in good company, it is also one of the best interpretations as a video game ever made, largely due to the fact that it presents a unique and interesting original story and adventure rather than rehashing the events from the books.
Created as an Action-Adventure Role-Playing Game, War in the North includes versions for Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, and its story is based upon the events taking place in the northern regions of Middle-earth in the background of the main story of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings; specifically it bases its interpretation off of the Peter Jackson film trilogy universe rather than that of the books.
In War in the North the player takes control of a one of the three protagonist hero characters -- the other two can either be NPC's controlled by the game or can be played by other human players via the Internet, giving gamers the option of playing through the campaign mode of the game alone or cooperatively with two friends.
Character development in the game includes an XP-based leveling system, as well as character-specific skillsets that must be leveled up, and like all really good Action-Adventure RPG titles, includes a progressive loot system and the ability to improve both weapons and armor through looting treasure chests and corpses, as well as "found" items in the game in addition to items that can be purchased from NPC venders.
War in the North is a quest-based game with a primary and secondary story line, and while it is a rail-based game, a great deal of latitude has been built into it with respect to how players accomplish the set goals that are part of play. One of the more unique play elements is the ability to "find" additional quests as a product of looting chests.