On December 13, 2001, the first part of The Lord of the Rings was released: a movie trilogy that revived interest in Tolkien and the fantasy genre as a whole. These movies became a powerful source of inspiration for game designers, so powerful that it doesn’t dry up to this day, and both creators of live casino games and more versatile titles look at this universe as an inspiration.
Here are the most interesting and iconic creations of the game industry connected with the history of the Magic Rings and the world of Middle-Earth.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
First after the release and resounding success of The Fellowship of the Ring was Vivendi Games. The resemblance to the film was a distant one, but the lack of copyright material from the recent movie adaptation allowed the company to implement the storyline of the game based on the book source material. This sets it apart from most of the other games in the selection and makes it the first of its kind. We move through the story, switching between the three playable characters, Frodo, Aragorn and Gandalf, who could be considered the classic trio: stealth thief, warrior and wizard. Combat is diluted with enjoyable and unobtrusive quests that allow you to learn more about the world of Middle-Earth and to meet and talk with secondary characters, like Tom Bombadil and Goldilocks, whose line was absent from the movies, or Frodo’s evil aunt, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS
Electronic Arts joined the race a little later and immediately began with the second part of the film trilogy: The Two Fortresses. Here, thanks to the contract of the developers with New Line Cinema, everything in accordance with the film, though, despite the name, the plot of The Fellowship of the Ring is still laid in the first five missions and cut scenes. However, we can’t expect to find any more meaningful quests or an opportunity to talk to NPC because the game is primarily designed for battle scenes. The main game characters are three: Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, but you can also play, for example, Isildur or Gandalf; each has its own tactics of combat and skill branch, which can be upgraded for game points.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
While The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers remained unavailable to PC owners, The Return of the King corrected that omission. It’s still a solid action game that’s great for relieving stress by shooting, burning, chopping and piercing spiders, deadbeats, trolls and orcs of all stripes. The game leads through the story through video clips from the original movies and neatly leads us through three story arcs: Gandalf, Frodo with Sam, and Aragorn with Legolas and Gimli. After the final quest, new available characters, such as Faramir and Eowyn, are unlocked, and as we pass, the developers offer bonus videos about the making of the game as a reward. A movie trilogy cast was involved in the voiceover, and along with Howard Shore’s music, it’s a plus hundred points from fans.
With the release of The Return of the King, all three movie niches are closed, but Vivendi Games decides to step into the unknown and take the events of The Hobbit as the basis of the new game, Tolkien’s book, considered a prequel to The Lord of the Rings. In this sense, The Hobbit was born. This was a game in the genre of 3D-platformer, bright and original, but like many platformers of that time, not perfectly adapted for PC. The situation is saved by the gamepad. However, even its absence will not prevent true fans to appreciate the colorfulness of the game and a nice line of quests, where, besides the main (which incidentally accurately repeats the events of the book), there are several side events.
In the course of the story, Bilbo changes weapons, improves marksmanship skills and stealth, solves puzzles and, of course, deals with enemies, of which there are many varieties, and so, during the twelve levels. There is no sad book denouement, the game ends with the search for Arkenston, a series of simple but interesting problems of logic and reaction speed.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: WAR OF THE RING
Since Vivendi and Sierra Entertainment only owned the “book” rights, their games follow the events of the source material, not the movie. “Warcraft in the Tolkien setting” is how War of the Ring is usually described. And yet, even now it can become something great not only for nostalgic gamers, but also for fans of quality soundtracks, original art style and elaborate game dialogues.
The core of the game is traditional: building a base, accumulating resources, and hiring an army to defend against enemies and attacks on other people’s bases. Notably, you can choose sides from the start: Darkness or Light, and thus look at the same events from different angles. The story is not about the events of the trilogy, but takes in the focus of side branches, such as the capture of Gollum in Lycholessia or the battle with the trolls in Eriador. Different modes are available for play outside of the campaign, such as “Destruction,” where you only need to destroy enemy buildings to win, or “Hunger,” with survival on a map devoid of resources.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE BATTLE FOR MIDDLE-EARTH
Electronic Arts continues to dispose of the rights to the materials of the film adaptation at its discretion, using the images of characters, location design, voice-over from the cast of actors and the original soundtrack to create a real-time strategy.
As in the previous strategy game, War of the Ring, here we immediately choose a side -Darkness or Light- and act as the force that will decide the outcome of their struggle. The action covers the battle part of the Lord of the Rings storyline and, omitting the arc with Frodo’s journey, for the light campaign begins already in Moria, and for the dark, in Isengard. The game is full of liberties taken by the creators to please the genre: Sam, wandering in spider caves along the way, frees Gondorians captured by spiders, and archer elves are freely based in Gondor barracks.
LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS AND LEGO THE HOBBIT
Truly lampooning and mind-blowingly funny games have conquered not only different gaming platforms, but also the hearts of fans all over the world. Lego LotR and Lego The Hobbit go hand in hand as they share a common style and gameplay. Staying true to themselves, Traveller’s Tales (the creators of Lego games) have filled them with pleasant humor and interesting cameos, provided them with a non-booty interface and the opportunity to play as one of almost 200 (for a total of two games) characters.
The plot repeats the events of Peter Jackson’s films almost frame by frame, but traditionally for Lego games, offers the player an open world and a story divided into chapters. There are 16 chapters for The Hobbit, and 18 for The Lord of the Rings. The main quest is accompanied by many side quests, and the wandering and resource-gathering gameplay is nicely diluted with simple puzzles and building elements.