The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
|The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers|
|Developers||Stormfront Studios, Hypnos Entertainment|
|Platforms||PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance|
|Release dates||October 21, 2002 (NA)
November 8, 2002 (PAL)February 13, 2003 (JP)
The Two Towers was the first Lord of the Rings game to be based on the film trilogy. It featured 'the three hunters', Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn, each playable from the start with their own pros and cons. Although it was based around the film, certain parts did differ slightly, such as encountering Trolls in Helms Deep and Fangorn forest. It received good reception from critics, especially since it was a movie tie-in, grabbing 8.3/10 from IGN.com (PS2). As for sales it performed excellently, with a platinum version being released on the Playstation version.
The game is a hack and slash adventure. Each character has a ranged weapon and melee, all with their own animations and strengths. At the start of the game the player doesn't have many combos to play around with, so will kill using fierce and light attacks, along with their ranged weapon. Chaining together attacks and blocking successfully builds up a combo meter, if this reaches the top then you enter 'perfect' mode, in which every kill grants a 'perfect' amount of points. This is essentially a scoring system, with rewards for players able to chain together combos and attacks effectively, resulting in a higher score, which can then be spent on abilities and combos at the end of the level, such as greater ranged damage. Your hero, whichever of the three, will level-up through the course of the campaign, giving access more combos.
The combat relies heavily on these combos, as specific enemies may require a certain combo to kill, or may be weak against a certain combo. An example would be 'Sheild-breaker', a combo that when performed correctly allows the player to dispatch a shield bearing enemy quickly. However, more powerful combos, suited to stronger enemies are often harder to pull off.
Boss battles are a classic affair, of learning the pattern and then using the right timing to defeat the big baddie. These fights are often quite challenging, and will require at least a few retries. Nearly all boss battles are heavily reliant on ranged attacks, compared to standard combat which is much more orientated on melee fighting.
The next mission is far outside Moria, which is also from The Fellowship of the Ring. The player then follows the Fellowship's progress through the Mines, fighting the famed cave troll and goblin hordes, and then to Amon Hen where you dispatch Lurtz and his Uruk-hai. This ends the first part of the game, or the first book. Next is the journey across the plains of Rohan, tracking the hobbits, to Fangorn. The company travels into the woods just like in the films, however you are confronted by numerous enemies, namely Orcs and Trolls. After finding the hobbits are safe the company sets out for the Westfold, where Uruks are laying waste to the villages. In the film the company rides straight to Edoras, but here they attempt to stop the Uruk-hai in their pillaging. After their heroism in Rohan, Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn escort a refugee convoy to Helms Deep. On the way they fight a marauding group of Warg riders, and slay the leader Sharku. The final level is set in Helms Deep, holding out in wait for Gandalf and Eomer. During the defence the player fights on the deeping wall, as seen in the film, and then has to defend the gate to the inner castle from orcs. The final battle is outside the Hornburg, in a last defence.
The handheld version of the Two Towers was quite different to it's console counterpart, although it still recieved good reviews. It plays from a top down perspective, much like Diablo. The hack and slash element still exists, although there's no such thing as combos, and only one type as physical attack. Like the console version it follows the Fellowship from the first film all the way to the end of the second, taking the player to famous locales such as Moria and Helms Deep. However it does tell the story on a deeper level, through use of text and images from the movies. More characters are on offer too, Gandalf and Frodo among some others. Developing your hero throughout the game is quite flexible, as the player 'levels up' they can spend points in various attributes, as well as purchase new special skills and improve them. Each character has different special skills and base attributes, adding a factor of replay ability.
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