The Lord of the Rings
The Third Age

Format: PS2
EA Games

5 030930 039547
Age Restrictions: 12+
05 November 2004

Explore middle-earth as you build your character from lowly adventurer into a living legend. Battle Orcs, Mumakil, and the mighty Balrog, picking up devastating weapons and powerful new abilities along the way. Build a party of like-minded fighters to aid you in your quest and fight alongside your favourite heroes and villains from the films...

Having exhausted the plot of The Lord of the Rings movies, The Third Age puts a new twist on the franchise. The game is set in Tolkien's famous and familiar environment known as middle-earth and runs parallel to the events that unfold in the books. But, this is a new story packed with fresh characters and events, but also allows you to crossover into the familiar events of the books as you play out familiar events and meet well known characters.

The graphics look the business and everything, from creatures to weaponry, is incredibly detailed. Cut scenes (over 100, apparently) from the movies are interwoven into the action and look fantastic. But if you think you'll be just going through the motions of the movies, think again - this will certainly represent a new experience for Tolkien fans.

The music is lifted straight from the movies, which helps to add to the atmosphere. The main emphasis of this game centres on battles. Those Final Fantasy fans out there will notice a similarity between the gaming mechanics of Final Fantasy X and this game. In fact, it's so similar that anyone who dislikes Final Fantasy games (I'm sure there some out there somewhere) should steer clear of The Third Age.

A well polished and presented slice of middle-earth life. Certainly EA Games best Lord of the Rings game to date.

Nick Smithson

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