E3 2010: The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest PreviewBy Jake Gaskill - Posted Jun 18, 2010
What We Already Know
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest is a family-friendly take on the classic novels and feature films that lets players relive the most famous moment from the LOTR trilogy.
What We’re Seeing Now
The first thing that catches your eye when you see Aragorn’s Quest in action is the art style (I only saw/played the Wii version, so I can’t speak for the other console versions, specifically the PlayStation 3 version with Move support). Warner Bros. Interactive have taken a decidedly more stylish direction with the title than EA did with their LOTR movie tie-in titles, and to its benefit. Not only does the style fit with the whole kid-friendly approach, but it also reflects the storybook nature of the game’s narrative, which unfolds according to Samwise Gamgee’s exaggerated retelling of classic LOTR moments.
My hands-on time played out in a portion of the famed mines of Moria where Aragorn and company must fight their way through waves of enemies and eventually take on a towering Balrog. The controls are pretty straightforward, with the nunchaku used for your shield, bow, or a torch and the Wiimote used for your sword. Aragorn has an appropriate list of motion-based attacks like shield shunts and devastating sword strikes, and while they are essential in battle, they also help access hidden passageways and solve puzzles.
Given the collaborative essence at the heart of the LOTR tale, it’s no wonder that the game supports jump in/jump out co-op. The second player controls Gandalf, and can either lend their hand in combat or heal other characters in need of assistance. The only somewhat awkward part of the co-op was the camera. Since you can’t control the camera when two players are on screen, it was hard to target enemies or see where I was going.
Still, the gameplay itself was enjoyable, and even though the game has a more colorful and stylish look, the epic nature of the source material, from the characters to the settings to the enemies, appear to be intact. We’ll find out just how successful the lighter-hearted take on LOTR is when the game releases later this year.