The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

The box art for the (so awesome) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 game based on Peter Jackson's production of the movie of the same name. It follows the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, and is about the journeys of Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas as the aid Frodo on his quest to destroy the Ring of Power at Mount Doom (the exact plot is on this word).

I remember I got this game for my 7th birthday (I know, I know, it's weird, but I'm working right now), and I still continue to play it from time to time, because it is so insanely epic as a whole.

It is, in its essence, a hack-and-slash game where you have to battle your way through, with the occasional need to rescue someone or keep someone safe. As a big fan of fantasy games, Lord of the Rings, and video game battles, I love this aspect of the game the most. In fact, it's this kind of thing that got me so interested in medieval warfare and swordplay (that, along with this game's sequel).

Another thing I like about the game is its conforming to the actual movie that it's based on. There are some times (especially with animateed movie games) when the game will drift away from the original plot completely, to the point where playing won't give you a sense of what happened. Not so here, my friends, not so. Having watched the greater part of this movie, I can tell you that what happens here is about as close as you can get to the first telling. This is something I like in games based on movies, because it gives you the same experience as actually watching it, but as a bonus, you get the joy of playing yourself. When you fight your way through the forest of Amon Hen, you really feel it's happening, and that is too awesome for words.

The gameplay and controls for this game are awesome; in fact, that's really what this game trades on in the end. Just like the sequel (Return of the King), this game has all sorts of different combos, including bane moves that you can pull of by parrying an attack and then pressing the stab button, to immediately finish the opponent uninterrupted. Still, the combos were done much better in the sequel, because they were more realistic and great to look at (not to mention the fact that they were the ones I would always practice in real life). The basic format is still there, though, so you can get the same basic experience playing either game, which is the kind of consistency that I look for.

A big issue with the game is the lack of co-operative play. Every single level in Return of the King had the co-op option, which my folks and I thought was epically awesome, being huge lovers of the game. This game, despite being on the same platform, doesn't have the co-op ability, perhaps because it wanted to echo the plot better, but it was kind of a disappointment that you could play alone, and no other way.

This game also has very few characters to choose from. There's Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas (who looks a mess here), and Isildur is unlockable, but he's just a more powerful replacement for Aragorn (he wasn't even voiced differently). If they had added in Gandalf or even Frodo as a playable character, it would have added a whole new aspect to the gameplay and tempted you to play through the game again with the new character.

However, speaking of the levels, they are amazing and for the most part much more challenging than in later titles. This is because in some levels, you had to protect characters more, and even protect objects (like doors) in the later levels, to correspond to the battle of Helm's Deep at the end. I also love the fact that there were Palantir-like levels in this game in the form of towers, where you took a character and had to battle through 20 levels (waves) to reach the end, usually for some awesome unlockable content. Suffice it to say that you will play the middle and beginning levels over and over for the fun of it, and the later ones to test your limits (although sometimes way too severely, so that you know), leading to an all-around fantastic gaming and fantasy experience.

For the earlier time when this game was made, it is a total gem, and if you're a fan of The Lord of the Rings, you really have to get it somehow, or at least play it once. Moreover, if you like a good solo hack-and-slash, this will be a delight for you, and it's worth a total buy.

P.S. Congratulate us on our 90th page!