There was a time when The Lord of the Rings was just a book; now it's a billion-pound industry churning out films, merchandise and games. The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers is EA's foray into the realm of Middle Earth, and they've chosen good old-fashioned hack-'n'-slashery rather than offering up the RPG that most gamers might have expected. You choose one of three characters of the fellowship of the Ring--Aragorn, Legolas or Gimli--and guide them through 16 missions of mêlée combat, where you use your superior fighting skills (and combinations of buttons on your controller) to beat back the hordes of Sauron. How you fight is very important: the rating system resembles that of Devil May Cry, and the more daring moves and perfectly executed combos you pull off, the more points you get at the end of the level. The more points you get, the more you can upgrade your attacks, weapons and defensive tactics. Although it bears the name of the second film, the game includes set pieces from Peter Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring too--Aragorn beating back the Ring Wraiths at Weathertop, the battle with the goblins in the dwarvern caverns of Moria, plus the Battle of Helm's Deep and more footage from The Two Towers. There isn't much more to the game; it looks great, provides a good dose of action and is well executed, and it's obvious that a lot of thought has been put into capturing the feel of the films. It's woefully short and most gamers are going to breeze through this in less time than it takes to watch the special features on the Fellowship of the Ring DVD. But if you're a fan of the film or love a bit of mindless button bashing, then this is a good tie-in. --Kristen Bowditch
- Enter the pastoral world of Middle Earth where strangeness and magic abound, and danger lurks in every twilight shadow
- As Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas, you'll be encouraged to balance and utilize each character's unique moves, skills, and weaponry in order to complete your quest
- Use strategy and magic to fight your way past Orcs and monsters as you make your way to the Cracks Of Doom
- Fully interactive 3D environments that will immerse you in the magic of the Silmarillion as you journey to fight the ultimate battle against evil!