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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: The War For Middle Earth, from GameInformer, July 2002
article and scans from Danielle

The Fellowship of the Ring was easily the best movie of 2001 no matter what the Academy says. Sure, A Beautiful Mind has super-hottie Jennifer Connelly, but that's no reason to pick it over Peter Jackson's perfect recreation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy series. especially since The Lord of the Rings filled the babe requirement with Liv Tyler (yum!) and nowhere in A Beautiful Mind did we see Russell Crowe's main character John Nash fight orcs or cave trolls, which disqualifies any movie immediately, as far as we are concerned.

Electronic Arts obviously agrees with us, because this November that other movie won't be getting a game, and The Lord of the Rings will. Since this adventure is coming out at the same time as The Two Towers, it will focus primarily on the sequel. However, since developer Stormform didn't want you to miss out on a chance to experience the best scenes from the first movie, about 40 percent of the game's 16 levels will recreate some of the highlights - including the Ring Wraith encounter on Weathertop and also the Mines of Moria.

Unfortunately, EA didn't have the time to create a massive RPG like we all would have wanted in time for the sequel, but they have given us the next best thing -  an action game where you get to kick Sauron minion butt with either Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli -  each featuring their own fighting styles.

Knowing how sophisticated Lord of the Rings fans can be, Stormfront shied away from the game being pure button-masher and added in various attack combos, the ability to increase character attributes, killing blows, and many parry moves to make the battle tactical. For example, some of the Ur'Kai wield shields that will stop any attack. To counter this, you must use a strong attack to destroy their shields before any of your combos will land. Of course, since you will be taking on hordes of enemies at once, wise use wise use of the block/parry is essential. get surrounded by attacking enemies and its an animation feast for eyes as characters counter blows form all directions.

Its easy to brush off this rendition of the series for being a brawler, but fans of the movies will quickly see that its much more than that. It's an experience. From the Forest of Fangorn to the Plains of Rohan, the action is always heated and the experience is really brought to life by the beautiful scenery and fluid animation. We doubt any fan will be able to put the controller down once they find themselves fight side by side with Gandalf, Frodo, and Borimir in the Mines of Moria, or slaughtering orcs with Gimli while defending Helm's Deep. We know it sent shivers down our spines.

Style, 1-player action; Publisher, Electronic Arts; Developer, Stormfront Studios; Release, November