2/03/02 - Latest News
Gaming Haven Latest News

Media Watch: PC Zone Magazine
Xoanon @ 9:51 pm EST

From: Legoland

I'm writing to say that the March issue of UK gaming magazine PC ZONE has just come out with a two-page preview of the LOTR game. Please find attached six small scans from the article. The text reads:

“If you're not one of the biggest fans of orcs and wizards and people shouting “For the glory!“ every 10 minutes, 2002 probably won't be the best of years for you. You've already had to put up with the boy Potter and his media omnipresence last year, but that was giant rat feed compared to the phenomenon that is The Lord of the Rings. As we all wait for the second film in the series to arrive later this year, Tolkienites will be able to keep themselves amused with the virtual incarnations, currently massing at the gaming world's borders like some dark army bent on conquest.

“You may have been aware of the various legal shenanigans surrounding the games, but to bring you up to speed: EA has the licence to create games based on the three films (none of which have yet been revealed) while Vivendi/Sierra/Universal/VU Games/Whatever it calls itself this week has the right to create games based on the actual books. So just to be clearer than a man made of clingfilm, today we're looking at the Universal titles.

“The plan is quite an ambitious (and potentially very lucrative) one. At least eight games spread not only across the three books, but also across just about every current gaming platform known to man or elf. And if they just happen to come out around the same time as the films, well that'll just be pure coincidence we're sure.

“Presently Universal has confirmed two of the titles and hinted at two others. Sadly the confirmed titles are just an isometric RPG on the GameBoy advance and a third-person action/adventure romp on the Xbox, but the indications coming from our sources on the inside suggest the Xbox game will bear more than a passing resemblance to the PC version.

The Fellowship of the Ring takes the players through the first of the books, either in the hairy feet of Frodo, the pointy hat of Gandalf or the, er, cloth britches of Aragorn. You'll be journeying from the cramped huts of Hobbiton to the dizzying heights of the bridge of Khazad-Dum, sticking closely to the first 14 chapters of the book. You'll be pitting your wits against Orcs, Ringwraiths, the Balrog and (maybe) even Gollum.

“The other biggie is the MMORPG. Not much in the way of details yet but fans of odd-shaped dice and lead miniatures will be thrilled to hear that it's to be based on the tabletop Middle-Earth role-playing system. Which combats the problem of making something open-ended out of an inherently linear setting.

“It's unlikely we'll see the PC titles before the end of this year, but hopefully Universal will get them out in time to surf the wave of hype that's set to follow the second film. No escape for hobbit-haters then.“