Who’s your favourite Lord of the Rings character? Frodo? Samwise? Legolas? Gandalf? Aragorn maybe? Well your in luck as The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest gives you the chance to play as Aragorn and take part in the epic battles and relive adventures which made the Lord of the Rings trilogy so engrossing. You can also use the Playstation Move, so it’ll be interesting to see if much satisfaction can be generated from slicing up an orc or two.
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest story takes place a few years after the end of the last film. Peace has returned to Middle Earth and Samwise has started a family within the confines of The Shire. King Elessar (i.e. Aragorn) is visiting The Shire and Samwise needs to organise a festival to honour the king. Funnily enough Samwise has named one of his children Frodo, who needs to help his dad in regards to preparing for the festival. At the start you play as Frodo who is required to help in the construction of the festival and you have to complete a series of simple tasks that act as a tutorial. The main part of The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest is reliving the adventures of Aragorn through the story telling of Samwise Gangee. You play as Aragorn and have to progress through the various battles that took place in the trilogy such as Helm’s Deep. There is a lot of fighting on offer interspersed with the odd fetch or escort mission thrown in. Just like the films there are a range of environments to travel through and various goblins, orcs etc to despatch.
Graphically the characters are made up of a cartoonish design; it looks a little out of place especially if you’ve played the Wii version, which The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest has obviously been ported from. You’ll quickly realise that this is a game which does not push the PS3 to the limit. Some of the characters, such as Gandalf, are exaggerated versions of the film equivalent, but then someone like Aragorn is represented by a design which is more lifelike. This lack of continuity between the designs of the characters can make you feel somewhat disconnected at times. The backdrops are quite varied which goes well with the story telling and there is suitable enough content to keep you busy as you progress through as Aragorn. The epic battles you would have possibly read or seen before are replicated very well onscreen as you witness huge amounts of characters fighting in front of you. You may be pleased to hear that much of the soundtrack from the films has managed to make it onto The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest. Sean Astin is onboard as well, voicing Samwise Gamge,e which is an impressive inclusion. Many of the other voice actors employed sound very close to their movie counterparts and help involve you more in the story as you recognise voices and feel at home.
Navigating through The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest for the most part is fluent, however the poor, over-the-shoulder camera angles employed can leave you swinging blindly, especially when running backwards. In the co-op mode the camera becomes more akin to a third person point of view, which should have been used in the single player campaign. The second player takes the part of Gandalf, who being a wizard is able to perform spells which are needed to pick up certain items or unlock chests surrounded by magical barriers. The Playstation Move feels more sluggish than it should be when trying to perform slashes and strikes. Bearing in mind many of the quests are action orientated, the dual shock controller may be a better recommendation. The battles are mildly entertaining, but you can tell that The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest is aimed at a younger crowd.
Overall The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest is a decent game that has several obvious flaws. If you had a choice between the PS3 or Wii versions, then you should go for the latter. The co-op mode is quite clever, whilst the Lord of the Rings story is as good as any plot ever conceived, but The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest lacks a certain amount of involvement and razzmatazz to make it worth more than an hour’s worth of your time. If you’re a big fan of the Lord of the Rings, then Aragorn’s Quest may give you a few hours of fun as you play as arguably the trilogies’ best character. For everyone else, play the Wii version or just find that Lord of the Rings box set which has been lying around and watch it via your PS3.
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