The Lord of the Rings: War in the North Previews

We have a couple of new previews for Snowblind Studios' action-packed hack'n'slash set in the Middle Earth, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, which seem in line with the generally positive impressions the game has garnered so far.

The Escapist:
War in the North is a three-player cooperative action-RPG with loot, an enjoyable combat system and a original storyline with moral choices. The game is a hack-n-slash, so repetition is inevitable. Like all good entries in the genre, WitN avoids fatigue by stringing the player along with new loot, ability unlocks and addicting combat.

The three players choose between an elf, dwarf and ranger. Each has their own play style, but perhaps they aren't as distinct as they could be. I was disappointed to find that running head-on into combat was more effective than long-distance archery, while playing as the ranger.

The player has a weak and strong attack which can be strung into combos; striking with a strong attack while an enemy is dazed results in an execution and extra xp. Cooperative play makes the waves of enemies manageable, but also helps players level-up faster with additional xp given for co-op combos. Incentives like these make sticking together the best choice, even when one player gets annoyed at another for hording all the item drops.

Basic gameplay is exactly what you'd expect: you have a strong and weak attack that you can combo together with special strikes that will tear your opponents to ribbons in the close range. New to War in the North is ranged combat that comes in an FPS-style container. If you hold the left trigger, you raise your bow (or other weapon) and start firing into the masses. I was playing as the ranger, so my long range attacks were rather effective, but I could also dive directly in to the melee and strike enemies down. Aside from the special abilities, you also have the power to call down a giant eagle unto your enemies, something that I used to take down trolls in the demo. There was truly nothing spectacular about this game, and it's just about as far from avant-garde as you can get, but the game was just quite FUN.