|The Lord Of The Rings: Aragorn’s Quest|
|Developer: TT Fusion
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Release Date: Out Now
It’s fair to say that a few years ago the world went a bit Tolkien crazy with Peter Jackson’s blockbusting and surprisingly decent film adaptations of the famous novels. Whilst the fans wait for the upcoming Hobbit film (now with Jackson confirmed for the director’s chair) developers TT Fusion have brought us their gaming take on one of the more popular characters with Aragorn’s Quest on the PSP.
Narrated by Sean Astin, who played hobbit Samwise Gangee in the films, the game is split up into 17 chapters all recounting highlights from Aragorn’s exploits in the trilogy. With such a rich world and cast of memorable characters it’s a great shame and a missed opportunity that the developers decided to only focus on the one character. It would’ve been nice to switch at key points within the story.
Underlying everything is a light RPG system where kills and completing tasks will level up your character. Levelling up dishes out ability points where you can buy special attacks (with names such as Isildur’s Vengeance) which can then be mapped to the D-pad for quick access during combat. These attacks all use the morale meter, which can be replenished again by completing tasks or picking up morale in chests dotted around the environments (wouldn’t this be great in the real world?)
Visually the character models look okay but the animation is decidedly stilted and the environments you’ll go through are rather bland and lacking in detail. The developers haven’t even bothered to put in any of the other characters to fight alongside you – a major part of the LOTR experience in my opinion. All you get is a speech bubble at the bottom of the screen with the odd bit of dialogue telling you to look out for incoming enemies or traps from them. It may have been too much for the PSP but some kind of ad-hoc co-op mode would’ve been a great idea. I would happily play through the experience again with a friend if only the option were there.
LOTR: Aragorn’s Quest is a missed opportunity to bring the much-loved trilogy to the PSP. The ingredients are there for a decent hack-and-slash RPG but the repetition and lack of variety cripple the licence. Not one of the PSP’s best additions.
- The music is faithful to the films.
- If you’re a fan of the fiction there might be something to sustain interest.
- Sean Astin is a welcome narrator.
- Repetitive button-bashing gameplay.
- Bland graphics, poor animation and general lack of polish.
- Unimaginative in pretty much every way.