Thanks to this game, fans of the Middle Earth games, and Tolkien’s fantasy world now have something to rejoice about on their smartphones as well. The game does feature quite common features and a not so rewarding gameplay mechanism, but it is the sheer lore value that kept us hooked for quite a while.
To start off, you’re playing as Talion with Celebrimbor by your side in an advisory role. You’re introduced to the chops of the game through a tutorial that rewards you with an additional hero upon its completion as well. The game tries to keep true to its AAA counterpart- at least the way it presents the campaign to you. You have to conquer strongholds by defeating a hierarchy of orcs – which you do by passing through multiple levels for each orc. Before starting each level, you get to choose up to four heroes from your roster, which can comprise of famous characters from the series like Lady Galadriel, Gandalf as well as characters from the rest of Middle Earth lore. At the end of each such series, your party gets to fight the actual orc warlord and depending on which one you chose upon your victory – you can either slay or enrol them into your ranks, to be available to deploy in a later fight.
To be honest, strip the Middle Earth lore away from this game and you’ve pretty much got a standard, pay to win-ish mobile action RPG that is energy based and can be made significantly easier if you pay for the in-game currency. Heck, you even have a luck-based ‘Palantir’ that rewards you with hero glyphs or special scrolls of experience, power etc every few hours. Even when it comes to actual levels, the game plays by an auto-attack mechanism, and you mostly get to move your heroes around, make them focus on one particular enemy, and use their special abilities. But that being said, the game isn’t just a slapdash combination of a standard mobile game with a rich, popular lore. The details make you stop and take notice.
For instance, one particular warlord will have a sticky bomb ability and would be particularly dangerous to hover around for too long, one particular hero would be a ranged magic-based attack character because they had a similar background in the original story, and so on. It’s the discovery value that keeps you going. Give this one a try if you’re a fan of the LotR, the Hobbit or anything that has anything to do with Middle Earth, even if you don’t know jack about the AAA title.
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Crash..boom..crash!!! That's the sound of an extraterrestrial cyborg being knocked down mid flight. He is still not completely functional, and while he fixes himself, you might find him engulfed in humanity's most addictive invention - what you call "gaming". After all, its the only thing that simulates his dimension so well. Please note - Do not engage, not unless you come bearing food.