The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

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  • Summary: Return to Middle-earth in the only video game based on the epic final chapter of the highly-acclaimed The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Developed using the same digital assets as the films, The Return of the King re-creates in stunning detail the final events of the War of the Ring. Become the heroes who determine the fate of Middle-earth as you traverse the haunted Paths of the Dead, defend Minas Tirith from the onslaught of thousands of Sauron's minions, and even play co-op multiplayer with a friend as you march against the impenetrable Black Gates of Mordor. Eight playable characters, including Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Sam, and Frodo with exclusive voice-over provided by the films' actors. The fate of Middle-earth is in your hands. [Electronic Arts] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Takes everything The Two Towers did well and improves upon it in every way.
  2. 89
    They have concentrated on distilling the best action they can out of Tolkein's, (or should that now be Jackson's) masterpiece and presenting it in a well executed package. Lord of the Ring fans could surely want for nothing more this Christmas.
  3. You often feel like you are taking part in some vast battle, man and beast fighting all around you. It’s the kind of fighting game that sometimes almost drives me to get a console, and I wished showed up on the PC more often.
  4. With all the action and unlockable DVD-like special features, this is not only a good game that drags you right into the movie, it's also a fantastic supplement for die-hard Rings fans. [Feb 2004, p.70]
  5. A fairly decent third-person action game, only mildly bungled by some not-so-great camera perspectives, long-winded cutscenes, and a tendency to go overboard with the shear number of enemy forces directed at you at once.
  6. Has terrific graphics but suffers from clumsy gameplay.
  7. There’s too much replaying of banal levels over and over again until you learn enough button combinations to survive long enough to reach a checkpoint. Sure, there are a few good moments – the sheer scale of the halls of the dead, and the backdrop of hundreds of charging orcs during some of the battle scenes – but the braindead playing of them renders the whole experience futile.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. RogerK.
    Jan 23, 2004
    I think it is great my brother gets frustrated over it because we can't beat the crack of doom but the rest is great.
  2. MarkK.
    Nov 14, 2003
    Return of the king is a great challange. It's lots of fun and it's hard to stop playing it. My friend has it too and he thinks it deserves more than 10 out of 10. Expand
  3. KikkeliM.
    Dec 8, 2003
    Very, very enjoyable in multiplayer-mode... With my friends, we have hacked so many enemies with big grins in our faces and some times yelled to each other... Anyway, A Plenty to Play For your Money... We Totally recommend this game, but not for single-player. Expand
  4. ChristopherT.
    Jan 5, 2004
    It's an overall good game, very replayable if you have a friend to play with and if you play the multiplayer-mode... but this game based on the film so I can't expect much from single-player which is too short. (The movie is awesome btw.) Expand
  5. Aug 7, 2012
    This isn't a great game, but it definitely has its moments. It's pretty fun to slaughter hordes or orcs and other enemies--especially considering the scale of some of the battles you find yourself in--and a reasonable challenge to keep your cool and remember the various combos in the middle of battle. However the game does suffer from a terrible checkpoint system and sometimes-abrupt swings in difficulty. All in all, it's a worthwhile game for any LOTR fan who doesn't mind some button-mashing. Expand
  6. TruePlayer
    Mar 21, 2004
    If you love frustration, this is your game. I've played many different types of games but this one is the most frustrating game I played thus far. First, if you're really, really, really, really, good, you must finish an entire level before the game is saved. There's not saving the game in betweens. So, say you played for hours but not finished the level, then you're our of luck. You have to start the level all over again. Then, if you did manage to save the game but did not finish the level and decide to get back to it later and "load" the saved game, guess what, you're starting all over...not where you saved the game, no, they don't make it easy for you...not at all. Your only option is to "finish" each levels, that is if you're very, very, very, very, very, and really, really really, really, good. I've made it to defeating the Undead king so far but its running away from the falling rocks that's pissing me off....I have to restart the level if I get killed along the way. Don't waste your money and time on this game...find something else. Unless of course you love frustrations and you think I'm full of it...well, in that case, find out for yourself. Expand
  7. tiredplayer
    Mar 21, 2004
    If you like frustration, this game is for you. There's no way to save the game in between. So, you must play the entire level before a save is done. And, if you did manage to finish the level and got a save, when you tried to "reload" to continue, guess what, you have to start the level all over again. I don't know how some of these guys are rating the game so high. Perhaps they're playing the "Easy" level. I'm playing the "Normal" level that I normally do for all games I play. This game just doesnt cut it for me. It lacks user control. Don't waste your money and time on this game unless you think I'm full of that case, go buy and find out for'll be sorry. Expand