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Mixed or average reviews- based on 218 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 218

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  1. rpm
    Apr 16, 2012
    I have to say that I don't think some of these reviewers even played this game. To say that the graphics suck or that they look like PS2 or they are 5 years old?...that is ridiculous. I am about half way through this game and while there are aspects I am not crazy about I am having a very enjoyable time.

    1. Graphics - These are fantastic! In between battles I find myself just looking
    around at the beautiful elven gardens, snowy crags of mountaintops, creepy forest tangles, or the many other gorgeous environments in this game. My wife is playing the new Star Wars online and her game looks like a cartoon compared to this game. 9/10

    2. Story - I find it very enjoyable to have the story and characters from LotR existing alongside and at times intertwining with this game's story. I don't really care to replay the books or the movies, so playing this "side story" is perfect. I feel like I am contributing in a major way to the fight against Sauron, but not replaying a known story. This gives it some gravity and some mystery at the same time. 8/10

    3. Gameplay/RPG Elements - While not as complex and thorough as many RPGs I've played, there is enough to do when leveling up to customize your player character. You add to the usual stats and then get to select between 3 skill areas. You also get to customize wearables with gems, and there is plenty of loot so you will frequently be upgrading your armor and weapons. 6/10

    4. Interface/Controls - This is perhaps where I'd make the most changes. Basically, you select one of the three main playable characters for a section of the game, then as you progress through the game there are points at which you can choose to remain as the same character or switch to one of the other two. At first I did not like this approach, but after a while I grew to enjoy playing three different character styles. It creates more varied play and encourages those of us who typically play RPGs as one character type to try new types. One thing I would add to the interface screen is a progress bar to the next "switch" site so I would know how close I am to being able to change characters. Also, I became aware that you must play as a character to level them up and swap wearables. 6/10

    5. Miscellaneous - Music, sound effects, and voice acting are superb. Art design is perfect for the story...a great mix of realism and fantasy. The game has gotten quite challenging here about half-way through, though I'd say the "boss" fights are (oddly) somewhat easier than the rest. One "glitch" I have found is that the two characters you are not controlling actually use more advanced skills than when you are playing as that character. For example, when playing as the ranger I noticed the dwarf shooting exploding bolts. When next I plated as the dwarf I saw that this was an advanced skill I had not been able to select yet.

    Summary - This game was a huge surprise, and a very enjoyable one. I actually prefer more detail and micro-managing in my RPGs, but this game is great for what it is. It is a bit linear and lacks the depth of some other traditional RPGs, but makes up for it with fantastic artwork, great story, and challenging battles.

    Overall Rating - 7.5
  2. Nov 9, 2011
    I didn't like that Snowblind showed a teaser way back when they announced this game, and the elf used the bow, yet when you get the final product - the elf is not using the bow. The community didn't like that either, and Snowblind didn't listen to the community or bother to read their own forums. Thus the Elf is the Loremaster. Still, to be honest, the most disappointing aspect of this game is that there is no character creator/deep customization at all, which would have really made the game go over well with the fans, even if the critics don't know what they are talking about. One can hope they do add some other player models or customization options with DLC, but with the lay-offs at Warner Brothers, thanks to horrible reviews this site compiles, from critics who only played up until they got to Rivendell, any hope of DLC is slim.

    You see, if you play the game past Rivendell, watch the characters grow in levels and abilities, it's one of the best games you'll play in a long time. Like Batman Arkham Asylum/City is the best game of the Batman franchise, so is War in The North for Lord of The Rings. Now compare it to Batman and it's not quite as good, but for a LoTR game, it's the best one you can play. Forget the LoTRO MMO, since the developers make huge group content, yet not many people actually play their game, so you can't get anything done. This game is how LoTR multiplayer should be, in terms of a 3 person fellowship. The gameplay at a glance can be repetitive but once you unlock skills and new abilities for your class/character, you will see a whole new game appear. The characters also are not flat at all, as some amateur critics have said at IGN. They all have personality, though I must say Andriel seems to have the most, voiced by the same lady that did BloodRayne, E'Lara in Hunted and other games, she really comes across as a great character, as do most all the NPCs you will encounter. I also like the conversations you can have with the NPCS, because you get to ask the obvious questions people had of the novels/movies, such as "why didn't the eagles just fly Frodo to Mordor?"

    I also have to say this game is alot better than the Dragon Age games, or anything Bioware does. I will never understand how they got acclaim, when their maps are just plugged in sections of other areas you've seen before. In War in The North, every section is new and detailed. You won't see the same looking areas all over your playthrough like Bioware games. Graphics, sound and story are amazing in this game. Gameplay is fast and precise. There are no invisible walls or hitbox issues like some critics has claimed. Maybe they were reviewing the inferior console versions, but the PC version does not suffer from any of these issues. Both this game and Hunted: The Demon's Forge were excellent games. I think the critics just don't play them deep enough to understand. While I will be buying Skyrim, I am sure that game won't have an epic tale that LOTR does or the same caliber of voice actors this game does, if it has any at all. It doesn't even have multiplayer, which in this game works flawless.
  3. Nov 4, 2011
    Everything an avid RPG fan would want in a game. With highly advanced co-op play, and an amazing combat system, mixed with decent, upgrade able characters and a good story-line, this game is a MUST play!
  4. Nov 3, 2011
    An unexpected gem in the array of very much anticipated games coming out this year. Buying this game will mean immersing yourself in one of the most imaginative, fantastical, majestic and magnificent realms of fantasy ever created. With full license to all of Tolkien's books, from The Silmarillion to The Lord of the Rings novel-turned-trilogy, as well as the movies, Snowblind Studios does an excellent job of providing you with a deep narrative that runs simultaneous to Frodo's near impossible quest. In the process of doing so, the people at Snowblind also enrich your experience with Tolkien's world by providing deep lore and believable characters that the player may interact with (favorite among them for me is Radagast the Brown). Combat itself, the meat of any action game, is well done and provides enough entertainment that you will be more than happy to do multiple playthroughs (as I am doing now). While they could have added more variety in attack animations, such as left click (LC), LC, right click (RC) or LC, RC, RC, LC, the ways of customizing your characters from being a staff wielder or staff + sword wielder (Lore-master), 2-hander, duel wielder and/or bow + arrow shooter (Ranger) and 2-hander or sword + board and crossbowman (Champion), along with the loot system/reward system for quests, all provide enough interest to prevent the monotony that occurs with common action games. Indeed, the idea of integrating action with that RPG looting system is ingenious. But that is not the only RPG elements you may expect in this action-RPG. Character development is also a key component, and every class has different talent paths, assuring no one will be the same. For instance, on my first playthrough, I played the Elf Lore-master, a sort of semi-mage and/or support character. Generally I would have been expected to take the support route, but since at first I was soloing it, I instead chose to transform this "glass cannon" into a melee heavy, spell heavy killing machine. The result is that, while I could have had a skinny Elf throwing up "bubbles" to shield from ranged attacks and healing, or a puny Elf who flashes bolts of energy (?) from behind the roars of a Dwarf Champion, I instead became a knight-like Gandalf rolling and blasting her way into combat whilst hacking and smashing and severing limbs off with my sword and staff. The result in multiplayer was that my damage could compete with that of a Dwarf or Ranger.

    Of course, despite all the great things, a game can always be better. For War in the North, improvements could be in the looting system, where more magical items are more common. One disappointment is that even after spending five minutes fighting those massive trolls, the rewards were often mediocre and non-magical on normal difficulty. Instead, most of your equipment is white and has little effects on them. Additionally, in single player, the game is a one-person show, as the A.I. is useless outside of annoying the enemy and reviving you. As mentioned, more animations and variety could have been put into the melee, because the constant use of skills without drowning yourself in power potions does not open up until much later--and then only for those who have invested in the Will stat. But don't let these minor nuisances take away from this otherwise brilliant game. Instead, I recommend you find a buddy or two, each buy the game, and go have some great fun in arguably the greatest fantasy products of the imagination to exist.
  5. Nov 5, 2011
    I am going to amend my previous review and up it a point, due to some misunderstanding on my part. Concerning your AI teammates in single player, the AI takes care of its own so you don't need to micromanage them (though you CAN manually distribute level up points if you wish). The more I play this game the more I love it, though I must admit the first hour or two didn't impress me. It does get much better and Snowblind deserves better than some of the negative/mixed reviews I've seen. Keep in mind that this game is more oriented to action than classic RPG, though you can adjust stats and skills to customize your character. I can see now after having played for many hours that it would be so much more fun with human teammates rather than bots. Gonna try multiplayer in a week or so just to give the rest of the world a chance to catch up. For Tolkien fans , this is a must have. Expand
  6. Nov 15, 2011
    War in the North gives very enjoyable Co-Op good graphics and its yes LOTR.

    Co-Op is much more enjoyable then playing singeplayer as mostly is
  7. Jan 12, 2013
    The story is short and worthless, and there are very few levels. But the gameplay, fighting and all the other stuff is just amazing. They finally managed to make a lord of the rings game with some gore in it(you can chop off heads, arms, legs and there is lots of blood).
  8. Jan 5, 2012
    Combat is awesome, very fun with friends. Do not expect an MMO with this game, it is a basic 3rd Person hack and slash with an rpg front. It rocks, graphics are beautiful, and combat is very fast and a blast. Quite Frankly I have no clue why others dont like this game.
  9. Feb 13, 2012
    Overall, a fun game to play - great graphics, great hack and slash battles, and a s somewhat interesting story if you are at all a Tolkien fan. And it was great seeing another person's view on Tolkien - that is another reason why I recommend this game: I think it is a very interesting and beautiful interpretation. So, if you get a kick out of ol' hack and slashes, with some RPG elements thrown in, I highly recommend this game. There's enough of an RPG element to keep things going, and I must say I am hooked. So much for homework... Expand
  10. Apr 7, 2012
    I am very happy with this game and the game play. The story line is good the game play is challenging. It's a multi player RPG. You need to work together in Co-Op mode to get through the game. Single player can get tough at times and may seem that it takes to much time to defeat the enemy, but thats what makes this game fun to play, if you are up for the fight. The weapon system with swords needing repair is kinda annoying. But that is my only complaint Expand
  11. Dcy
    Apr 9, 2012
    This is a really good game, i had a very good time when i played this game with 2 more people, the spells and abilities could be better, but the story is very good and you can enjoy playing with other people and exchanging items, etc
  12. Jun 26, 2013
    Lord of the Rings: War in the North is an excellent hack & slash game, themed with tales of the Middle-Earth. Snowblind Studios did an excellent work with the story, not using the classic "Take the ring to Mordor". Instead creating a new story in the cold north, filled with references to the lore of Lord of the Rings and also the Hobbit. Also with great voice actors, cutscenes, talent trees combined with 3-player breathtaking combat and action. Slaughtering of the Armies of Sauron has never been more fun!
    But on the other hand, you should grab friends with you, because the AI companions aren't always the smartest or most useful. Overall: This is a great hack & slash with great story.
  13. Sep 6, 2013
    I bought this game not expecting much due to the many mediocre reviews. From the start, I was pleasantly surprised. This is one of the best hack and slash RPGs I've found, and is definitely worth a play. If you enjoy RPGs where you can level up, or are a fan of the Lord of the Rings series, I would definitely recommend this game to you. The combat is complex and varied, the graphics are great and the story line is very engaging. Expand
  14. Dec 16, 2013
    I ignored War in the North for over 2 years before picking it up on a Steam sale, and while the game is not without its faults, it has slowly risen to become one of my all-time favorite action-RPGs. First off, the game NEEDS to be played on a decent PC with a controller, as its console counterparts suffer from some ugly technical hiccups that ruin the experience, while the mouse and keyboard controls just aren't right for the third-person real-time combat. Also, it's very easy to dismiss the game in its first 3-4 hours, since you don't start to see the depth of its streamlined RPG design until you've leveled a bit. And lastly, the Lord of the Rings setting and characters are honestly just brand recognition and window dressing for what would have been a fine action-RPG under any other name. It's not like the concept of a male human, a female elf, and a male dwarf cutting down orcs and trolls is all that original in fantasy these days... and it doesn't need to be. Snowblind's games have always been this way; Dark Alliance and Champions of Norrath never really benefitted from or had a great impact on their respective D&D and EverQuest IPs, but they were good games nonetheless. In other words, don't play War in the North because it's Lord of the Rings. Play it if you like dark fantasy action-RPGs, as it handles its violent combat-driven mechanics very well. There are a few extras to be explored, from the occasional side quest and replayable areas laid out on a proper RPG map, to challenge quests and even Dragon Age-esque branching dialogue (though you're never really faced with consequences for those choices). The real fun is in unlocking skills that have a sizeable impact on your fighting style, and each of the three characters offer a fair amount of visual and stat-based customization. The only weirdness in customization is how your selected character reflects changes, while the other two auto-level and stick to preset builds when controlled by the AI. While they retain changes you've made whenever you actually play as them, they revert to the auto-builds whenever you switch. They don't lose your changes upon switching; they just don't use those changes when AI-controlled. That may seem confusing and odd to solo players, but it's obviously a design choice due to WitN's focus on co-op. It means that other players can easily drop in or out without messing with your saved builds, and it also means that you can sell any unusable equipment without having to hold onto it for another character. In the end, most solo players will stick to a single favored character anyway, so it doesn't matter that much. And on the flip-side of that point, WitN does offer an excellent cooperative experience for up to three players, if you've got friends willing to play it. The game also presents a fairly wide variety of locations and enemy types, drawing inspiration from Tolkien's lore even outside of the original novels or film adaptations. It's lengthy, too, as the game generally takes 20 hours or more for a story run (as long as you're not skipping the dialogue) and could easily eat up 60+ unlocking everything. And despite its length, the combat doesn't get old. In fact, it gets better the further you press on, and due to its moderately high challenge, it becomes quite rewarding. The ability to call on a great eagle for occasional air strikes or form a protective/restorative dome using the Sanctuary skill are particularly cool, and you'll often be left with a smile on your face after downing a massive wave of orcs. In the end, I have been pleasantly surprised by War in the North, and even if it shouldn't be placed in the same basket as Skyrim or Dark Souls, it serves as an enjoyable [and usually cheap] option for anyone looking for a solid action-RPG. Expand
  15. Nov 9, 2013
    This is a great coop game.. they made it more interesting by NOT following the main story and by showing us the struggles that took place behind what we saw.. and the other hero's that helped save middle earth.
    Game play is simple and that's a good thing.. when your mobbed with enemies and have 3 people fighting off everything from armored orcs to orcs with explosives strapped to their
    back and have to swap weapons quickly it doesn't need to be complicated. Graphics are beautiful and the story and side missions are interesting and all have the Tolken "feel" well worth playing. controls are very easy and many games have the same control set.. people are stupid. No customization? you might want to look around.. in the Prancing pony you can change face, hair, facial hair, eye color etc. your lack of intelligence doesn't mean something isn't there it means your too stupid to find it. Expand
  16. Apr 5, 2013
    In short, the low score given to this game is a shame. This game is so much fun with many upgrades and a lot of loot to be collected and used. The fighting system is nice and reminds me of Demon's Souls (block, attack, block and so on). But above all, this game immersed me quickly and I have difficulty in putting aside the controller once I start to play it. To hell with the graphics... If it reminds people of PS2, so be it. I used to love that machine. This game deserves a solid 8 in my book. But I'll give it a 9 because of the people cursing at it. In the meantime I played the game with some randoms and saw that they didn't have an idea about what to do. And I think people giving low scores are "mostly" of that kind (I mean, noobs...) Expand
  17. Sep 4, 2013
    No clue what these guys are playing. The graphics are nice (not crysis 3, but still), the hack-and-slash is fun, the storyline is avarage and i havent found a single bug or problem so....
  18. Mar 20, 2014
    As enjoyable as KOTOR but in Lord of the rings universe. Very enjoyable to play COOP with up to 3 players. I would almost say it's like a 50 hour MMO without any boring grind. Hero mode oddly feels very heroic.

    10/10 Because there are terrible games out there and this is not one of them!
  19. Apr 17, 2013
    My wife and I really enjoyed playing this game, the combat is fun, the graphics look great, the skill trees are rewarding, and I am really enjoying the story. The combat feels like a blend of the best of Skyrim and Warcraft. The only legitimate thing that could be said against it are the inventory system could be a bit more polished, the story could be longer and there could be more scope for exploration. These things are easily forgotten as you play through the game hacking the heads off orcs, eagerly awaiting your next level. I have had no connection issues. I thoroughly recommend the game as one of the finest co-op action rpgs out there.. Expand
  20. Apr 22, 2013
    The game has nice graphics and a setting rich in detail, but the fighting mechanics and physics of the player characters are unconvincing. Has a reasonable backstory, but at least consistent with Tolkien's world, with important characters (such as Elrond and Bilbo) making appearances on every corner. It's a fun game, but that was not to be overestimated.
  21. Sep 4, 2013
    Fantastic hack & slash game with great graphics & good storyline. If you are looking for a game with intense combat with an over arching LOTR theme then this game is for you.
  22. Sep 8, 2013
    Probably one of the best action RPG so far I have ever played in 20 years of gaming.
    Never experienced connection issues. The combat system is very solid, satisfying to play and fun.
    The story is well written, co-op doesn't affect gameplay at all, actually it improves the overall experience.
    If you are looking for a good 3rd person hack and slash you should absolutely consider buying
    It's like an old school golden axe experience, in Tolkien's world.

    It has flaws, but you'll pass over them after 1 hour of playing since they don't ruin the experience at all.
  23. Nov 17, 2013
    Really enjoyable, entertaining storyline, good gameplay. A great buy. The graphics are really good, and it gives you some background knowledge on the series. Good co-op and single player.
  24. Dec 3, 2013
    I'm giving this game a 10 just because of those people giving 0 just because they think for some reason the graphics are horrible. In fact the graphics looks pretty goof even now in 2013 and if you've a decent hardware the frame rate is realy fluid even with everything at max. This guy "drachehexe" says "You'll spend more time being revived by your allies than damaging your enemies." if you don't know how to play then probably yes but according to Steam I was playing 6 hours until now and I was revived one time only. He also says "your allies really do their best to block you path as you can't run through them, so you'll find yourself blocked." that's not 100% true, I mean yes they will block you sometimes and you can't run through them but the issue is so simple as hit the "space" key and you will do a roll that it will go through them so it's not really a problem.

    The game is not perfect of course (and I would agree that LOTR deserves a better game in the line of Skyrim), if you want an rpg in TES style this is not what you should look for but still it's an enjoyable game.
  25. Feb 23, 2014
    I think this game will appeal to fans of the hack and slash genre. More so if you have a passion for the works of Professor Tolkien. The game focuses on events in the Northern part of MIddle Earth and the gameplay is set at the same time as Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring are travelling south towards Mordor and Mount Doom.
  26. Nov 1, 2011
    This game, while it is an Action RPG, focuses a lot more on the action aspect than the RPG. Sure there are RPG elements, cool weapons, cool armour, you can level up, sidequests and all those fun things, but at its core War in the North is an action game.

    The combat is smooth and simple, and while it is a little repetitive to start off, soon you unlock special attacks and moves that break
    up the simple button bashing.

    The graphics, while not incredibly, are pretty enough that you won't feel the need to criticize them.

    By biggest problem with this game is the AI.

    The AI does a decent job of working with you if you choose to play offline, but more often than not I found them off in the distance, ignoring the group of enemies wailing on me and beating one single enemy into submission.

    Thankfully the game has very few bugs and runs very smoothly on my middle-end pc. I highly recommend this game to Action fans and LOTR fans.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. 68
    War in the North is a hack and slash with some RPG elements and co-op, all assembled around one of the most beloved media licenses today, but with all this going for it, it simply doesn't manage to stand out. Sadly, it's just another product that tries to blend some popular elements, but with no true support or personal identity.
  2. 70
    Attractive world of Tolkien's imagination brings "forgotten" adventure of three heroes aside from the main story – the true magic of the game is hidden in the 3-people cooperative play. [Christmas 2011]
  3. Jan 12, 2012
    Not without issues, but as The Lord of the Rings games go this is much better than most. [Feb 2012, p.84]