The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age Image
Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age roleplaying game is an epic quest in which players take on the roles of new characters choosing their own path through Middle-earth while interacting with the heroes and villains of the trilogy. Based on New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson's acclaimed filmThe Lord of the Rings: The Third Age roleplaying game is an epic quest in which players take on the roles of new characters choosing their own path through Middle-earth while interacting with the heroes and villains of the trilogy. Based on New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson's acclaimed film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age videogame allows players to adventure through Middle-earth, building a party of heroes as they journey. Players battle on the side of the Fellowship, but can unlock additional encounters where they fight on the side of Sauron as they progress. In the game, players interact with the characters of the Fellowship in a unique structure, taking on individual quests while intersecting the major events of the film trilogy that drive the story forward. Parties traverse through both familiar and seldom-glimpsed locations, using an innovative turn-based battle system as they fight, encountering the demonic Balrog in the Mines of Moria, defending the fallen city of Osgiliath, or trying to destroy Helm's Deep. [Electronic Arts] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. With a familiar world to explore and many ways to do so, you play The Third Age over and over.
  2. 88
    It’s not quite the free-range RPG that we’ve been hoping for where we can prance along the fields on horses playing as Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli permanently, but its close enough to make for a great game.
  3. 80
    The game lacks the complicated character advancement common in the genre, but it's fast-paced, looks and sounds great, and will keep casual RPG and Lord of the Rings fans happy.
  4. While the game does a nice job of allowing the player to view Middle-Earth, it just doesn't seem to work well in other areas.
  5. As for size, the game suffers because it lacks the depth of its competitors, but it still manages to offer more playable hours than the previous three EA Lord of the Rings releases.
  6. games(TM)
    70
    Sadly, the adventure itself is far too linear; there’s little in the way of side-quests, and you have no freedom over where you go or what you do. If you can overlook this, though, The Third Age does mix a neat battle system with a great franchise to provide a surprisingly enjoyable adventure. [Dec 2004, p.107]
  7. 40
    The characters and the trials they face simply aren’t cut out for the game they inhabit, and the game feels shallow and incomplete as a result.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Jun 14, 2012
    10
    Picked this game up again after 7 years and it still feels fantastic. It aged well and I am having just as much fun with it this time around.Picked this game up again after 7 years and it still feels fantastic. It aged well and I am having just as much fun with it this time around. Buy it. Just do it. Expand
  2. TiffaniR.
    Nov 23, 2004
    10
    I love it!!!!
  3. John
    Jan 2, 2005
    10
    The best RPG to date.
  4. Gamejunky
    Nov 17, 2004
    9
    I liked this game a lot. It was just what I was after - An rpg set in middle earth. There are probably of course better rpgs out there (that I liked this game a lot. It was just what I was after - An rpg set in middle earth. There are probably of course better rpgs out there (that of course depends very much on rpg tastes) , but I thought this one did a good job. If you like the movies alot and like the idea of a more streamlined rpg, odds are you're really gonna like this one. It's combat is turn based which is something I really like since you can never get the same level of strategy in real time combat as you can with turn based. Somehow the combat feels exciting but doesn't seem to get too repetitive since there's alot of different variety in how they mix up the different monsters which makes it so you want to always change your strategy based upon situation. A good description of the combat is think of recent Final Fantasy games. It's very similar. If you like your RPGs to be very micro management and numbers oriented, there's a chance you may not like this one, but if you like the idea of an RPG that's fast paced (minimal downtime and upkeep etc), easy to pickup, and has many of the monotonous logistical aspects done away with, you'll probably like this one a great deal. They basically made an RPG here that leaves in the fun aspect of what makes an rpg great, but got rid of the micromanagement and maintanence aspects. The emphasis here is exploration, and straight forward combat. There is of course still logisitical aspect there, but they're not overdone to where you spend more time number crunching, scientific testing etc, but instead just pick up the controller and lose yourself in the adventure. Expand
  5. AdamL.
    Sep 18, 2007
    9
    I hate turn based games with a passion, I played too many hours of final fantasy in my younger days to not be burnt out on it. That said, I hate turn based games with a passion, I played too many hours of final fantasy in my younger days to not be burnt out on it. That said, this game pulls it off nicely, and the gameplay is fun enough. Certainly worth a try. Expand
  6. EricJ.
    Jan 7, 2005
    9
    I'm not really a fan or RPG's but god damn is this a great game. Probably due to me liking LOTR the movie soo much, but also I'm not really a fan or RPG's but god damn is this a great game. Probably due to me liking LOTR the movie soo much, but also probably due to this being such a good game. I recomend this to anyone who likes RPGs and to anyone who doesn't, I think you'd like it. Expand
  7. Mar 26, 2017
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The things Lord of The Rings: the third age managed to get right, namely it's fairly decent (though inconsistent) graphics and RPG mechanics, are severely overshadowed by atrocious storytelling, lazy writing, and generally unlikable characters.

    The Game has you playing with your own little fellowship; Berethor, an edgy jerk from Gondor who has a Morgul curse on him making him even more annoying and edgy, Idrial, who is basically Arwen if she got friendzoned, Elegost, a ranger who's just kinda there, Hadhod, who's basically Gimli if he was a bit more emo, Morwen, who's basically Eowen if she didn't get friendzoned and used a pair of axes instead of a sword, and Eaoden, who is a massive troll.
    Your little band of heroes travels through many iconic Lord of The Rings locations, such as the Mines of Moria, where you fight the Balrog with Gandalf, for, some reason, Helms Deep, where the major plot twist happens, Osgiliath, where the OTHER major plot twist happens, Minas Tirith, where the background looks like somone scrubbed fecal matter on a field and said, "this is an army", the Pelannor Fields, where Mumakils will either roll over and die, or confuse/paralyze you until you roll over and die, and where Aragorn tells Berethor he bows to no one.
    Then go fight the Eye of Sauron atop Barad-Ur, and watch as the game just ends after you kill him.
    As you can tell, the story moreso resembles a bad fanfiction than the Lord of The Rings story.
    And if all that wasn't enough for you, play Evil Mode, where you get to kill the heroes over and over again.

    The gameplay becomes very tedious and boring as there are relatively few enemy types, and they mainly throw upgraded versions of the same thing at you with little variance.
    One other glaring issue is the relative lack of NPCs throughout the game, with only a few areas having any, almost none of whom contribute anything to the plot whatsoever, there is also a total lack of shops, all equipment is looted from the areas you travel through.

    All in all, this is a sub-par game with a few redeeming qualities that just don't make up for the time that it takes to slog through to the end.
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See all 19 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

#48 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#27 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004