Metascore
61

Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 48
  2. Negative: 7 out of 48
  1. Nov 1, 2011
    86
    While a few things could use some revision work, overall this game is a masterpiece for Tolkien fans and shouldn't be missed.
  2. Nov 2, 2011
    84
    The fun of co-oping through Middle Earth with three unique characters overshadows some of the game's shortcomings, making for a very enjoyable game that I'm happy to recommend.
  3. Nov 1, 2011
    80
    Lord of the Rings: War in the North is far from perfect, but it's an incredibly well-balanced beat-em-up.
  4. Nov 10, 2011
    76
    There's something here for you guys who like the general approach of solving problems with a whole lot of sword-swinging, experience upgrades and looting – but the gameplay gets a bit worn the longer you play. So is the story enough of a draw to push this into the buy column for you? How about the prospect of having a game experience you and your friends can share? If neither of these things would push you from the undecided column to the must-buy column, approach this one with a bit more trepidation.
  5. Nov 21, 2011
    75
    It's a genuinely good game with a lot to offer both Lord of the Rings and action-RPG fans, and it definitely has that "Snowblind" (Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance) feel to it. As long as you go into it expecting a diamond in the rough, that's exactly what you'll find.
  6. Nov 6, 2011
    75
    The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is a fun but flawed experience.
  7. Nov 2, 2011
    75
    War in the North is a solid game that has some challenging battles despite of the bad AI. The game can't stand up towards other big releases during this time of the year, but the three player co-op will keep fans of the franchise and the genre busy for many hours.
  8. Nov 2, 2011
    75
    A solid action RPG with plenty of loot to collect. I really got a sense of Champions of Norrath the more I played it, and wanted to continue grinding, which is uncommon for me.
  9. 75
    War in the North is hardly the most memorable adventure through Middle-earth, but you won't regret any of the time you spend fighting across its grim battlegrounds.
  10. Nov 1, 2011
    75
    What keeps me coming back to War in the North is the fact that the game does a remarkable job of divvying out loot. Enemy drops, breakable items, and eager shopkeepers are all there to make sure that you always have a consistent IV drip of high-fantasy swag at your disposal.
  11. Nov 6, 2011
    72
    Lord of the Rings: War in the North isn't the most innovative or original experience you will play on the Xbox 360, yet the co-op gameplay is very enjoyable. I can certainly see many gamers sitting back with their buddies enjoying mashing away through the games many levels while living out their LOTR fantasies.
  12. Oct 31, 2011
    72
    The hack 'n slash category isn't exactly thriving on consoles these days, so if you've been hard up for a cooperative loot bonanza, War in the North is worth sinking a weekend into. Its lack of variety and polish, however, makes it hard to imagine it having any sort of longevity.
  13. Dec 23, 2011
    70
    It's a comfortable Action RPG that makes up for its shortcomings with addictive fun, cool three-player co-op and a goddamned giant talking eagle. Just push a few boundaries and hire a scriptwriter next time Snowblind, please.
  14. Dec 9, 2011
    70
    Apart from the three player co-op, there's not much to recommend about War in the North. Fighting the same enemies over and over again gets old fast, especially as they take way too much damage for the combat to feel satisfying. [Dec 2011]
  15. Nov 18, 2011
    70
    War in the North is also quite a lengthy game, which although sounds great on paper does work against the overall experience.
  16. Nov 12, 2011
    70
    It has some good ideas, but it falls short in depth and developing an interesting story. It's an enjoyable game, but it should have been much better, as it seems to lack the faith to try some new things or further develop the main characters.
  17. 70
    When it works it really works well and its attention to the canon and lore of the Lord of the Rings is phenomenal, but it does too many things poorly to put it in the same league as a game like Dark Souls or The Witcher 2.
  18. Nov 2, 2011
    70
    The tale may not be as finely crafted as Tolkien's, but it's reverent of his work and worth experiencing – just keep in mind that you'll have to kill a lot of orcs to do so.
  19. Nov 1, 2011
    70
    A perfectly competent beat-'em-RPG, even if it doesn't do much to carve out its own niche in the Lord of the Rings universe. Its strength and weakness is that it's completely inoffensive -- the perfect middle-of-the-road game. Unfortunately, it's hard to see what helps differentiate War of the North from the pack, and the pack is where it's apt to stay.
  20. Nov 1, 2011
    70
    While it doesn't reach the heights we wished it would, War in the North is still a solid experience with more than enough content to justify checking it out. The combination of action-packed combat, RPG elements, and iconic Tolkien vibe make it worth a look for anyone looking for a bloody good time, even if they don't typically care about the stories of Frodo, Gandalf, and the rest of the fellowship.
  21. Nov 1, 2011
    70
    While it's admirable that the team had opted to create an original story set alongside the events in the books, you'll wish that they had attempted to take more risks with the project. The characters are bland and lifeless, and the combat, while fun at first, gets pretty repetitive before too long.
  22. Nov 29, 2011
    69
    The hacking and slashing game is enjoyable enough over short stretches, but you'll inevitably wish that there was more to the game than that.
  23. Nov 14, 2011
    68
    There are some undeniably cool settings and promising combat mechanics, but the experience doesn't have the depth to draw players through to the end of the campaign.
  24. Nov 28, 2011
    67
    War in the North is not a bad game, but it is an average one.
  25. Nov 22, 2011
    65
    Although the story is original and its combat and roleplaying gameplay is a good idea, there are things that doesn't work well. Roleplaying elements are well-made, but they are not that important, and combat lacks depth, and the enemy AI is limited. An average game that won't make history.
  26. Nov 22, 2011
    65
    It's by no means perfect, but Lord of the Rings: War in the North is still one of the better games to come out of the franchise, particularly if you play co-op. If you've been missing middle earth you're bound to get some enjoyment, just be prepared for it to be a little rough around the edges.
  27. Nov 10, 2011
    65
    The story is decent at times but fails to compare to the magnitude of the original books' story. Leveling up and getting new gear is fun, but the combat becomes repetitive quickly.
  28. Dec 9, 2011
    63
    An new take on the fiction, a genre I thoroughly enjoy, and a designed-for-co-op experience; this should have been a home run. But, robotic animations, sometimes bland voice work, invisible walls and ignorant enemy AI sucked much of the life out of it.
  29. Nov 15, 2011
    62
    When it works (and when you have friends to play with), the game is a perfectly average hack-and-slash RPG. However, the laundry list of aforementioned issues not only hold the game back, but inhibit it to the point that it's not fun.
  30. 60
    Lord of the Rings: War in the North is fine for a few hours of jolly good fun, but once you realise that the game has played its hand early and really has nothing else to offer then the lustre is soon lost. Poor AI, boring combat and pointless quests all add up to a disappointing game that would be better off dropped into the fires of Mordor.
  31. Dec 1, 2011
    60
    Saved by the co-op mode, but this is a repetitive action RPG with quite a few bugs.
  32. Nov 25, 2011
    60
    In short doses and with a good team, War in the North is not without its compulsive charms.
  33. 60
    While New Game+ lets you restart the adventure with all of your gear and experience, there's not much variation to the storyline, and the light RPG conversations add little in the grand scheme of things. That said, if you're aching for a solid, fun co-op game, War in the North might be worth a stab.
  34. Nov 11, 2011
    60
    A decent little distraction, but it's out during a period when "decent" distractions should be low on a gamer's list of priorities.
  35. Nov 2, 2011
    60
    Too many frustrations interfere with the joys of killing orcs and collecting loot in The Lord of the Rings: War in the North.
  36. Nov 29, 2011
    58
    Overall, the entertainment is there, but usability is lacking.
  37. Nov 1, 2011
    55
    I can only say one good thing about War in the North: It could have been awesome.
  38. 52
    There's a fair amount of content here, but it's tedious and repetitive enough that you won't want to play it for very long.
  39. Jan 29, 2012
    50
    This isn't too bad for a couple of hours of button hammering with two friends. [Issue#118, p.112]
  40. Jan 10, 2012
    50
    The flaws are just too much to look past. [Issue#80, p.82]
  41. Dec 5, 2011
    50
    In small bouts and when playing with friends, War in the North is not devoid of any redeeming features. Compared with the big RPG of the moment, Skyrim, it comes off seriously lacking, but by offering mindless multiplayer fun and split-screen, it manages to carve its own niche and save itself from being instantly consigned to the bargain bins. Give it time, though.
  42. Lack of imagination and repetitive combat send this hurtling into Mount Doom. [Feb 2012, p.96]
  43. Nov 21, 2011
    45
    War in the North, by being a blunt object of a hack-and-slash game with a facile story and an aversion to genuine characterisation, adds itself to the long list of Lord of the Rings games that just aren't Lord of the Rings games.
  44. Feb 22, 2012
    40
    I might have had less aggravation if I had a dedicated group of other players to go through the game with from beginning to end, but I wouldn't ask any of my friends to pay full price for The Lord of the Rings: War in the North. Thankfully, since War in the North was released after Dark Souls, before Skyrim, and on the same day as Uncharted 3, there's a good chance the game is already in the bargain bin for a fraction of the MSRP.
  45. Nov 24, 2011
    40
    A soulless cash-in that has little to do with its license, and nor is it much fun in its own right. If you're lucky enough to not encounter any game-breaking bugs and if you have a friend or two to play with, then it can be pretty entertaining for a few hours. But that's a lot of "ifs" for so little payoff, since overlong levels and axe-sponge enemies inevitably whittle this dungeon crawl down into a slog.
  46. Dec 6, 2011
    33
    War in the North never quite manages to exceed in neither gameplay or presentation. Ultimately, lackluster environments and repetitive combat make for an experience that seems out of place in the world crafted by Tolkien. Even if Lord of the Rings precedes the title, War in the North does not live up to the level of quality set by previous franchise media.
  47. Nov 27, 2011
    30
    The Lord Of The Rings is yet again denied a decent tie-in, with this desperately uninteresting and half broken action role-player.
  48. Nov 7, 2011
    25
    Lord Of The Rings: War In The North is rooted in epic literature, but it has miserably low narrative standards.
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 90 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Nov 1, 2011
    9
    don't believe the negative hype... not a "perfect" game by today's standards, but then again, today's standards mean, take a genre, streamline the hell out of it, add shooting, action, a little puzzling and a dash of RPG and never make the gamer read anything... this game reminds me a lot of the Baldur's gate dark alliance games snowblind made for the PS2. i love the game, yes it has some bugs and yeah i'm seeing lots of mediocre scores, but this is the first time i have played a game at launch from the time i picked it up until morning, since dragon age origins.

    the gear system is great, you see a nice visual treat every time you find gear and it does a real service to the LotR lore. all gear is crafted by either an area or a race. like dwarf armor has a certain style to it, or swords made by men of bree etc... again, very much like DAO here, it feels like a real world of artisans have been pumping out gear for your survival and enjoyment. and you never have too much to deal with, its the perfect amount of gear to sell and upgrade without ever feeling overwhelmed... and you never have so much gold that you can buy anything and everything you want, the game has a nice amount of difficulty and a great finesse combat system thats very rewarding. do yourself a favor and AT LEAST rent this. i can't wait to play some more tomorrow!!!
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 8, 2012
    9
    Loved this game! My wife and I played it right through on co-op and I have to say this is the best co-op experience we've had next to Borderlands, even though they are very different games. This game is faithful to everything in the Lord of the Rings world and totally immerses the gamer in this exceptionally beautiful and at times dark and sinister world. I really don't understand why so may critics did not rate this game more highly as the characters are solid, the graphics are gorgeous, the game play interesting and the story is compelling and ties in nicely with Tolkien books. I would give it a ten but the game is a little short. Sadly with the mainstream gaming websites critics poor reviews they probably have ensured that we never see a sequel or any DLC for this awesome game. Full Review »
  3. Nov 1, 2011
    10
    This game is the best in the saga of The Lord of the Rings, for all: atmosphere, graphics, sound, length, fun ... some people say it is very repetitive, they do not understand, really. Great game. Full Review »