“Where are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? That have passed like rain on the mountains, like wind in the meadows. The days, come down in the West, behind the hills of shadow.” Just a tidbit from the greatest epic in the English language ever written, The Two Towers. If you hate reading, read it anyway and you will see why libraries and bookstores are still in existence. Peter Jackson carefully translated this into film, in which turned heads from Harry Potter. Finally, EA translated it once more, which actually breaches some of the sales of Vice City in December 2002. It has even cut in on some playing time of my favorite titles, and is definitely a keeper. If you haven’t play it, its for the PS2 and rent it NOW. The power of Sauron commands you! Although it suffered a few flaws, it made us wonder if it had indeed broken the “Hollywood Curse.â€?

This curse refers to the results when trying to make a game based upon a movie, which is usually dog-coaster material. Games such as “The Mummyâ€? and “Minority Reportâ€? do nothing but back up this claim. But EA actually focused some time and energy into the key aspects, and because of the inter-laced movie/visual graphics, we were pleasantly surprised. But after only about 8 hours time, we were left with cramped hands, bulging eyes and fingers that twitched in our sleep. Why? We wanted more! Well, as I’m sure all know, EA is currently drawing out the plans for its next title, “Return of the King.â€? Vice City accepted suggestions from fellow gamers, so perhaps EA might see what kinds of masterpieces that that produces. These are some following things that I would like to see in the next game that seemed to lack in Two Towers. Also, send me your suggestions by E-mail and I’ll put them up every week!

(1) LONGER! I think 50-60 missions is reasonable, a fair contrast from mere 14. I know that the movie didn’t have these many battles, but Peter Jackson added some creative liberties, and so should they! They should add some battles that they think should have happened, and some brand new ones.

(2) More character features: Like on TFC, you should have to pick your class before battle. If you are long-range archer, you are safe from danger and just need to keep back the hordes. Infantry, commander, catapultist and even ranger (in which you find ways to vanquish you foes, such as finding and destroying a dam to flood you enemies) should all be available.

(3) Different Characters: Sure you have the great three, but what about Gandalf and the riders of Rohan? What if you wanted play as an Orc, Urak-hai, or a Cave Troll, or to be Lord Sauron himself, and rule Middle Earth with a fist of fury (that is until you have a carpentry accident and lose your ring finger!)

(4) Weapons? I think that EA was rushed for this feature, because you really should change weapons and have more animations with them. How about crossbows, maces, spears and huge torches?

(5) Not so linear! Seriously, I have rode rides at the carnival that were more off the track than this. You can’t even turn around that much in some places. Middle Earth should be loaded into a huge map like in Vice City, in which a map guides the heroes from place to place, and loading checkpoints trigger a new adventure. Thus, the choppiness of the first one is done away with, and you can trudge through swamps, hike through forests, wade through rivers and snipe Mordor’s forces from afar.

(6) More moves: I think we all enjoyed the cinematic bane moves fro the first game, and we would like to see more. Perhaps a great, sweeping move to nock out a wave of enemies is necessary, especially for Gimli.

(7) Interacting with your environment: jump, climb, kick and chop to your advantage. It seems as if running was your only option in the first game, and I believe our heroes are much more versatile than that.

(8) More gore: It’s not that necessary to the game but necessary for realism. In all my time hacking my way through thousands of orcs, all I saw was one little spurt of black blood. These clean, almost robotic movements do not do the book nor movies justice.

That’s it for now. Send me your suggestions and I’ll have them put up here pronto!

By Douglas Brinius – 02/06/03

Screenshots for Lord of the Rings: Return of the King