The Lord of the Rings: War in the North developers discuss the best way to smash an Orc

the lord of rings war in north developers discuss best way to smash an orcJ.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth is a big place.  But more than that, thanks to a nearly obsessive amount of information, it is a place that is steeped in history and lore.  Thanks to the books and movies, many people are familiar with the story of Frodo and the war against Sauron, but all but the hardcore fans are are aware of the several other story lines that were hinted at, yet never explored.  One of those stories involves a small group of heroes fighting their own war in the North, in a second front against Sauron. That is the story that will be featured in Lord of the Rings: The War in the North.

“With his far reaching right hand Sauron might have done great evil in the North. Yet all that has been averted because a handful of heroes stood in his path.”

From that quote by Gandalf uttered in passing, a new adventure has been created featuring three characters: a human ranger, an elf and a dwarf. Each character is not only playable, but upgradable, and each character begins with their own advantages and disadvantages. The ranger is balanced, the elf is exceptional in ranged weapons, and the dwarf is a brawler, plus all three can find equipment specific to them.

Part hack and slash, part RPG, the game features both single-player and co-op gamplay, which can be played both online and off. The game will also be big—very big. Several locations will be exporable, hidden locations will be sprinkled throughout, and interaction with non-playable allies will unfold via a dialog tree that can lead to more information, new areas, or nothing at all.

After unveiling an early playable demo at GDC, it is safe to say that the developers have spent a great deal of time designing the look and feel of the sections of Middle Earth you will travel through. As the name suggests, the game takes you to the North, an area mostly undiscussed in the trilogy, but steeped with history recounted in The Silmarillion. The region was once the home to many great cities, as well as the kingdom of Numenor, which was destroyed long before the events of The Lord of the Rings. In other words, Snowblind has a rich history to delve into for the setting of their game. It is a mostly unknown section of one of the most well-known stories in modern times, so expect this game to receive more attention—and more scrutiny—as the release date approaches.

In the video below, the developers discuss the gameplay mechanics involved with the fighting. The key point is the ability to selectively attack individual sections of an enemy. If you hit a leg, that leg will come off. Same goes for an arm, which makes a headshot a fatal blow immediately.

Check out the video, and look for The Lord of the Rings: War in the North for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 towards the end of the year.

{Warning: The following trailer may not be suitable for all ages}


The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' is one of the hero's best movies ever

One of Spider-Man's most memorable big-screen adventures, animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse simultaneously feels like nothing we've ever seen before and a tale that feels familiar in all the best ways.
Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.

New Xbox consoles are reportedly code-named ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox plans reportedly consist of two separate consoles. One, called "Lockhart," is a more affordable machine, while "Anaconda" is designed with more horsepower.