LotR: Return of the King Demo

A demo for Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is now available after appearing on the cover-mount CD from the new issue of PC Gamer magazine. The demo allows the player to assume the role of Gandalf in one level from the upcoming cross-platform action adventure. The 83 MB download can be found on 3D Gamers, Computer Games Online, Filerush (Bit Torrent), Gamer's Hell, Jucaushii.ro, and Worthplaying.
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62.
 
Does everyone hate it?
Oct 22, 2003, 08:54
62.
Does everyone hate it? Oct 22, 2003, 08:54
Oct 22, 2003, 08:54
 
I'm an old fart now by most gamers standards. I am 33 years old, and have been a computer programmer (that's what we were called when I began - not developers or engineers) for 13 of those 33. I have never owned a console of any description, and have long shunned 'frivolous' games, my favourites being RTS titles (not EA's mad rush varieties, but ones like Sudden Strike), chess titles, and war games (yes, with the painfully boring - to most - hexes).

However, I am also old enough to have carried with me a childhood love of Tolkien's works, so I took a look at this demo. I love it! I went out and bought a gamepad today while getting some lunch. A gamepad! I never thought I'd own such a thing, ever.

I agree with some of the posters about braindead activity being fun every now and then. I stay up late on a regular basis, coding (for my work) or studying (I will study part-time for the rest of my days, god-willing).
When you've just spent 2 or 3 hours doing calculus after a busy day at work and a few hours with your 4 year old son, and you're well into the wee hours of the morning, you don't always want a game that requires your full concentration. I find a quick session (like with the demo) makes for a good break, relaxing my mind and making it easy to begin the next study session.

Now, I know there are lots here who don't agree. That's to be expected (nothing is liked by everyone), but surely there are quite a few people who do like it (I have seen a few favourable posts, but it looks like the minority).

Perhaps it's an age thing. Go ahead and flame, I'm been around too long to care about forum comments. When your 4 year old son says he hates you just because you won't let him watch his 'Finding Nemo' DVD at 11PM for the 4th time in a row, you learn to ignore all disparaging remarks.

Someone asked what the 'E' key (use) does. Well, I have found that if you stand near the burning bins with those long sticks (spears) in them and press the key, Gandalf will pick one up and hurl it at an enemy in the general direction you are facing. Of course, if you are facing a wall or corner devoid of life, he will happily hurl it there too. These bins 'recharge' too, so you will find spears 'regenerating' while you're off running around.

I have not managed to 'shoot magic' over distance from his staff though. This is a ranged attack and I assume it requires that you make use of the ranged attack key. Anyone know how this is done?

Sorry for the lengthy post, got carried away, better get back to work...

61.
 
Re: Plays like the first game
Sep 22, 2003, 23:33
61.
Re: Plays like the first game Sep 22, 2003, 23:33
Sep 22, 2003, 23:33
 
Actually, I agree that there is room on the PC for shallow, instant-gratification games ... it's called Bejewelled and Sticky Balls ( ftp://ftp.zedtwo.com/sticky.zip ). PC gamers tend to expect more deep gameplay from a game they're paying $50+ for, even if those games usually degrade to braindead tactics since they always seem to be the most effective regardless of what high gameplay techniques are in place (but that's another discussion).

As for the utter lack of deep gameplay in PC games, that's our fault as gamers as much as it is the fault of the publishers and developers. GBA is extremely easy to develop for as far as overall risk. Quick development times, simple graphics, and low cost (plus massive installed user base) make GBA games more likely to try new things. PC games and "triple A" console games tend to stick to the rule "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" which usually turns in to "lets do the same game we did last time, but with less energy in making that gameplay seem unique." We crave super duper graphics in our games, which takes a long time to produce and eats up the budget for what would otherwise be used for playing around with new gameplay ideas. Most games can't afford to be in production for longer than a year or two at most, so often the artwork side of things starts as soon as the project does leaving little time for anything but cut and dry games. Only those few "big" names that have the money to try something new ever do, and those games usually bomb bad (Sims being one of the few exceptions) which lead to those big names just retreating back to what got them big in the first place.

As gamers, we've been spoiled by such amazingly polished games that every time one comes out that doesn't look like freshly polished crystal we instantly disregard it as being a shoddy product. Those games that try and dig deep and do something new and exciting tend to be those games.

Ah well, now I'm just venting my frustration of the current state of the gaming industry. I'll stop now.
-------

-CyberA(rtist)
60.
 
Console Ports to PC are happy
Sep 22, 2003, 12:27
60.
Console Ports to PC are happy Sep 22, 2003, 12:27
Sep 22, 2003, 12:27
 
This is a stupid fucking idea

Just get a damn XBOX

This comment was edited on Sep 22, 21:58.
59.
 
War of the ring
Sep 22, 2003, 11:11
Flo
 
59.
War of the ring Sep 22, 2003, 11:11
Sep 22, 2003, 11:11
 Flo
 
Now gimme that War of the Ring demo fast!

Supporter of the "Chewbacca Defense"
58.
 
Re: Plays like every other game
Sep 22, 2003, 10:51
58.
Re: Plays like every other game Sep 22, 2003, 10:51
Sep 22, 2003, 10:51
 
Sometimes it feels like PC gamers these days look too hard for "deep" gameplay where none is needed.

Rather, PC gamers these days look hard for "deep" gameplay, but none is found. Anywhere.

Especially at EA, it's all just "what can we squeeze out our butt this quarter for fast cash? Hey, this 'Lord of the Rings' phenom is big now, let's do that!"

Remember, the Marketing departments who design this crap are full of 'people' who don't Know games, don't Play games, don't Like games OR gamers, and think Lord of the Rings is a children's book or a cartoon.

What's ironic is, having recently played Final Fantasy Tactics on GBA, there's more "deep" games available on that platform than the PC.

This comment was edited on Sep 22, 10:52.
57.
 
Re: Plays like the first game
Sep 22, 2003, 10:25
57.
Re: Plays like the first game Sep 22, 2003, 10:25
Sep 22, 2003, 10:25
 
Agreed. It seems as though they've put very little effort into putting this demo together, and as such it makes a shallow game look even shallower.

The first game was fun, I got as far as the final level (with one character, and did a few early levels with the others) before I got bored with it, and up until then I was thoroughly enjoying it. It's fun and satisfying, as long as you're not expecting much. In fact it suprised how much there was to it, because my expectations were pretty low. This installment is just more of the same, albeit with more characters to play.

There is room on the PC for shallow, instant-gratification games, but at the same time I too don't see this game doing very well on this platform - this sort of things is just better suited to playing slouched on the sofa with a big TV and a joypad

It's not the kind of game that's going to win any awards or keep you immersed and involved for hours on end, it's just a bit of fun, but that's no bad thing.

56.
 
Plays like the first game
Sep 22, 2003, 08:55
56.
Plays like the first game Sep 22, 2003, 08:55
Sep 22, 2003, 08:55
 
I'm assuming most of the people here haven't played, or likey don't even acknowledge the existance of the first game. Concepts like the parry, physical attack (odd name for what is otherwise the "knock down" button) and any combos (which, if they exist, eluded me beyond the usual fast, fast, fast, and strong, strong combos) are some of the more difficult moves in the first game to use well. The only real benefit from their use was extra experience points which were used to upgrade your character.

This demo doesn't let you do that, nor does it take any time to explain what or how to go about doing anything. Also, the camera issues that've been mentioned before I can only hope are a mistake by the developers. The first game had some really great camera work for the most part, with the exception of some of the more enclosed areas like this one. I can only assume they chose this level on the fact that it was easily self contained to make for a smaller file size. I also wonder if the default camera is the one intended for coop play and was mistakenly set to be used by default instead of the other, while still horribly flawed, obviously superior camera setup.

I also question EA's reasoning in putting this game on the PC. It so definatly isn't a PC game, all I can figure is EA saw how Atari managed to sell a bajillion copies of Enter the Matrix and figured they'd cash in on the PC market in the same way. I dare say they're likely to sell tons of copies of this game for the console, but it might of been a mistake to release this demo to the generally "better informed" PC market who are likely to of gotten a foul taste from this.

The first game had a good mix of brain dead button smashing and advanced combat techniques that made it extremely easy to pick up, but painfully difficult to complete when they started introducing enemies that required those more advanced skills to defeat. Anyone who thought this demo sucked and own a console, I'd urge you to go out and rent the first game and make your judgement on that. If nothing else, it'll help explain what all the random crap on the screen means. This version appears to be more of the same but with more dynamic in-level events and coop play.

I think #50 said it well... it can be quite theraputic to go and slash into swarms of orcs for no apparent reason. Sometimes it feels like PC gamers these days look too hard for "deep" gameplay where none is needed.
-------

-CyberA(rtist)
55.
 
Re: fiddlestix
Sep 22, 2003, 08:42
nin
55.
Re: fiddlestix Sep 22, 2003, 08:42
Sep 22, 2003, 08:42
nin
 
He we go...

Supporter of the "If only we had a new message board so we could ban people by IP range. Where do I send my money?" fan club.

http://www.nin.com
54.
 
Re: fiddlestix
Sep 22, 2003, 08:38
nin
54.
Re: fiddlestix Sep 22, 2003, 08:38
Sep 22, 2003, 08:38
nin
 
Has the same lower case blend of stunted development, abbreviated non-sensical statements and indications of someone whose English is not their first language, but speaks the sociopathic language of troll. If its not him, its someone who is chromosomally linked to him. Nah, its him.

This is what throws me...you'd think he'd invent a new personality, be nice for a bit, and THEN troll.

Think I'm going to change my sig now...

Supporter of the "Is Fredster Really Gone?" fanclub.

http://www.davidbowie.com
53.
 
Re: fiddlestix
Sep 22, 2003, 08:14
53.
Re: fiddlestix Sep 22, 2003, 08:14
Sep 22, 2003, 08:14
 
I used to think fred was, well I hesitate to say 'ok', but tolerable. Annoying and wearisome at times, but bearable.

That was until a few days ago. Now I no longer think he's just a troll having a bit of fun, coming out with nonsensical stuff to cover his social ineptitude or for whatever bizarre reason he has for his little games, but he really is a intellectually stunted, malicious little piece of shit.

Was he banned after his crap last week? Is that why he has this new 'fiddlestix' alias?

Or was it perhaps because even he realised how far over the line he'd gone that time, and decided to bury the fred alias?

52.
 
Re: fiddlestix
Sep 22, 2003, 07:25
52.
Re: fiddlestix Sep 22, 2003, 07:25
Sep 22, 2003, 07:25
 
....yeah...it's him alright

51.
 
Re: fiddlestix
Sep 22, 2003, 06:00
51.
Re: fiddlestix Sep 22, 2003, 06:00
Sep 22, 2003, 06:00
 
Sure smells like fred. Has the same lower case blend of stunted development, abbreviated non-sensical statements and indications of someone whose English is not their first language, but speaks the sociopathic language of troll. If its not him, its someone who is chromosomally linked to him. Nah, its him.

Public opinion version .1b Alpha and a Supporter of the "A happy poster is a muted fredster" fanclub.
"I like to play female characters in MMORPGs to trick men into homosexual chat." - space captain, June 18th, 2009.
50.
 
No subject
Sep 22, 2003, 05:49
50.
No subject Sep 22, 2003, 05:49
Sep 22, 2003, 05:49
 
I quite enjoyed the demo, though it took me a little while to get the hang of it. After a long, stressful day it can be quite theraputic to go and slash into swarms of orcs for no apparent reason.

With co-op planned for the full version I'll probably buy this one.

49.
 
I love this game
Sep 22, 2003, 02:32
49.
I love this game Sep 22, 2003, 02:32
Sep 22, 2003, 02:32
 
I used to be a huge fan of beat-em-up games on the NES and SNES, but then i switched to PC and never really saw anything new come onto the scene (besides CAPCOM's fun Aliens vs Predator). Beat'em ups are ENTIRELY about co-op play, huge amounts of baddies and chaotic action. It's great to see that 2 player will be featured in this game. LOTR RotK is a huge rejuvenation of the genre for me, and i absolutely love it. I don't even know the combos or camera controls yet.

48.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 22, 2003, 00:31
48.
Re: No subject Sep 22, 2003, 00:31
Sep 22, 2003, 00:31
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Oct 18, 17:41.
47.
 
Re: No subject
Sep 21, 2003, 23:52
47.
Re: No subject Sep 21, 2003, 23:52
Sep 21, 2003, 23:52
 
some guy said below that you can move the camera

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ExcessDan
46.
 
No subject
Sep 21, 2003, 23:20
46.
No subject Sep 21, 2003, 23:20
Sep 21, 2003, 23:20
 
fixed camera angle is total crap...feel like I'm blind!

this game is worth nothing except to milk the movies' profitability

45.
 
Re: Middle Earth Online anyone?? [Re:! ]
Sep 21, 2003, 23:14
45.
Re: Middle Earth Online anyone?? [Re:! ] Sep 21, 2003, 23:14
Sep 21, 2003, 23:14
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Oct 18, 17:42.
44.
 
Re: Middle Earth Online anyone?? [Re:! ]
Sep 21, 2003, 23:05
44.
Re: Middle Earth Online anyone?? [Re:! ] Sep 21, 2003, 23:05
Sep 21, 2003, 23:05
 
"Middle Earth Online anyone? http://www.meo.com/"

Sorry, dont really dig mmporpg's much, not to mention it cant really re-tell the story in mmporpg.

I'd really hate to see millions of legolas-wannabes and orlando bloom fans runing around.

This comment was edited on Sep 21, 23:06.
43.
 
Fun to me
Sep 21, 2003, 22:50
43.
Fun to me Sep 21, 2003, 22:50
Sep 21, 2003, 22:50
 
*The fixed camera is new to me and I dig it.
*Character animation is great.
*people are playing it wrong.
*Fight with good tactics.
*Once you get it down the battles are great.

This comment was edited on Sep 21, 22:50.
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