The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring
Windows - 2003
Description of The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring
There's trouble brewing in Middle Earth. Anyone who has read the books and/or seen the films knows all about that. War is coming... to Cineplexes and to videogames. Vivendi managed to secure the book license to counter Electronic Arts' artful grab of the film license, and that's why you won't see anything from the movies in its new real-time strategy release, War of the Ring.
The voices don't sound like the movie characters, the weapons and architecture aren't what we've seen on the screen, and the orcs don't look like Peter Jackson's orcs. But that doesn't mean the game doesn't look very familiar. In fact, it looks almost too familiar; it looks like Blizzard's best-selling Warcraft III and, unfortunately, it suffers a bit from the comparison.
War of the Ring seems to imitate Warcraft III, all the way down to the menu screens for each campaign. It also features the same 3/4ths perspective, same limited camera options, same cartoonish 3D graphics, and the characters even run with the same hoppy-skippy gait (though it's toned down a bit). The larger creatures have the same blockiness (particularly the horse hooves), and this weakens Tolkien's somewhat humorless tone. It worked for Warcraft III because there were dark, foreboding (and gorgeous) cutscenes telling the story. War of the Ring lacks this and instead relies on clunky in-game cutscenes.
The game plays like Warcraft III, too. Similar mix of races: Human (Gondor), Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and other assorted bad guys. It's a similar rock-paper-scissors unit approach. And the heroes function in almost exactly the same way. Similar power recharge rates, and when they die, you can bring them back to life. All of this is pretty odd when you consider Sierra's claim that War of the Ring is based on Liquid Entertainment's Battle Realms engine and not on Blizzard's work.
But that doesn't mean it should be ignored.
War of the Ring manages to innovate in some clever ways. Every campaign mission has a nice touch. In one, the dwarves have to rescue, defend, and repair a giant catapult that you can use to rain death on the enemy. In another, workers must destroy a bridge as warriors fend off the attackers. There are barriers, ambushes, surprise attacks, and missions that require quick thinking and cunningly using your hero's powers. Some of the later twists count as (minor) innovations to RTS storytelling.
The opening of the "Good" campaign takes place East of the Misty Mountains and tells the story of how each member of the Fellowship fought the beginnings of the war before heading out to Rivendell to ask for help. The Dwarves of the Iron Mountain, led in battle by Gimli, fight off orcs. Legolas hunts down Gollum in Mirkwood and stumbles upon an orc invasion. And Boromir leads his men against the forces of Mordor as they try to cross into Osgiliath. This is all loosely based on Tolkien's writing, but some of it might give purist fans fits. The campaign eventually reaches key moments covered in the books (like Helm's Deep) and brings us to the War of the Ring itself.
The second campaign has you playing the bad guys and dealing with these pesky heroes out to stem your foul tide. How the Ring Bearer fits into this story, we won't spoil. The "Evil" side plays a little differently; they mine the same resources, food and ore, but they can't build without a Slave Master unit. These brutes have lots of hit points, but deal out little damage (essentially, they're mobile "farms"). Their purpose is to motivate their fellow units, and to construct poles in the ground that corrupt it like a disease. This makes the evil side more flexible when it comes to raiding and to constructing new bases.
Heroes don't gain mana like in Warcraft III; they gain fate points through combat. This makes them more effective fighters, but it requires you to seek out a fight with the enemy as much as possible, using a hero as a raider. This is odd when your hero is Frodo... but hey, it's a game after all. There aren't any creeps to take on (those neutral beasts that populate Warcraft III's world) so this means you'll be running into the real enemy. Watch out in multiplayer; make sure that you kill the enemy hero every time he comes calling. Meet him in force, preferably with your own hero or ranged attackers, to reduce how many fate points he's gathering.
The unit AI is mediocre. Your men will frequently run off screen and into enemy trigger points, releasing a torrent of orcs, or taking on giant trolls by their lonesome. To make matters worse, your men don't default into formation. So you'll find your ranged attackers in the front row bearing the brunt of an assault, while your melee units struggle to find their way around them.
Multiplayer should have strong legs, particularly for -- wait for it -- Warcraft III fans. Famine mode drastically reduces the amount of food available, making the game a contest of resources and keeping units alive. Catapult is our favorite: each side fights to gain control of a massive catapult in the center of the screen. Command of this weapon lets you rain death on the enemy base and army. Another mode challenges players to hold "places of power" on the map for long periods of time. All standard RTS modes are available as well.
War of the Ring's primary flaw is that it fails to really make use of its license. Remove the LOTR backdrop and names, and you could be playing any generic fantasy RTS game. It's missing the dramatic scope of the books, suggesting that game mechanics similar to Medieval: Total War or even Bungie classic, Myth, would have been better inspiration for warfare on this scale. That's not the game they made, of course, and RTS and Warcraft fans will find a good amount to like here in Middle Earth; it's the Tolkien fans who might be a little disappointed by the visit.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
SamVimes 2021-10-20 0 point
Tried launching on Windows 10 and struggled to get working. Has anyone been able to launch this with Windows 10?
Lord Lue 2021-08-13 1 point
good campaign isn't working i can at least get to the set up page for skirmishes and evil works but the game quits when i start the good
elminster 2021-07-15 1 point
If you are getting the invalid CD Key please reinstall error, then set compatibility to WinXP Service Pack 2 and tick run as Admninistrator. then the Cracked exe or the Widescreen Fixed exe will work.
figureditout 2021-03-16 -1 point
needed this file to copied to game directory.
using the crack.
nevertossadwarf 2021-03-15 0 point
i either get invalid cd key (crack copied)
or spinning cd icon immediate quit. (using virtually mounted iso, orig. exe)
doesnt matter which .exe i use (crack or o.g. exe) it wont run.
windows vista 64.
anon 2021-03-11 1 point
Installation worked, got it running, and got through the tutorials.
Major graphical issues with the first mission of the good campaign, had to remove it.
Good game, lost the play CD somewhere and was happy to find this.
macethewindu 2021-03-03 4 points
i downloaded the game, press play to play the game and dissapears and the game doesn't start. help i don't know what i'm doing wrong
GingerMann 2020-10-14 0 point
I followed all the steps in "JOHNNYDERP"'s comment but when I start the game I always get asked to create a new player profile and my old one doesn't save. I also can't save in-game during missions. I get the message "Invalid save name! Try again" no matter what I type in.
SokaLL 2020-04-09 1 point
How to fix bug in some missions that you fight with enemy units after fight your units gets damage from unvisible units its unplayable
Bilbo Raggins 2020-02-04 6 points
Got the game installed, but when i try to run it, it starts, and stops before anything has shown up.
JohnnyDerp 2019-09-16 1 point
You CAN get this to work with any software that can mount .iso files to a virtual CD drive. However, you will need to apply a no-cd fix to get around the copy protection shenanigans.
The ISO image file you download here on this site is Version 1.00. After installing the game, you can first manually patch it to Version 1.01 by following the instructions in the link below. Make sure you read the instructions because your installation needs to be in the correct path for the patch to work.
Note: you can follow all the steps on the ModDB pages.
Next, you need to apply a no-cd fix that works only for version 1.01. You can get the fix from [EDIT] the downloads.
To apply the fix, replace the ring.exe file in the game folder with the new ring.exe in the crack folder. After replacing the file, double-click it and you should be able to run the game.
estysoccer 2019-07-01 1 point
I did the Alcohol 120%, but the myabandonware image file won't let me emulate into a new "securom-enabled" image. It just comes up with an error message at the Alcohol 120% level.
Blood Vipre 2019-04-06 -1 point
You will need Alcohol 120% and use the Securom emulation to get this running. Mount the play disc on a virtual cd rom drive and enable to copy protection emulation and you`ll be able to play.
Incidentally, IGG games is an illegal torrent site full of malware and viruses do not google it and visit it...
Some people should know better.
bubbleman 2019-02-13 0 point
this isnt working i downloaded it on here so i went to igg games and it works great
Biff Stone 2019-02-05 0 point
I bought this game when it came out, and played it alot. It is based on the books rather than the movie, and is quite good. I played through the campaign,and I play skirmish mode, great game, i have trouble with more than 2 enemies, but I enjoy this game alot.
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