The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

Release date: 6 November 2002
Developer: Stormfront Studios
Publisher: Electronic Arts


As you'd suspect from the title, this is a direct tie-in to Peter Jackson's upcoming Two Towers movie, but that's not all. Oh no. EA has also included just as much action from 2001's blockbuster, The Fellowship of the Ring .

How's that for generosity? As a sort of Golden Axe for a new generation, The Two Towers is a third-person hack and slash epic where you face the orc armies as one of three fellowship heroes; Aragorn, Legolas or Gimli. Take your hero chronologically through key battle scenes from the two movies in an effort to keep Frodo and The One Ring safe from Saruman while trying to keep your own hide mercifully free of injury. Authentically recreated cinematic action and a dragon's horde of extras await you.

12 levels (plus four unlockable 'secret' levels) of Middle-Earth mayhem are in the game, including meeting a Cave Troll in the enclosed space of Balin's Tomb and helping defend the castle of Helm's Deep from thousands of rampaging orcs and Uruk-Hai. Thankfully you have some tricks (and sharp weapons) up your sleeve and by employing combinations of four simple melee attacks and one missile attack you should come out on top of most scraps. Each of the three warriors has their particular strengths; Gimli excels with his axe in hand-to-hand but is slow, whereas Legolas is best with a bow but weaker toe-to-toe. Aragorn is the choice for an all-round approach, as he's jack-of-all-trades but master of none. Like all good combat games, more devastating combos and abilities can be purchased as you progress through the game.

And believe us when we say you will want to progress, because as well as being a visceral gameplay feast, The Two Towers is also a veritable banquet for the eyes. Gorgeous environments that seem to have leapt from the silver screen onto your PS2 will form the epic backdrop to your battles. In the fireglow at the summit of Weathertop, Aragorn dodges between ancient pillars and crumbling statues to defend Frodo from the Ringwraiths and in the gloom of Fangorn Forest glimpses of shadowy figures can be seen moving through the trees as you carefully weave you way deeper into the murk. If it wasn't for all the swordplay, you'd probably stop and admire the beauty of it all.

As an official licensed product EA has called upon the stars who play the Fellowship characters to voice their on-screen avatars. The dulcet tones of Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Sir Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood will soon be wafting from your PS2 both in-game and in a series of wonderful clips from the movies. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better you'll unlock interviews with the stars and game developers, behind-the-scenes movies and production stills that wouldn't be out of place on an expensive DVD boxed set.

In the words of Gollum, The Two Towers is precioussssss. LotR movie fanatics will be less than complete if this game is not on their shelf, missing out as you would on the authentic game levels, voices and exclusive bonus materials. Game fans hungry for some skillfully crafted Dynasty Warriors style melee that's easy to pick up but difficult to master should certainly head for The Two Towers.

  • 12 stunning levels taken from The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, plus four secret levels to unlock

  • Visuals, music and voices loyal to Peter Jackson's films

  • Three main playable characters - Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli - plus guest appearances by King Isildur and a secret character

  • Build your character's abilities by gaining and spending Upgrade points

  • Voiced by the stars of the film

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