Warner Bros. Studios have released a trailer for the latest Lord of the Rings game, subtitled War in the North
Let the battle, but not for Middle-Earth, commence:
As can be seen from the trailer, the game is being developed by Snowblind Studios.
Fans of the books and trilogy of movies may be disappointed to hear that this addition to the worldwide phenomenon does not follow the same story vein, although a vague link does still exist. On the other hand, those gamers who are new to the Lord of the Rings franchise will not have to worry about missing previous information.
Over to Ruth Tomandl, Producer at Snowblind to give a VERY detailed description of the game’s story, during an interview with IGN:
During the first part of the game the heroes of the game's fellowship uncover Sauron's plans for the North and find that the war is much closer to Rivendell than they thought.
…The heroes' job is to prevent those armies from destroying the last strongholds of the free peoples in the North. Sauron's Northern armies, like his Southern ones, are kind of a mixed bag, and they don't always get along with each other very well. Because one of his goals in the North is recruiting, he's bringing together a number of groups that are used to going their own way, but are finally being told to serve Sauron directly instead of just giving him lip-service. He needs some powerful commanders to control those groups, and has sent his top guy, Agandaûr, to oversee the whole northern front…
…Far back in the history of the Men of Middle-earth, there was a group of Númenóreans who went over to the dark side and became servants of Sauron. The Mouth of Sauron and Agandaûr are both descended from that group. Agandaûr is ambitious and he's become one of Sauron's chief lieutenants. He's been sent to the North of Middle-earth to open up another front in the War of the Ring, and he's doing his job very effectively…
The producer continues by explaining how the new game is linked to Tolkien's books and the movie trilogy:
At the end of The Return of the King, Gandalf mentions a great battle that took place in Erebor, and says that if the Dwarves and Men there hadn't won that battle, the war could have been lost even if the One Ring had been destroyed. Frodo's quest was extremely important, but everyone in Middle-earth was drawn into the War of the Ring. Even Lothlórien, which was remote and well-protected, was attacked during the war. The fact that the whole world was at war is what we're drawing on for War in the North…
You will encounter some of the Fellowship as they begin their journey, but as they travel farther South with the One Ring, you'll head farther North...
Finally, a little snippet regarding the gameplay:
Currently the design for the party is that each race is their own class, but that you'll be able to customize that character widely enough for different play styles. If you play as the Dwarf, you can customize him to be more of a tank, or more of a heavy damage dealer, or more ranged support. Players and Tolkien fans both know what a Dwarf's strengths are, and the Dwarf hero's abilities play to those strengths. Similarly, as the Ranger, you can focus on stealth, or close-in melee fighting, or ranged sniping; what the Dúnedain Rangers are known for... We want to give the players a lot of choices about their character, but we also want each of the three heroes to feel distinct from each other and to have their own strengths and weaknesses that make sense with their race. Also, if they're all clones of each other, that wouldn't make the other players depend on you because they can do everything you can. One of the great things about The Lord of the Rings is that each character is important in their own way -- they're not just generic fighting guys; they have significant roles within the worldLord of the Rings: War in the North
is due for release in 2011.