A Look Back at War in the North

War in the North cover art.

The War in the North. Some might call it the forgotten war. This depends on who you speak to and how much they care for the game. 

Being one of games fromThe Lord of the Rings franchise that does not follow a canon story, War in the North had a lot going against it when it was initially released. It was released almost a decade after Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring. On top of that, its release date was only just before the release of Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit

In this review, I will dive headfirst into the world of War in the North. While it is not my favorite LOTR game, it taught me a lot about teamwork and what it means to be a part of a fellowship. 

Úrgost

Story of The War in the North

The story begins similarly to The Fellowship of the Ring. The main characters of the game, Eradan, Farin, and Andriel, meet at the Prancing Pony with none other than Aragorn. This meeting sets the game’s tone moving forward, with the small trio handling all the battles that Frodo’s fellowship can not due to time and distance. 

The story progresses, with the characters being assigned to combatting the foes from the North, led by one of Sauron’s henchmen, Agandaûr. This is quite the task for the three playable characters. However, it is accomplished with help from the allies they make along the way. 

By the end of the storyline, Agandaûr is defeated at the same time as Sauron. The darkness of the North stemming from Mordor is henceforth no more, and the trio makes their way back to Rivendell, presumably to rest and rendezvous with the fellowship from the main storyline. 

This is not a comprehensive overview of the story. It is detailed enough to give a general understanding of how the events from the game play out. There is an alternate ending as well. Depending on how you play the game and the decisions you make, the outcome of your story is impacted. 

Eradan, Farin, and Andriel.

War in the North Characters

Eradan

Eradan is a human ranger and my favorite character to use in War in the North. As a ranger, he is a master of swords. He is quite skilled at evasion and also excels with archery. He is adept at conquering foes while navigating battlefields and boss battles. 

Farin

Farin is the dwarf of the fellowship that went to the North. Similar to his canon counterpart Gimli, Farin hailed from Erebor. Indeed, he was one of the amazing dwarves that dwelled under the Lonely Mountain. 

Andriel

Andriel is an elf from Rivendell. She is not only well-versed in fighting with a sword, but she is also highly capable of using magic. Andriel’s abilities often make healing and conquering battles that much easier when situations become difficult. 

Non-Playable Characters

The beauty of War in the North is definitely in its playable characters. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t note the greatness of the many non-playable characters in the game. From the likes of Elladan and Elrohir, the sons of Elrond, to Belaram, one of the Great Eagles of Middle-Earth, there are a ton of awesome NPCs.

Of all of the characters, playable and non-playable alike, Úrgost, the winged fire drake that lives in the Grey Mountains, remains my favorite. 

Belaram the Great Eagle.

Unique Elements

War in the North offered much more than other LOTR games at the time. It was quite a spectacle to participate in when players could interact with characters from the LOTR franchise that previously only appeared in the books.

As I stated, Úrgost was my favorite NPC. He was also my favorite unique element of War in the North. In the simplest sense, I love dragons and his ability to communicate with the characters made it feel as though he was a physical being. If more LOTR games included dragons like him, there would be many more players.

The unique elements that made War in the North saved its face in the public eye. The game would not have been as enticing to players if it were not for these game mechanics

Agandaûr, the main antagonist from the game.

Closing Thoughts on War in the North

Overall, I believe War in the North deserves a 4 out of 5 stars on the TAG scale. While I enjoyed the game, it lacked the multiplayer dynamic that would have allowed players to play against each other. However, being able to play co-op throughout the game made up for this in large. 

I would have loved it if the game had an open-world component to it as well. However, at the time of the game’s release, this would have been quite a lot to manage in development. I have always found fantasy games to be great, so my bias leans this way. 

All in all, War in the North is among the most interesting multiplayer LOTR games. If more games are made like this one, the gaming community will increase in overall positivity.

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