The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age goes gold

The action RPG set in the blockbuster film trilogy's universe ventures off to the factory.

Electronic Arts released two eponymous console games alongside Peter Jackson's blockbuster films The Two Towers and The Return of the King. While these dropped players in the midst of the entire The Lord of the Rings trilogy, they had only rudimentary elements of many fantasy fans' favorite genre: role-playing.

Knowing a good opportunity when it saw it, EA quickly announced The Lord of the Rings, The Third Age, a console RPG set in Jackson's version of author J.R.R. Tolkien's universe. Today, EA announced that the internally developed* title has gone gold, and is set to ship November 2 for the Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Game Boy Advance.

While set in the Rings realm, The Third Age allows players to play as four all-new characters. Though the game's storyline will roughly follow--and often intersect with--that of the film, it will allow the quartet of adventurers to explore "seldom-glimpsed locations" of Middle-earth. GameSpot's own Bethany Massimilla was brave enough to face the game's assorted orcs and goblins--read her hands-on preview to learn more.

*The GBA version was developed by Griptonite Games.

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