Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest: Hands-On

We go hands-on with Headstrong's family-friendly take on Tolkien's trilogy.


At E3, Headstrong Games was showing off its Wii version of Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest, while TT Fusion's PlayStation 3 version with Move integration was absent from the show. (There's no Xbox 360 version, Kinect-enabled or otherwise, in the works.) Our demo, taken from the last quarter of the game, was set in Pelennor Fields, which is the battleground that Tolkien fans will remember from the battle late in Return of the King. The game covers Aragorn's part in all three books, as told by Sam Gamgee (voiced by Sean Astin of Peter Jackson's movies) to his kids, some time after the events of the trilogy. Framing the game with a bedtime-storytelling narrator is Headstrong's way of turning the relatively dark fantasy of classic Lord of the Rings into a family-friendly Wii game, with Sam playing up Aragorn's heroism and omitting grislier details.

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At Pelennor Fields, Aragorn is backed by an army of soldiers--some ghostly, some human--as well as Legolas and Gimli--as he sees off Sauron's forces, siege engines and ogres among them. You play with the remote and nunchuk and, as the title suggests, only as Aragorn, but you can pick up items that buff your small party. In our time with the game, we picked up a battle cry that confers a reddish aura and extra power to each member. Aragorn and his group began by repelling siege engines from the city walls in a side quest, aiming and shooting fire arrows with the Wii Remote. These are optional, in addition to the main level objectives, and failing them doesn't end the game, though completing them earns you useful items, such as special arrow types.

Shield and sword combat, meanwhile, make good use of the nunchuk and remote together. Raising Aragorn's shield with the nunchuk enables a shield bash (when prompted with an icon overlaid on enemies), for example, along with a sidestepping evade move. There's also a selection of special sword moves, including a charged attack and a chain of sword swings. For Tolkien enthusiasts, there are lore items to be collected and read about. A swirling breadcrumb trails of lights can be called up to show you where to go next and, in another nod to accessibility, there's drop-in co-op play with Gandalf as a second character, tethered to Aragon on the non-splitting screen.

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Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest will be out this fall in North America on the Wii and PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PSP, and the DS.

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Avatar image for dawood_khan

the game is looking good

Avatar image for wheelerxbox

It looks nothing like it does in the pictures above, the PS2 verion is some isometric look with cel shaded graphics and it's terrible compared to the other versions.

Avatar image for annoyingdevil

@donhussain lol kids would be scared of the picture above with the spider

Avatar image for donhussain

well looks like this game is tailored more for kids than serious gamers......still waiting for a LOTR game with a genuine dark setting and realistic...

Avatar image for weefry78

This game is made for young kid's, not older ones!!! I was let down.

Avatar image for Gotteencs

The game looks fun enought to play :)

Avatar image for Wii4Fun

i kinda wish they would have made it more realistic...know what I mean? I'm not saying the graphics look bad, cuz i don't care about graphics. I'm saying they should have made it a more serious game with realistic looking graphics. It would have sold well if they had. Do they think that wii owners are only interested in these kind of BS kiddie games. We want some more serious games added to the Wii library DAMMIT!!!

Avatar image for axelviiii

Wow, that's a three sentence preview. Way. To. Go. Either way, the game looks good.

Avatar image for Wolf-Chief

they shouldnt have put this game on ps3 or xbox360 only ps2 wii and psp the graphics are good for those consoles i like the game its simple and it seems like a nice and short adventure but the ps3 and 360 owners will be disapointed cos its not like the other games on those consoles its not just the graphics it just doesnt go with those consoles @Medrack:so what you're saying is that every ps2 game sux:?

Avatar image for elmoro47

looks poor:( which is a shame. they should stop cashing in on the franchise and scaming the fans

Avatar image for ygman94

i'm thinkin the graphics must be better on ps3, but it says its optimised for the move controller, but so far i haven't seen any gameplay other than a few clumsy swings on the wii, im gonna wait for the customer reviews for this game before i even begin saving for this game

Avatar image for DouBle_MAN

who care about the ghraphiic...

Avatar image for Latino1982

Why dont they make a LOTR game that is similar to Diablo or Dungeons Siege?!

Avatar image for Mintymatti017

Why is it in Mario graphics lol? And I still can't believe they are still cashing in on this franchise!

Avatar image for isaiah26

Let's see if this game will be great..~_~

Avatar image for ArmoredBreaker

Aragorns quest its to make a bad version of the hobbit?! GIANT SPIDER......Whoa so innovative

Avatar image for parsaparsi

ofcurse not good game

Avatar image for necroscope2

don't diss lord of the rings

Avatar image for talyo

Its not like the best game

Avatar image for SpiKeX-Crom

All I have to say is this. "I think this looks awful. But then again, The Hobbit was an amazing game...so maybe." No, this game will suck. Sorry, not interested.

Avatar image for irishdude199210

awful.... just awful

Avatar image for KingAmeboid

Wow, one the the most amazing books of all time has been reduced to... this

Avatar image for Ben_Marley

Don't they spell check these reviews? " tethered to Aragon "

Avatar image for Medrack

fail...you know a game is going to suck when its being released simultaneously on the ps2, psp and DS.

Avatar image for sillycatfish

I hope the time they saved on graphics goes into solid gameplay and some awesome rpg aspects

Avatar image for Bane_09

well now this just looks silly, but strangely I feel compelled to buy it

Avatar image for mattbmb

ive read the books and watched the movies many times over.why cant they release one good lotr game. oh what id give for a oblivion style lotr rpg.

Avatar image for calebcop

Looks way too kiddie.

Avatar image for farkasmilan

yeah,lord of the ring on ps2 :)

Avatar image for dawnofhero

Hmm... worth a shot, but the movies are better.

Avatar image for Ithuar

Why are people looking for blood and gore (here)? That's not what The Lord of the Rings, or any other Middle-earth story is about. Besides, there are plenty of games out there that are well beyond sick when it comes to being brutal or 'visceral', if that's what you're looking for.

Avatar image for Kentr_Wrolfsong

To everyone asking for a darker, more mature take on LOTR, check out War in the North.

Avatar image for phantom381

since its playstation move compatible I might give it a try when its 19.99 I might.......

Avatar image for downloadthefile

Xbox 360 doesn't have this game? Okay....not like I was gonna buy it anyway.

Avatar image for jellyhillcrab

There is LOTR war in the north due next year. It looks more action than RPG, but could be good??

Avatar image for Assemblent

Lord of the rings deserves a brutal game with brutal storyline and awsome visuals and fight mechanics. Not this childish thing... I guess those old ps2 games based on the movies were closer to that, even though far from perfect....

Avatar image for kingsi7e

Why not The Hobbit then?

Avatar image for GOGOGOGURT

Do the developers ever check their player feedback? I hear people all the time say they want a LOTR RPG or they want the designers to stop making childish games so they can have more battle realistic and brutal kill moves. But the games just basically stay the same.

Avatar image for Lionman363

The LoTR series did spawn some excellent games, but now it's getting old. I do like their approach to recapping the storyline, but the childish look and predictable gameplay mechanics this game is going to provide make even the bumfest, LoTR: Conquest seem dominant. To me, the series' potential in videogames died after BFME. Headstrong Games is a perfect name for these developers if they're going to shame the good LoTR name like Pandemic did.

Avatar image for tobelight

Waste of time and money making this soon to be 19.99 title

Avatar image for Virtual_Erkan

Resembles like Zelda, anyone?

Avatar image for ChristerDoo

PS2 is alive and well with its beyond compare library catalog of titles. It is sadly getting very long in the tooth and therefore of little consequence for the ADHD set who are distracted by any shiny thing which comes along. That said, I think this game will probably just be a poor cash grab port on the PS2.

Avatar image for Altar360

just because it's aimed for kids, doesn't mean it's automaticaly bad. That being said, I do want a more serious LotR game, but this might be a nice alternative

Avatar image for gandalf_storm

Are they kidding ? Seriously, PS2 version wtf ? - No one plays PS2 games anymore, PS2 is dead and buried. and why no 360 version ?

Avatar image for GoldenRamoth

best LoTR was return of the king imo.

Avatar image for Sablicious

Still waiting for DECENT LotR game. Rather another BFM-E than this kiddy fiddling... >_>

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