Lord of the Rings co-opting new action RPG

Warner Bros. announces Champions of Norrath developer Snowblind is working on War in the North, due out in 2011 for PC, PS3, Xbox 360.

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One week after it announced the family-friendly Aragorn's Quest would support the PlayStation Move, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has announced an all-new Lord of Rings game. Developed by Snowblind Studios (Champions of Norrath), Lord of the Rings: War in the North is an "action-adventure RPG" that will ship for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 sometime next year.

The game will be based on both author J.R.R. Tolkien's original Lord of the Rings novels and director Peter Jackson's 2001-2003 film trilogy. The publisher acquired the rights to make games based on both the films and novels in 2008, when it reclaimed the former from Electronic Arts. The move came just prior to the release of the tepidly reviewed Lord of the Rings: Conquest from the now-all-but-closed Pandemic Studios (The Saboteur). Middle-earth Enterprises, the private company in charge of licensing all Tolkien-related properties, will also be involved.

War in the North will feature "unseen lands, story elements, and characters from Middle-earth, as well as elements familiar from past feature films," according to WBIE. It will offer upgradeable weapons and special abilities that develop along with the game's characters, which can be customized by players. Snowblind Studios founder Ryan Geithman promised the game will also feature "an innovative approach to online co-op gameplay, woven throughout every facet of the game," indicating full-campaign cooperative play is in the works.

For more on Lord of the Rings: War in the North, check out the game's official Web site, www.warinthenorth.com.

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