The Lord of the Rings universe is full of memorable battles. No matter whether they are staged in a cramped burial chamber or on a vast, open plain, each clash of arms teeters between exultant triumph and agonizing defeat. In The Lord of the Rings: Conquest, you’ll experience your fair share of both. There are abundant thrills in both the good and evil campaigns, from attacking oliphaunts with catapults on the Pelennor Fields to burning the ringed ramparts of Minas Tirith. However, the frantic combat can often devolve into a button-mashing frenzy as you try to avoid the many varieties of death (some unpleasantly cheap) that await you on the battlefield. These frustrations may prove to be too high a cost of entry for many, but if you’re willing to brave the pitfalls (or are a big Lord of the Rings fan), then Conquest has many hours of satisfying and immersive action for you to enjoy.
The best hours you’ll spend in Conquest will be in the campaigns. The War of the Ring campaign puts you on the ground in the most memorable battles from the books, taking a few detours from canon along the way. The well-crafted, immersive environments mirror those of the movies, from the filthy industrial pits of Isengard to the crumbling walls of Osgiliath, and the score draws on themes from the movies to make battles feel more dramatic. As fun as the War of the Ring campaign is, there’s an exciting novelty to playing as the forces of Mordor in the Rise of Sauron campaign. In this alternate storyline, the ring bearer fails in his mission and the once-ebbing tide of evil flows forth across Middle-earth, scouring all in its path. Cutscenes between levels use footage from the movies to craft a believable narrative around your dark exploits, and it’s morbidly thrilling to destroy beloved locations and heroes. The last level in particular is so delightfully sinister that you’ll likely find yourself cackling with malicious glee.