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Monday, January 12, 2009

Game Play: Lord of the Rings Conquest Demo

There's so much I want to like about this game. Reading between the lines, it looks like it could have 2 player couch coop in a Middle Earth scenario playing against a hoards of enemies - basically a Tolkien version of Dynasty Warriors. Which would be pretty much all I'd need to know to make a buy, considering the particular corner of gaming and fiction that would reside on.

The online portion is something of a win for me, although these old Battlefield mechanics can kinda wear on a person. Since the days of Counter-Strike I've been wondering who would figure out really balanced play between two teams and well, I'm still waiting. Most of the games of LOTR:C I played were almost hilariously one sided, however, often with one team having nearly ten times the other team's score.

My real complaint, though, and I can only hope this is where the demo is not indicative of the final product, is with the network setup in general. Firstly, it is wildly unstable and hard to get into a server. Even servers with room and what seemed like good ping (although another point - who can tell what good ping is between just a couple of glowing colors). Getting dropped was not uncommon at all. The server browser is a pain and lacks simple filters like "don't show me those 100 empty servers".

This is the PS3 version, but I've never had this kind of problem with EA Nation on any platform. Bad Company was actually some of the best online setup I've used and a stark contrast to this demo.

So, we'll probably get it for the offline alone - but online is clearly where this game wants to be. If so, it has a long way to walk.

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