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Tycho / on Mon, Jan 5 2009 at 12:00 am

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True Martial Prowess

We grabbed the demo for Lord of the Rings: Conquest over the weekend, with no expectations because we haven’t been following it.  I more or less could not endure the tutorial, choosing instead to learn my trade “On The Job,” which is dangerous for an archer but one gets used to it. Unfortunately, there was a bug in the demo that would not allow me to play their online game online - it suggested that my displayName was in use, something I didn’t find especially surprising, because it was my name.  I decided that the hours of a Sunday afternoon would be better employed in the construction of a couch cushion fortress, and took my refuge there.

We pulled it down here at the office to try to get a read on it, which was difficult.  We could log on, and it would log us in, but shortly thereafter we were logged out.  Once we managed to enter the fantastical realm of Middle-Earth, we had a hard time getting the hang of its rhythm.  Invisible rogues who can kill you instantly with some kind of WWE suplex take some getting used to.  Also, you can fall from incredible heights without damage, but if any part of your body touches the water in a map it will end your fucking life.

I want to emphasize that the water in question was not especially fast flowing.  It was a channel of clear, refreshing water, really more like a brook or stream.  I should also emphasize that it was not despoiled in any way by toxins natural or arcane: it’s not like we were immediately downstream from Orthanc, the black tower of Isengard.  We died in this way more or less at the moment we were beginning to understand things, driven back by two rampaging ents which were closing fast on our last refuge.

It’s a challenge to bind the varying threads of our experience into a suite of tools you can use to shape your purchasing decisions, but I’ll try.

Pro:

- You Can Ride Wargs (?)

I know that’s not much, I’ll keep working on it.  I’m extremely hesitant to dismiss games in this genre out of hand, as their interlocking classes make them somewhat mercurial subjects.  I made an early call on C&C Renegade that a deeper assessment showed to be some hasty bullshit.  The systemic pedigree is no deal-maker, though: at every opportunity, Conquest tries to remind you that it’s from the same people who made Star Wars: Battlefront, which is nothing to be proud of.  I understand that they sold well, but let us be honest with one another:  these games were pierced tins of rotting meat, swollen with the byproducts of their putrefaction.

(CW)TB out.  

in mordor, where the shadows are


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