The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Video Game  -  Action | Adventure | Fantasy  -  5 November 2003 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,373 users  
Reviews: 26 user

Play as Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf and Sam as you battle for the fate of Middle Earth.

Writers:

(story), (novel)
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Title: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Video Game 2003)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Video Game 2003) on IMDb 8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gimli (voice)
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Saruman (voice)
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Gandalf (voice) (as Sir Ian McKellen)
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Faramir (voice)
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Frodo Baggins (voice)
Andrew Chaikin ...
Legolas (voice)
Tom Chantler ...
Shagrat (voice)
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Aragorn (voice)
Lorri Holt ...
Eowyn (voice)
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Anni Long ...
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Storyline

In this video game based off of the film Return of the King, Aragorn and the Rohan people are saved at the battle of Helm's Deep by Gandalf the White and the Riders of Rohan. This is just the beginning as you play through various levels from Fanghorn Forest to the fiery depths of Mt. Doom. Using the Fellowship of the Ring to do your bidding, you can now decide the fate of Middle Earth forever. Written by commanderblue

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

T | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gospodar prstenova: Povratak kralja  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character model for the Witch King sports a different helmet from that feature din the film, as it was based on earlier design that was later revised to prevent him from being confused with Sauron. See more »

Quotes

Gandalf: Return to your master, creatures of Shadow!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: D-War (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Overpriced, overproduced, and overrated
19 December 2003 | by (Southern Hemisphere) – See all my reviews

It seems a common malady of modern video games, but what we have here is millions of dollars worth of voice actors, graphical rendering, sound engineering, and licensing in search of any level of fun. To its credit, the game finds it for the first few levels, but once it tries to recreate any complex aspect of the novel or the films, it falls flat. The battle through Osgilliath is a good example of this. Video games are meant to be entertaining, relaxing, above all fun. Osgilliath stops this game from being fun. Instead of having fun, we're constantly running blind through the ruins, unsure of which way to go, trying desperately to get somewhere before the time runs out and the Ringwraith takes Frodo.

Needless to say, if it were possible to save the game at any point and return to a viable moment just before the cock-up, it might have been possible to overlook this. Unfortunately, the ridiculous system of only saving at checkpoints that plagues console games is in force here, and there are one or two such points in the levels, if that. So if you should happen to die just before the end of the level, and I garantee that you will, you lose all the work you did in the last half-hour and have to repeat everything you just did once more. Such repetition is exactly what is killing video games in this era. Would it have been too much to ask for a Resident Evil style of game saving, which does the great job of combining gameplay elements with keeping the game playable?

Another thing makes the whole affair annoying is that the game offers no control whatsoever over the camera. Some of the positions we see the heroes and their targets from are so annoying that it's a wonder people played this game fast the first few levels. A close tracking shot behind the character, or even through the character's eyes, would have been nice options to start with. Maybe the people at Electronic Arts should have taken a look at Silver, possibly the best console game revolving around small-party adventure. While that style isn't strictly a good one for a game in this frantic setting, they still could have learned things like keeping a clear view so that the player can see which direction he is meant to swing his sword in.

It's also worth noting that Silver was a lot more fun to play in combat, in spite of being noticeably slower. The reason for this is that slow, deliberately paced combat allows the player to make tactical decisions, accept the consequences of those decisions, and even learn from their mistakes. ROTK as a video game borders dangerously on being one of those "mash the buttons to win" games where the player frantically wiggles sticks around and bashes the buttons in the hope that the outcome might be favourable. This takes the control of the player's gaming experience out of their hands and makes it even more annoying. Considering that ROTK is one of the most, if not THE most, expensive games in Australia at $110 in Australian funds, this is just adding insult to injury.

Small wonder, then, that sites which post walkthroughs and cheat codes for video games are still so incredibly popular. Being that I was a child during the Intellivision days, I can remember when video games didn't need to be cheated on or hacked in order to be fun. The proliferation of sources for information to do these things in the modern era is probably the saddest indictment of all against modern video games.


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