The Lord of the Rings: War, review of the new strategy on the Lord of the Rings

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Valery Aloyants
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Everything points to a return in style for The Lord of the Rings as a multimedia phenomenon and this one review di The Lord of the Rings: War it could be just a small taste of what will come in the future, between the new Amazon TV series, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum and other possible interpretations, although the famous MMO by the same company is practically given up for missing. The first step in this revival wave is as phoned as possible: one strategic mobile set on the settings and characters created by JRR Tolkien, modeled on the film version of Peter Jackson and obviously distributed as free-to-play, in order to quickly reach the widest possible audience. As you can easily expect, this is not a strategic afferent to the most classic tradition of the genre, but a representative of the new mobile category, characterized by strategic pauses, reward boxes and other rather questionable elements, but which are now part of this. videogame landscape.

Having clarified the sub-genre it belongs to, it can also be said that The Lord of the Rings: War is among the most accurate and profound titles seen in this particular segment, but to play it you must still accept various compromises, mainly focused on the dosage of waited, on the case that governs the conquest of commanders and on the inevitable in-app purchases, in addition to the inevitable pay-to-win trend that characterizes the PvP that emerges towards the endgame, even if with some interesting ideas that limit its destructive potential.

Beyond the more narrative introduction, a sort of long tutorial with Gandalf that accompanies us in the early stages to understand the many facets of the game, then everything follows on a series of objectives to be completed, slavishly following the numerous indications that fill the complex interface. In addition to the individual quests to be completed, everything is set up according to a sort of battle pass, which proposes goals to be achieved in sequence within various seasons.

Everything starts from the ring

Lord of the Rings: War starts with an extensive tutorial led by Gandalf, no less

There is a considerable variety in the faction to choose, obviously all drawn from the tradition of The Lord of the Rings and each characterized by peculiar bonuses and units. The gameplay has the basic elements of turn-based strategy, with some variations focused on what is the main feature of the game, that is its foundation on time management: as befits a free-to-play, every action takes time, from moving of troops on the map to the construction and expansion of buildings, as the importance and breadth of the result sought increases, there is an increasingly longer pause. Some of these are compressible with the expense of gems that can also be purchased with real money, but the developers must be acknowledged for their attempt not to abuse this mechanic, given that some expectations cannot be avoided. The usual "trap" that lies behind the complex mobile strategy mechanism is thus somewhat mitigated free-to-play, but the impression remains that the Machiavellian fragmentation of the game action and the randomness of some elements forcefully push to buy, unless you have time and patience at will.

For the rest, the structure is really very deep and complex, at times even a little too cumbersome: there are commanders to enlist, to associate army squadrons, each of which can be evolved and strengthened with the application of units. stronger and stronger.

Lord of the Rings: Rise to War, an image of the map with the territories to be conquered

Commanders can also grow and obtain new equipment, as well as, of course, it is possible to expand and enrich their fortified city that acts as the nerve center of strategic action. The main purpose is conquer territories, expanding its sphere of influence as much as possible in the surrounding area and beyond: each conquered territory yields a certain amount of resources per minute, so the increase in power as the kingdom expands is exponential. The accumulated experience increases the power of the ring, which develops with a real skill tree, allowing you to enlist new commanders and expand the city-fortress.

A complex mechanism

Lord of the Rings: War, a scene from a battle

The huge amount of menus and submenus it takes a long time to assimilate, so much so that some facets are rather obscure even after hours of play. Being a strategic one, the complexity and depth of the management certainly cannot be considered a disadvantage, but the impression remains that the whole system is based exclusively on the constant progression given simply by the dedication to the game rather than on the actual skill in the strategic management of resources and units. Combat, on the other hand, is a purely numerical issue, with the results simply deriving from the initial situation of the units deployed in the field. For this reason, the risk of pay to win is particularly real in a game like this.

Given the doubts, it must still be said that the production behind The Lord of the Rings: War is certainly of value, which is demonstrated by its mammoth structure and also by the technical realization, which is remarkable even in the typical stylization of turn-based strategy. To enrich everything there is obviously the Official characterization of The Lord of the Rings, perfect for a fantasy strategy and well cared for in this case as a construction of the story and placement of characters, peoples, factions and houses. The user interface, on the other hand, can be improved, which seems poorly calibrated for small screens, with icons and texts that are often microscopic.


Tested version Android 1.0.119938 Digital Delivery App Store, Google Play Price Free


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The Lord of the Rings: War is quite precisely what one might expect from a free-to-play mobile strategy from NetEase, which is a title developed with considerable care and with an impressive depth, but all built around an idea with somewhat obscure implications such as time management and the uncertainty of some rewards, which clearly push towards micro-transactions. If you have great patience and don't get caught up in excessive competitiveness, it can still be an interesting game for fans of The Lord of the Rings, considering that the license has also been treated with some regard, building a rather convincing Middle-earth. even if declined according to the needs of a strategic game.


  • A deep and multifaceted strategy, to be studied
  • Good use of a major license such as The Lord of the Rings
  • For those who get carried away by the progression it can be addictive
  • The mechanism, based on time management and random rewards, pushes towards micro-transactions
  • Far too complex and cumbersome, even for aspects of secondary importance
  • Unreadable and manageable interface on small screens
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