Developer: Snowblind Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment . Feral Interactive (OS X)
Distributor: New Line Cinema, Middle-earth Enterprises
Game Site: http://store.steampowered.com/app/32800/
Genre: Action role playing, hack and slash
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
Initial release date: October 26, 2011
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The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is a 2011 action role playing hack and slash video game developed by Snowblind Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. An OS X port was developed and published by Feral Interactive in 2013. It is the first video game based on both J. R. R. Tolkien's 1954 high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson's film trilogy adaptation released in 2001 (The Fellowship of the Ring), 2002 (The Two Towers) and 2003 (The Return of the King). This is because, until 2009, Vivendi Universal Games, in partnership with Tolkien Enterprises, held the rights to make games based on Tolkien's literary works, whilst Electronic Arts held the rights to make games based on the New Line Cinema films. In 2009, WB Games acquired the rights for both intellectual properties.
The game contains narrative elements unique to both the novel and the films, although the aesthetic design is based more specifically upon the look of the films, with characters in the game bearing the likenesses of the actors who portrayed them in the films. The game does not directly adapt the story depicted in the novel and films, but instead depicts a trio of adventurers whose quest runs parallel to the main narrative, occasionally intersecting with it. The story follows them as they attempt to track down and defeat a powerful Black Númenórean named Agandaûr, who Sauron has employed to lay waste to the northern regions of Middle-earth, whilst Sauron himself concentrates on Rohan and Gondor.
The game received mixed reviews, with critics praising the graphics and tone, but criticizing the repetitive combat, weak storyline and poor character development. It was also criticized for containing several game-breaking bugs. War in the North was a commercial failure, a fact many critics attributed to the timing of its release - several weeks after Dark Souls, on the same day as Uncharted 3 and ten days prior to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.