Lord of the Rings: Building an Empire

November 2, 2011, By George Lang

Respected British author J.R.R. Tolkien (3 January 1982 – 2 September 1973) is, no doubt, rolling in his grave over recent decades of passionate popular activity related to his prolific creations: The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy and The Hobbit. We have news for you; the “activity” is only going to get “worse!”

The grave-rolling is about to become thunderous amongst gamers and movie-goers alike. Tolkien’s reawakening is being given a foothold by Warner Brothers who recently purchased Snowblind Studios, the role-playing game (RPG) developer; as well as by Peter Jackson’s upcoming follow-up to the LOTR trilogy, The Hobbit, set to debut next year on December 14, 2012.

Author J.R.R. Tolkien

By early accounts, the gaming reviewers are uncontrollably giddy about the new Lord of the Rings: War in the North (released 1 November 2011; for Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows PC; retail pricing ranging from $40 to $60). The graphics far surpass any previous LOTR game, including Lord of the Rings Online covered in an earlier Dev-Mag article.

The game is a role-playing game (RPG), Snowblind’s specialty, and is set in Middle-Earth during the Fellowship of the Ring time period. The game satisfies a long-held dream of many fans for an authentic LOTR game that captures the realism of the movies by Peter Jackson; including the video and audio emulation diehard fans have come to know and love over the last decade or so, as well as the fantastic lore cherished by readers of Tolkien worldwide.

To add to the upcoming 2012 fervor, Jackson is set to release his new movie The Hobbit during the holiday season in 2012. This is the tale, which actually occurs prior to the events in the trilogy, and relates the story of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures known as “There and Back Again.”

Anticipation for the long-awaited movie, coupled with the stir in real earth caused by this week’s release of the LOTR: War in the North, has Tolkien fans everywhere captivated and in baited anticipation of upcoming events. For those of us who love action-packed thrillers—with a touch of comedic accent—the Lord of the Rings “empire” couldn’t be stirring at a better time!

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