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Ranked in the top ten best-selling movies of recent years, the first two instalments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy have been immensely successful. And as the final part of the trilogy prepares for its big screen release, developer and publisher Electronic Arts has unleashed the video game equivalent for PlayStation 2.
An adventure game with the emphasis on war and combat, Return of the King has players assuming control of protagonist Frodo and many of his companions as they strive to defeat Dark Lord Sauron and restore Middle-earth to its former glory. Players can defend the walls of Minas Tirith as the infamous Gandalf, raise the Army of the Dead as Aragorn, Legolas, or Gimli, and deliver the ring to the fiery depths of Mount Doom as Frodo and Sam.
Whichever hero you play as, you will be subject to the myriad henchmen of Sauron. Each character has his own means of attack and defence, and all have their own unique character paths, making it one of the most diverse and extensive movie tie-ins ever created. You can use the right analogue stick to perform attacks in any direction and you can even trigger combos to make your effort more worthwhile.
The game spans some 12 beautifully rendered environments, all faithful to the setting of the movie equivalent, and boasts a high level of interactivity, whereby players can jump, swing from ropes, fire catapults and kick boulders. In fact, the surrounding environments may even be used as a means to form battle strategies.
Return of the King is the final part of the trilogy, both at the cinema and in video games, and it's an epic one at that.