The Lord of the Rings has been a fixture in the entertainment landscape for the last 70 years or so, and NetEase Games’s The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War is one of the most vivid and enjoyable reimaginings of the story so far.
For a start, it’s absolutely stunning, with character models, locations, and music taken straight from the Peter Jackson movies. It’s got its share of new characters, too, along with a gripping original story.
Once again, the One Ring is at the center of it all. A new ring has surfaced at the deserted castle of Dol Guldur, and the races of Middle-earth are marching on this remote location in order to seize it and claim dominion over the entire continent.
This global race takes the form of a geo-strategic seasonal wargame in which you play as one of a vast number of factions trying to expand their forces across Middle-earth and reach Dol Guldur.
The gameplay involves building up a fortified settlement, recruiting fighters, levelling up your buildings, and then sending your army out to conquer the tiles around your base.
The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War is a deep strategy game where every decision matters. The infrastructure of your settlement determines how well you’ll fare on the battlefield at large, but so does the strategy you employ.
The open, fluid nature of the tactical gameplay, coupled with the time it takes to build up your army to the point that it can take and defend high value tiles, means that strategies in The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War take weeks and months to play out, rather than minutes and hours.