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LOTR - Treason Of Isengard Cancelled

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the wonder-who-voted-it-off-the-island? dept.

Lord of the Rings 15

Thanks to GameSpyDaily for the news that Vivendi's Lord Of The Rings game sequel, The Treason Of Isengard, has been cancelled. The PS2/Xbox title, a Surreal-developed follow-up to last year's disappointing Fellowship Of The Ring, was apparently "not going to achieve the strict... standards for our Tolkien games", and so the book-licensed game was axed, despite a number of public showings and the newly-unveiled ability to play as Treebeard. In other LOTR game news, EA has announced the ability to play online for its forthcoming, non-cancelled movie-licensed title, Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King.

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15 comments

Aw man... (3, Funny)

Phyr3b4t (672775) | more than 10 years ago | (#6950063)

That'd have been cool! "The Ents are going to war" *Stomps an orc* hehehe

It's probably a good thing... (4, Informative)

Matias D'Ambrosio (609229) | more than 10 years ago | (#6950337)

I played, or tried to, the Fellowship of the Ring game, the dialogs were boring (and to make it worse, I played the Spanish version, worst voice acting I've ever heard), the gameplay was ridiculous, when the ringwraiths first appear you are supposed to hide... only the three times I tried it they caught me before I even had time to read the instructions! Plus a couple of very obvious bugs, like when you first see a platform and you are instructed on how to jump and grab (the tree), if you try to do it it has a clipping error and pushes you down.
The LotR book deserves something much better, my bet is on fans getting it right (as a mod, most probably).

Originality and Gaming (4, Insightful)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 10 years ago | (#6950343)

...'The PS2/Xbox title, a Surreal-developed follow-up to last year's disappointing Fellowship Of The Ring, was apparently "not going to achieve the strict standards for our Tolkien games"...'

Well, hmm. I would argue that any game based on an already-existing property (be it a film, novel, or what have you) is not going to live up to the expectations created by the original product. A book is meant to be a book; the ideas, characters and plot contained therein are created specifically for the literary medium. Attempting to transfer these ideas to a radically different medium (i.e., a non-interactive literature ported to an interactive game) is going to result in loss of quality. The same is true for the movies; non-interactive literature to non-interactive film is better, but the films are not going to convey the books as they were originally intended.

In the case of Tolkien and *any* game based upon his works, it's like playing Beethoven on a $5,000 stereo system, and recording it to a tape deck with a microphone held up to one of the speakers. Ya, it *sounds* like Beethoven, but what's with the guy opening a bag of chips in the background?

I think that I speak for the majority of gamers when I say that we prize originality, not spin-offs from movies, books, card games or whatever, when it comes to video games.

TO WIT: Of course gamers' expectations are going to be dashed by the majority of games which have been transfered from a different medium. Then again, show me a RPG based on Rushdie's _The_Satanic_Verses_, and I'll gladly eat my words.

Re:Originality and Gaming (3, Insightful)

zmotula (663798) | more than 10 years ago | (#6950531)

Well, hmm. I would argue that any game based on an already-existing property (be it a film, novel, or what have you) is not going to live up to the expectations created by the original product.

Discworld {I, II, Noir}? Dune I? Indiana Jones?

Re:Originality and Gaming (3, Insightful)

Charnock (706900) | more than 10 years ago | (#6950606)

Games based on a movie/book/whatever can indeed be good. While Fellowship Of The Ring was indeed a poor game, Two Towers which came out around the same time was quite good. Games suck all the time even if they are not made based on an existing property. If the developer actually tries to make a good game and not a quick buck then i think these types of games have as much a chance of being a quality product as anything else.

Cheap excuse? (3, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#6950427)

'"not going to achieve the strict... standards for our Tolkien games"'

I doubt this was the issue considering what Hollywood pressuring game developers to do. (ie. Crank out anything half-assed if it'll earn us a few bucks/extra hype and it makes a launch date the same as the movie.) I think they did it because they didn't wanna get yelled at or blaimed if the game didn't sell well and (possibly) caused the movie to not do well either.

Case in point : The latest Tomb Raider movie.

Re:Cheap excuse? (3, Informative)

Shadows-and-Ice (669658) | more than 10 years ago | (#6950675)

....except the Vivendi release is licensed from the books. EA has more to worry about, as they're using the license from the films.

Re:Cheap excuse? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#6950894)

the last lotr game for pc was a piece of shit anyways(just HORRIBLE, and also buggy), so it can't be that they got any limits on that... and afaik didn't sell at all that well.

Re:Cheap excuse? (3, Insightful)

thinlineofsanity (705239) | more than 10 years ago | (#6951367)

Ah.. But Lord of the Rings isn't immediately a Hollywood flick. Further more, the LotR audience does have much higher standards than the Tomb Raider audience. Tomb Raider started out as a game. Lord of the Rings started out as a book. It's not fair to compain a seriously weak setting like Tomb Raider to an extremely rich and deep setting like Middle-Earth.

The 'big' expectations people have for Tomb Raider tend to have to do with boobage and original gameplay. Eidos messed up - the game's controls and gameplay are as bad as those in the Lord of the Rings game. Paramount messed up - the movie had an incoherent script, and quite a few action scenes seem to be added "because they could".

A lot of people have high expectations from anything to do with Middle-Earth - it's the result of 'knowing' the books. That's why the Middle-Earth trading card game never really got off the ground all that well. That's why most game titles based on original Middle-Earth licenses die a slow death. The primary fanbase has a much better idea of what things should look like than game developers could ever implement, raising the bar for these games to almost impossible heights. Of course, if a studio then decides to release a half-tested game, it'll just crash and burn.

Peter Jackson's interpretation of the story opens the setting to people who ordinarily wouldn't have considered reading the books. This secondary fanbase knows the story only from the movies, and while 10 hours of film has a lot of footage, it's still only an interpretation. They will have a much easier time to identify with game characters based on movie characters based on a single person's interpretation of story characters than the primary fanbase, who have to relate game characters to their individual interpretations of the story characters. I think any game based on the movie license will have a much easier time selling than those based on an original license.

so these 4 EA games... (0, Troll)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 10 years ago | (#6950986)

will be on-line for PS2 but not for GameCube. This is getting SO FSCKING TIRESOME.

I did mention that LoTR sucks, did I? (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 10 years ago | (#6951021)

But here's it again, just to make sure you all know it:
LoTR SUCKS! [slashdot.org]

Read it.

EVERY LOTR game has sucked big time... (0)

andrewski (113600) | more than 10 years ago | (#6952882)

I remember playing several Tolkien universe games - Lord of the Rings for Apple II, Riders of Rohan, the Hobbit, and several others. They have all sucked. I would be surprised at a good one coming out, more than a shitty one being canceled.

Gaming companies, take heed - don't EVER do another game set in Middle Earth. Please.

Re:EVERY LOTR game has sucked big time... (1)

kryten_nz (630600) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958599)

The LoTR "War of the Ring" RTS being put together by Liquid is looking very cool - screenshots here [gamershell.com]

That's actually impressive, it that's the reason. (1)

LinuxMan (3590) | more than 10 years ago | (#6956075)

In a world where companies, especially entertainment companies, seem to happily sell out on anything, and release half-baked products and productions, it is nice for a change to see a company cancel something for not being up to par. Now if we can just get that mentality going in regards to other computer software. "Hmm. Our operating system is too bloated and runs slowly on anything under 1.5 gigahertz and a gig of ram! Back to the drawing board!" :)

Madden NFL 2004 [amazon.com]

Re:That's actually impressive, it that's the reaso (1)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958225)

EA Games canceled the first version of The Sims Online, if I remember correctly. It sucked, and they didn't want to tarnish their own good name. It seems all noble and stuff, but they're just trying to make a buck, or in this case, save a buck by not shipping and marketing something that just won't sell. Not that I fault them, it's just good business to pull crap before it gets expensive.
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