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R P G A M E R   -   N E W S   B U L L E T I N

New Details Emerge on The Lord of the Rings: The White Council
07.21.2006

MATTHEW BONAFILIA
STAFF REPORTER


The Lord of the Rings: The White Council

Recently The Lord of the Rings: The White Council executive producer Steve Gray revealed some details on the game. The White Council is set 80 years before The Lord of the Rings, and the White Council itself is a group of powerful wizards and elves including Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, Elrond, Galadriel and Cirdan, who struggle to prevent the victory of evil. The player begins as a nobody, but strives to earn the Council's recognition by performing menial tasks. Once their importance can no longer be ignored, the Council appoints the player to assist in directly fighting the forces of evil.

Winning the Council's admiration will be no easy task, as the game's NPCs have complex emotions similar to those of the Sims from EA's The Sims series and, according to Gray, "They're not just current-gen Sims, ... they're built from the technology of the next generation of Sims games." Mirroring the NPCs depth is that of the characters'. As previously reported, characters are created as one of the four main "good" races of Middle-earth: human, elf, dwarf and hobbit. There are no race-specific classes, and while traditional archetypes such as the melee fighter and the wizard are present, character development is largely open-ended. Additionally, the "inventory customization system is going to be far beyond anything we've seen so far," points out Gray.

Gray stressed the openness of the game's world, and the variety of activities and quests to be found. He revealed little about the game's plot, but said that his team has worked to create an original story consistent with Tolkein's vision of Middle-earth. Ultimately, Gray hopes that "the world itself is so interesting that people will use the story as a springboard to go off and create their own adventures."

The game's combat system takes elements from The Two Towers and The Return Of The King and combines them with the tactical aspect of The Third Age. Fighting will be in the style of an action/adventure game on the surface, but the character's equipment will play a role in determining tactical advantage. So far, there are no other details.

Gray confirmed a PS3 and Xbox 360 release aimed at Fall 2007. A PC version is planned, but not yet confirmed.



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