XBOX 360 PREVIEW: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE WHITE COUNCIL

The waiting has just begun as EA announces an LOTR RPG will arrive in late 2007. by Vaughn Smith

July 18, 2006 - In an industry built as much on innovation as it is on repetition and even downright intellectual property plagiarism, it really comes as no surprise that EA is creating an open-ended RPG within the LoTR universe. I'm not suggesting that's a bad idea - I personally think it's a wonderful idea - it's just not exactly a new idea.

Lord of the Rings: The White Council art

EA, having created successful action games based on the LoTR license already as well as the current darling of the Xbox 360 RTS scene, LoTR: Battle For Middle-earth II, the world's largest game publisher knows that rabid Tolkien fans appreciate their efforts, but desire more depth. Creating a role playing game based on the Tolkien's mythology is a no-brainer if there ever was one. Let's face it, if it wasn't for LoTR, the entire paper and pen D&D movement wouldn't have materialized, which was the impetus for today's video game RPG's, but had formed many of it's rules and classes based upon Tolkien's impressive body of fiction. With The White Council arriving in the RPG arena in late 2007, the circle is now closing....almost like a ring if you will....

“Our extremely talented and dedicated team is committed to creating an incredible new experience for fans of The Lord of the Rings and role playing gamers,” said Steve Gray, executive producer, The Lord of the Rings, The White Council. “With its next generation gameplay and epic new storyline, we think The Lord of the Rings, The White Council will be a huge success.”

Lord of the Rings: The White Council art

Players have the freedom to explore the open world of Tolkien’s Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings, The White Council. Players can choose their role as a man, an elf, a dwarf, or a hobbit. Each role’s destiny is to become a hero allied with the White Council, whose members include the famed characters Gandalf, Saruman, Galadriel, and Elrond.

A combination of stunning graphics and expansive environments, along with the freedom of movement demonstrates the innovation and quality of the next-generation RPG, where players can create their own adventures.

History of the White Council [Source: Wiki]

The White Council's head was the Wizard Saruman the White, (although Galadriel wished for Gandalf the Grey to be made the leader). Other members of the Council included the Bearers of the Three Rings of the Elves (although this was not known to any save the Bearers): Gandalf the Grey, Galadriel, and Elrond Half-Elven. Círdan the Shipwright (who had borne Narya, the ring of Fire before handing it on to Gandalf), and Radagast the Brown.

The White Council first met in 2463 TA, at the end of the Watchful Peace. In 2851 TA. the White Council met to decide on whether to act on Gandalf's discovery of the identity of the Necromancer but Saruman disuaded the others. The meeting was also the reason that Gandalf was unable to accompany Bilbo and the dwarves on a portion of their trip to the Lonely mountain, in the Hobbit. During this meeting there was much tension between Saruman and Gandalf, for Gandalf already suspected Saruman of desiring to have the One Ring. When he realised that the One Ring was possibly still in the area of the Gladden Fields and Sauron was actively seeking it Saruman relented and in 2941 TA. Sauron was driven out of Dol Guldur only to re-appear in Mordor. The Council last met in 2953 TA., at this meeting Saruman insisted that the One Ring had been swept out to sea.

By Vaughn Smith
CCC Site Director

Rating out of 5
Lord Of The Rings: The White Council (X360)
NA
Graphics
Not Available
NA
Control
Not Available
NA
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Not Available
NA
Play Value
Not Available
NA
Overall Rating -
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
Click For Media
LOTR: The White Council screenshots
Lord of the Rings: The White Council box art
System: PS3, X360, PC
Dev: EA
Pub: EA
Release: 4th Q 2007
Players: 1 - ?
Preview by Vaughn

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best