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The Lord of the Discs: Duplication of the King

EA's Rings adventure goes gold.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Phew! Peter Jackson can rest easy. There's no need to delay the third Rings film - EA is ready! That's right, wormtongues, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has gone gold this week on (deep breath), PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC and Game Boy Advance. We haven't heard anything about an N-Gage version yet, but who knows? "This is where I got whipped by a hobbit," would work fine as part of their TV campaign.

As you may already know, The Return of the King titles will be released in November. We've got November 7th on our list (it's out in the US on the 6th), although EA's press site reckons it's out on the 14th. We'll try and clarify that when people wake up later (it's a bit early right now; poor dears are probably sipping coffee in their plush Chertsey canteen and not writing copy in the freezing cold waiting for the postman!).

Like last year's Two Towers release, EA reckons RotK is the ultimate Rings companion, effectively a glorified interactive movie (remember them!) with key points and battles from the film elaborated on from each of a group of main characters' perspectives. So you can expect to defend the walls of Minas Tirith with Gandalf's beard, and toss the ring into the depths of Mount Doom with Frodo and Sam. As befitting their stature, hobbits will no longer fight like Aragorn's lost siblings, instead having to rely on tactics more suited to their abilities.

The game will be played almost entirely from the third person and definitely falls under the rubber "action" stamp, with richly detailed levels full of nasties to clobber, interspersed with neatly segued film footage woven into the gameplay - to even greater effect than in The Two Towers. We can even expect a multiplayer co-operative mode, although European gamers will not be treated to the PS2 Online support pledged to their American counterparts, with only FIFA, Medal of Honor, SSX, Need For Speed and The Sims catered for by EA this Christmas.

We'll bring you more on the King's endeavours as soon as we get our hands on developer EA Redwood Shores' latest opus. Although we may have to put off viewing the huge number of film-related extras until after we've left the cinema...

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