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The Battle at the Black Gate has begin

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Lego has done a great job of turning The Lord of the Rings into a Lego video game. In this game, players can play in actual events from the movies in Lego environments. Players can also play with all the main characters, along with some additional characters. Now players can visit the Lego Lord of the Rings website and play games based on Lego Lord of the Rings. One of these games is called Battle at the Black Gate. In this game, your objective is to stop a wave of enemies coming out of the Black Gate towards you. Frodo and Sam are marching toward Mount Doom, and it's up to you to hold back Sauron's army so Frodo can destroy the ring once and for all.

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Gameplay:

At the start of the game, you have to choose three characters to hold back the armies of Sauron. Your choices are Aragorn, Legolas, Gimili, Merry and Pippin, and Gandalf the White. If you preordered the Elrond minifigure, you could enter a code in the game to play as Elrond. Once you choose your three characters, you begin the first level. Your characters are set a few feet from the Black Gate, and enemies begin to march toward you. You have to use your characters abilities to hold them off before they reach you. Each character has different abilities, so they will attack the enemies in a different way; Aragorn can only slash at enemies, while Legolas can use his arrows to shoot enemies at a distance. The most fun part about playing this game is using each character's ability to hold back the enemies. There is also some strategy involved in this game, depending on the characters you choose.
If you choose to play with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimili, then make sure to take out the enemies that are further away with Legolas. When the enemies get close, use Aragorn or Gimili to destroy them. During the game, little circles with pictures will pop up. If you click on both pictures, then an event will happen, helping you to kill enemies. In one event, Marry and Pippin sneak behind the gate and start throwing rocks down on the ground. In another event, the undead come running across the screen, taking out all the enemies. As you are playing the game, be sure to watch the characters power meter; when this meter runs out, you have to wait for it to recharge. While this meter is recharging, your character can't use his attack, so you have to use the other two characters to take out enemies. The level of difficulty progresses nicely; once you hit level four, groups of enemies and enemies with arrows start shooting at you.
After level three, it's best to always have Legolas and Gandalf as your first two characters; you stand a better chance at getting three stars and it's good to have two characters that can kill enemies at a distance, especially when a lot of the enemies are at a distance. Level six is really hard; the big enemies make an appearance in this level, and you have to hit them three three times to defeat them. This level requires lots of clicking to get the three stars. Riders on horseback make their way past the black gate on level eight, and even though they move slow, it requires four hits to beat them. The last two levels are the hardest; you have to find the right character combination to complete these levels.

Game Mechanics:

All of the characters have the exact same abilities as in the movies. Aragorn has his swift sword attack and Legolas has his fast arrows shots. Gimili has his brute strength axe attack, which works well to take out the big enemies. Merry and Pippin throw fruit for their attack, but it's really not that effective against the tough enemies. Gandalf uses his staff to unleash an energy bolt attack. The abilities are really accurate, and they all work great. The added events that happen when you click on the two similar pictures really help when there are so many enemies. The enemies themselves move toward you at a smooth pace, and their pace steadily hastens throughout the levels.

Controls:

The controls are okay, but they can be complicated to use at times during the game. To use a character's ability you have to click on the character, and then click on the enemy. When you are surrounded by a lot of enemies, you have to multiple click on characters and enemies. If you click on an enemy first before the characters, the characters will not use their ability. As a result, some of the enemies might get past you, and you wind up getting only two stars. It would be better if you could use the arrow keys to circle through your characters and just use the left click mouse button to click on an enemy. In the first few levels, it's not so bad to first click on a character and then on an enemy, but in the last few levels, it's pretty difficult to do it this way.

Graphics:

The preload screen looks just like a scene from the movies; you see the Black Gate of Mordor open up and Sauron's army is growling and ready for battle. You also see a horse with a rider on it jumping up on his high legs and a big enemy roaring as they prepare to march out from the gate. The level select screen has a beautiful background of The Black Gate with big rocks in front of the gate. The characters are a striking resemble to the characters in The Lego Lord of the Rings video game. The gameplay screen has a nice texture for the ground. This game has authentic Lego style graphics, and it fits well into the Lego theme.

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