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Will you buy an Xbox One X on November 7?

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Game Profile
 Written by Alex Fitzgerald  on June 23, 2003

First Impressions: Wahoo?more fury footed gaming action.


The fantasy genre has always been a favorite genre for book lovers, and why shouldn't it be? The genre does often what no other genre can do, in that it transfers readers into a beautiful innocent world where insignificant people can embark on grand journeys and make a name for themselves. It's a beautiful escape from the real world, which is often quite ugly and people who are insignificant remain insignificant, and rarely does the genre ever become exceedingly dark like the science fiction genre does.

One favorite work of literature within this genre is J.R.R Tolkien's famous prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, The Hobbit. When the book originally came out decades ago it made a huge splash, and even today we can still see the effects that The Hobbit has had on the genre. Add that to the recent success of the Lord of the Rings movies, and Vivendi Universal's decision to make a game based on the The Hobbit property seems like a no-brainer.

The game follows the plotline of the book, in that you will follow the travels of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and Thorin Oakenshield's troop of gold-loving dwarves as they set out to retrieve a lost treasure held by the ancient dragon Smaug.

This plotline will guide players into the rest of the game, which plays out like a traditional 3D action adventure, complete with puzzles, treasure-collection, and platforming segments. Don't go hoping for a bloody adventure though like in EA's Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, as The Hobbit videogame will follow in the book's path in that it will be aimed more towards kids than towards adults.

That's not to say that the combat won't be will done though, it just won't be bloody. Developer Inevitable is keen on delivering a good fighting experience as it plans to deliver a fighting system that will allow you to lock on to enemies, perform combos on them, and deal out punishment to more than one enemy at once.

If you're more of the exploration type though, Inevitable's got you covered there too. The Hobbit will contain several areas that will be very large and interactive, and only through thorough exploration of the levels will you be able to find silver, gems, and pennies. After you've collected a good amount of any of the currency, you can then use it to buy things like throwing rocks and poison antidotes that will help you through the rest of the game.

Stealth will also come to play while you're going throughout the game's levels, by way of Bilbo Baggins putting on the famous ring in order to turn invisible for a set amount of time. If executed well this stealth gameplay should provide a healthy break from the action, but like anyone whose played a game in the last few years can tell you, not every game can pull of the stealth thang. Here's hoping that Inevitable won't be one of those companies.

One thing you'll discover quite quickly though while you're getting your fantasy groove on is that some creative liberties have been taken with the The Hobbit license. For one, not every single area you read about in the classic book will be here. Sure, the big areas like Mirkwood, Lake Town, and The Misty mountains will be there, but other areas unfortunately will be omitted for the sake of keep the game flowing.

On the flip side however, Inevitable also plans to add plenty of optional subquests that players can undertake in if they desire to. These missions will introduce new characters not seen in the book, but have been promised not to deter from the original story.

With side quests added to the game's original 11 large levels, Inevitable promises us that the game will take a healthy 25 hours to complete. Of course, if you're one of those people who just have to get EVERYTHING in a game, then your gaming experience will likely be lengthened.

Final Thoughts
Looking at The Hobbit in its early state its quite safe to say that the game is shaping up rather nicely, and will likely please Middle Earth fans young and old when it comes out.


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