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The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth review: A Flawed Odyssey

Will you wield it for good or will you succumb to evil?

LoTR: Heroes of Middle-earth isn’t a particularly narrative game so in that regard it’s pretty safe although the game does have some story that isn’t by any stretch of the imagination the main attraction of the game. However, as a game and as an online game especially there’s a lot of potential and expectations on the game, whether LoTR: Heroes of Middle-earth does justice to those expectations or it falls flat on the mobile devices of gamers, is all we’ll discuss in this The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth review.

The term Lord of The Rings doesn’t require an introduction and neither do the developers of LoTR: Heroes of Middle-earth, Electronic Arts require the same. The beautiful and magical world of Lord of The Rings, and the captivating grounds of Middle-earth aren’t unknown to any medium of entertainment so far and some of them definitely did differ in a lot of ways from the original vision and world-building of the legendary writer JRR Tolkien.

A buggy start to the Odyssey

Starting off with the The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth review, the game was always going to be hugely anticipated especially for the source material and the enormous name in the gaming industry Electronic Arts being attached to the development process. After such mammoth anticipation the first 30 minutes or so in the game, including the tutorial as seen in quite some instances was bugged and left a sour taste in the player’s mouth.

Image via Electronic Arts

Apart from the specific tutorial bug that freezes the game, there are quite a lot of micro stutters along with some glitches during the fighting and all in all the game feels janky at times. While this isn’t anything new to the genre a lot more polished was expected from LoTR: Heroes of Middle-earth. A lot of the issues can be fixed with regular and dedicated updates but as of the current state, the performance isn’t something to write home about.

Gameplay returns to the rescue

As you’ve probably noticed most of the things discussed in this review so far have been negative and the thing that carries the game forward despite the aforementioned adversities is the gameplay and gameplay mechanics in general.

LoTR Heroes of Middle earth overview
Image via Electronic Arts

The attacks in this turn-based game do have some weight to them and it is somewhat tactical in terms of choosing the enemy or using special attacks and provocations and much more and ideally much more to be added as many characters join the roster with many new abilities. The game largely isn’t all that hard however the game can surprise you at times with the number of enemies in the chapters.

Multiplayer in this game at launch is definitely pretty average and straightforward, the game has a guild system and obviously arena mode. There isn’t much exciting as of now in terms of multiplayer fun apart from the fact that a raid mode is said to be coming soon in the in-game notifications.

The Character roster is deserted of excitement and variety

As an online game character roster size at launch barely resembles the character roster that could build up over time however, the choice of characters you’ve got is completely barebones. Although this issue might be temporary and this game can easily be swarming with character variations by a few month’s time which is unlikely but possible however, the main issue is that the huge gap in launch expectation and experience might cause some retaliation or disappointment from the hardcore Lord of The Rings fanbase.

Image via Electronic Arts

Campaign mode is a refresher in the lands of Mordor

Campaign mode in today’s mobile gaming landscape is really a refreshing change, while it is only surface-level, the storytelling with combat encounters that are organized and spontaneous at the same time. The campaign mode consists of light, dark, and guild campaigns with several chapters although the action takes place in an identical backdrop and it’s completely supported by the written story.

The graphics take players way back in time to Middle-earth

The aspect that stands out as you open the game is the graphics of the game and definitely not in a good way. The graphics take the game and the player almost a decade back in time. The characters look blurry and the textures look pretty dated too. While the special attack animation looks as slick as you’d want it to be but you can’t help but notice that some corners were definitely cut in the graphical prowess of the Middle-earth adventure.

Microtransactions aren’t exactly micro enough

Whenever it’s a free-to-play game obviously the developers have to make money in some way Microtransactions are the way these companies roll and it’s most of the time fine as long as the transaction is micro, which isn’t the case in The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth.

Image via Electronic Arts

The game is neither completely littered with microtransactions, nor is it aggressive to the point where it’s essentially unplayable without them, the microtransactions are rather kept sizeable. However, the amounts in each of those packs are insane, especially

Considering that it’s only the launch and $40-$99.99 packs aren’t exactly what players expected. The value of those humongous packs isn’t enough considering the technical state of the game itself and the barebones multiplayer components currently.

Final Verdict

To sum up this LoTR: Heroes of Middle-earth review the game is pretty rough around the edges especially at the launch although the game might improve in rosters and the performance also could be better with updates however, the graphical fidelity is really not up to the standards of the current mobile landscape and the standards of developers Electronic Arts.

The gameplay loop is solid enough to keep you engaged with a refreshing addition of campaign mode, although the over-expensive microtransactions aren’t really consumer friendly. The game has great animation in special attacks and in general so with a lot of polish the game can be really worthy of praise from JRR Tolkien’s fans however, as things stand LoTR: Heroes of Middle-earth is a game with solid gameplay buried underneath a heap of technical issues and sub-par graphics.

The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth review by Gamingonphone

Gameplay Mechanics - 7.5
Campaign Storyline - 8
Graphics and Music - 6
Performance and UI - 6
Free-to-Play Elements - 5



LoTR: Heroes of Middle-earth is a game with solid gameplay and animations but buried underneath a heap of technical issues, heavy microtransactions and sub-par graphics.

What are your thoughts on The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth review? Let us know in the comments below!

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