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E3 2011's Most Anticipated: LOTR: War In The North

CVG E3 2011 Awards: Vote for the games that most excite you!

The games on show at E3 2011 are some of the best in living memory. So you really owe it to yourself to vote in CVG's inaugural E3 2011 Awards... in the Most Anticipated Title category.

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Shortly before the show, we'll work out which of these 60 special E3 game previews have enjoyed the most page views, Facebook 'Likes', ReTweets and poll votes (see below) and crown our first victor at the Los Angeles event. Show your favourites the love!

Game: LOTR: War In The North
Likelihood of E3 2011 showing: Certain

You shall not pass!" roared Gandalf to the Balrog in Fellowship of the Ring. He obviously wasn't discussing quality control, mind, as the increasingly turgid raft of LOTR spin-offs appear to prove.

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Fret thee not though Tolkien fans, as devs Snowblind are here to save the day, bringing their experience of co-op hack-'n'-slashers to bear for the most eagerly anticipated foray to Middle-Earth since 2002's The Two Towers. Precious indeed.

Lest you forget (and don't worry if you have), Snowblind helmed both Champions of Norrath and Baldur's Gate:Dark Alliance. Both were technically silky, violence heavy, button-mashing romps through fantasy realms - which, funnily enough, is just what War in the North is shaping up to be... though this may well delve into the role-playing side of things to a greater extent than previous projects.

Whether that simply refers to intricate upgrade/customisation options or legitimate dialogue choices remains unclear, though. We'd put our Gondorian pennies on the former, especially since chief brainiac Ryan Geithman confirmed it's targeted towards 'core gamers'. Diablo meets the EA LOTR hack-'n'-slashers meets The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?

DWARF TOSS
Offline and online multiplayer, though, is where this game will live or die. With up to three warriors/magicians/dwarves/elves in your fellowship at once, the possibilities seem promising. Snowblind alude to 'interdependency', presumably hinting at co-op puzzling alongside the smiting of hill trolls and other forces of darkness.

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Seeing as the clue to this latest LOTR's setting is in the name, also expect a dumping of snow alongside verdant valleys, autumnal forests and sprawling mountain ranges. If the teaser trailer is to be believed, this will look delicious.

The much-hyped White Council never materialised, but with Guillermo del Toro's take on The Hobbit gathering filmic momentum the LOTR gravy train appears destined to keep on chugging for a good few years yet. Let's hope this is the perfect (well, perfectly gory) companion piece.

[Words: Xbox World 360]

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