Looks great, but fails just about everywhere else. Not evocative of the setting at all. The story is thin at the start, and there was frankly not enough to keep me engaged to care about moving through the game to find out what happens next considering the game play is average at best.
The controls are not intuitive in places and a tutorial or more robust on screen help would have been welcome. In combatants with more than a few opponents, keeping your character on target is harder than it needs to be. The dodge to avoid strikes seems to avoid some and not others, and if there is some game logic behind this, I have no idea what it is. There's an inventory system that seems out of place. ( I do love all the looting and crate smashing the heroes do in the Lord of the Rings, and the endless attention paid to their inventory- literary and cinematic joy!) I realize that smashing crates is a staple of fantasy computer games, but it's unnecessary and out of place here.
There's a lot of elements of a straight RPG here, but nothing seems to fit. Almost like they couldn't decide if it was going to be a straight action game or to go heavy on the hit points, skill system and inventory. I'm happy with a mix of elements, but nothing seems to fit together in this game. Damage doesn't have any baseline, so knowing if the damage you're doing is a lot, enough, or pathetic is anyone's guess. Enemies seem to die randomly from my attacks or be largely unaffected.
The AI of your companions is terrible. They are in your way when navigating the board and tactically obtuse in combat. I gave up long before I cared to hunt for a way to set their actions, but this is something that is sorely needed.
Player agency seems absent. You get a mission. You go on it. There are conversations with choices, but your choices don't seem to have much affect on play or the development of the storyline (though, I admittedly bailed after the interminable boss fight at the end of the first part so perhaps decisions come into play later, though from the general laziness on display, I wouldn't expect it).
The first boss fight is boring, repetitive, and unimaginative. Instead of being an interesting challenge, the bad guy is the lazy programmer's idea of a cool challenge: He does lots of damage (you're dead if he hits you a couple times) and absorbs tons of punishment (beat on him, when he winds up to strike, dodge away, beat on him, run away, beat on him, run away, lather, rinse repeat. Do that until you wish you were playing a swimming level on Super Mario Brothers and then, mercifully, you either pile enough punishment that he finally dies, or your party is killed. Either way you're free- go play a better game). Oops, spoiler alert. It's terrible. There's nothing interesting about that fight. And he's not even the main bad guy on that level. I gave up at that point, because I didn't want to see another boss in this game ever. Just dreadful.
If you don't care about story and just want to hack your way through enemies, this will do the trick, but there are better games for that.
This has all the hallmarks of a game rushed into production. Uninspired and trading entirely on the licensed property, with nothing new to add and nothing cool to show you.