Lord of the Rings: War in the North Announced

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance developer Snowblind Studios is crafting a new Lord of the Rings-branded action-RPG, publisher and studio owner Warner Bros has announced.

Due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011, The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is said to "[advance] the RPG paradigm through innovative online, interdependent co-op play for up to three players who form their own Fellowship to fight Sauron's forces."

War in the North marks the second Lord of the Rings video game from Warner Bros since it acquired the rights to develop games based off both the books and the movies. The first, Aragorn's Quest, is due out on PlayStation 2, PS3, Wii, DS and PSP this fall.

Judging by the game's official site, it seems that War in the North will draw more from the books than the movies, as it's "inspired by events from the famous book trilogy," though today's press release also noted it will contain "elements familiar from past feature films." In addition, the site lists three races--Elves, Dwarves, Race of Man--that will presumably be playable, and provides a brief synopsis of what to expect:

This visceral action-adventure RPG is set against the backdrop of the famous trilogy, yet forges its own distinct path with a new story and an exciting take on the popular genre. It will give players the unique opportunity to explore previously untold stories in the realm of Middle-earth during the journey of the ring...The game features stunning visuals, brutally realistic combat, a unique and compelling new story, and innovative cooperative gameplay that pits you and your friends against the dark forces of Middle-earth.