Pandemic Studios has been in the news of late thanks to Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, a game that was long in the making and fell short of critics' expectations when it waged its private war in August. However, that's just one of the three games the EA-owned game maker plans to fire off within the coming months, with The Lord of the Rings: Conquest and Saboteur also on the verge of release.
Today, EA dated the first of those titles, saying The Lord of the Rings: Conquest will sally forth on January 13 in the US, three days after the game's international release. Conquest will be available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Nintendo DS.
Like EA's Lord of the Rings games released alongside their theatrical counterparts in the early 2000s, Conquest will be set in the same universe as Peter Jackson's filmic interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien's acclaimed novels. Expanding on these titles, Pandemic's take on the series promises to give players control of both sides of the conflict, fighting either for the alliance of men, elves, and dwarves or for Sauron's legions.
Pandemic hopes to translate the gameplay of its lauded Star Wars: Battlefront games from plasma-blaster sci-fi to hack-and-slash fantasy. The game will also emphasize large-scale, open-warfare battlefields and will incorporate a number of character archetypes that players can switch between on the fly, including scout, warrior, archer, and mage.
For more on The Lord of the Rings: Conquest, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.