One would assume that cutting your way through countless orcs would leave your clothes rather messy. Snowblind Studios, the developer of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North makes that happen in what looks to be the most violent game the fantasy series has ever seen.

Gore spattered dwarves and elves are nothing new to players of games like Dragon Age, but Lord of the Rings games generally shy away from getting down and dirty when it comes to the wholesale slaughter of evil minions. Not so with The Lord of the Rings: War in the North. If you make it through a battle without a drop of thick black blood on your adventuring gear, you probably did something wrong.

It's so gory it's likely to be the first M-rated game in the series. That Snowblind has managed this without resorting to flashing elf breasts is a fact that makes me both happy and sad at the same time.

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is coming to the PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 sometime this year.