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Lord of the Rings Online review

Lord of the Rings Online

Publisher: Warner Bros

Genre: Fantasy MMORPG



See our LotRO re-Review here


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It's been a while since we had a chance to play Lord of the Rings Online and we thought it was about time to give it a visit before the release of Riders of Rohan expansion; due for release in September. This time we made a video review of the MMORPG to show you what it has to offer. Read on to see if it lives up to hopes and dreams of someone who first read the books at nine years old.


Lord of the Rings Online Video Review

As I say in the video, the works of JRR Tolkien have been a passion of mine for quite a long time. I listened to The Hobbit before I could read, own multiple editions of many of his books and walked miles in the snow back at the turn of the century so that my dad and I could see The Fellowship of the Ring after following information on the internet for months on end. When Lord of the Rings Online came out, I dismissed it for being an MMO but now, years later, it was nice to see it updated, fully realized and buzzing with content. 

Middle-Earth Made Real: If you’ve ever wanted to explore Middle Earth on your own rules, without the hassles of constant battle or badly animated cut scenes, Lord of the Rings Online is for you. It’s staggering to come across familiar characters and locations, beautiful to walk through forests and woodland and shocking how well the developers have built up the world from the books and the films.

Thousands of Quests: For the first time in my MMO career, I’ve come across a game that overwhelms with quests. I’ve played other games before that have surprised me with the length and depth of content available, but it’s a rare thing to come across a location in LOTRO that doesn’t either involved in quests or offers them. If you’re the sort of person that doesn’t mind fetching objects, talking with vague relatives or killing a set amount of enemies, you could keep yourself busy for years.

LOTRO Writhendowns

Shopping It: Not everybody has the time or energy for a year’s worth of questing, fighting and exploring, and LOTRO offers a shop to help those interested in speeding things up. It’s not pay to win, those who want to can achieve just as powerful a character with hard work, and there are a wide variety of things to choose from. It’s almost like they’re daring you NOT to want something on offer.

Well Supported: Perhaps as a result of the shop, the developers are regularly, continuously supporting Lord of the Rings Online. It’s a great thing to know that any problems you come across are likely to be swiftly taken care of and anything you want could be implemented at any moment.

There’s a lot to Catch up On: If you’re only just coming to Lord of the Rings Online, prepare yourself for quite the surprise. This is the catch to having so many quests: it’s going to take you a long time to get to the point that other players are at and then you’ve got expansions to buy and new areas to explore. If you want a quick game to play over a weekend, this is not it.

LOTRO Fallows

Beautifully Flawed: There are bits of the game that look stunning, especially the DX11 water, but then you’ll see things that aren’t necessarily nice to see. For instance, beautiful rolling landscapes that look flat, like a PS2 game. Considering the age of the game and the fact that many people probably use their PC to play LOTRO and nothing else, it’s not a problem easily solved, but it’s very noticeable at 1080p and with everything on ultra-high.

Divided Community: I’ve seen plenty of people about on my travels, but not once have I noticed especially interesting conversation in the chat-box, nor have I seen groups of people roaming around. It’s a very individual-based MMO, at least in the early hours of the game, and that always makes me feel a little disappointed.

You’ve Seen it All Before: Take away the Lord of the Rings IP and you’re left with a game you’ve seen before, albeit a quality example of what you’ve played before.  There’s plenty of reasons to play LOTRO, originality isn’t one of those reasons and you’ll probably find yourself fatigued by playing if you’re a veteran in the genre.

The Battle System Sucks: I hate to be so unsubtle, but sometimes you come across something so generic, so dry that you can’t help but out and out say what you’re thinking. With the next expansion, perhaps the combat will be spruced up and made less frustrating, but for now you’ll probably be avoiding enemy creatures.

Odd Development Curve: I came across enemies in the opening moments of the game that utterly humiliated me. As a result, it sometimes feels like there’s no way to avoid grinding in order to progress and, being realistic, that’s just not a fun form of entertainment.

Recommended Games

If you love Lord of the Rings Online, you’re going to like:
World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Perfect World.

by Mat Growcott

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