Review by Tiptop3
"The best MMORPG Around"
Welcome to J. R. R. Tolkien's amazing fantasy world of Middle-Earth, where Hobbits, Elves, Men and Dwarves battle the power of the ring and its owner, Sauron. Ok, lets us go into the review.
I was truly amazed by the beautiful graphics of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, Turbine did an excellent job of making Tolkien's world into a video game. The game has a very realistic feel to it; waterfalls look like waterfalls in real life, same with all the other astounding environmental features. I must say though, some of the characters' textures don't look as amazing as everything else, but still nice. The game has the best graphics on the MMO market, and is very easy on low end machines.
I wish I could say the sound was up to par with the graphics, but I can't. The soundtrack is alright, some of the songs are great and give off a very 'epic' feel, and some have a very cheery, which I enjoy, but sadly it's not good enough to have me turn off my stereo for it. Some of the combat skills sound wonderful, as if you can hear the impact of your mighty blow, but unfortunately the monsters sound rather generic, with an annoying sound every time they get hit, but this could be said for all MMORPGs.
Let us start off with the controls. The controls are fine, nothing amazing, the basic WASD for movement and you've got the # hotkeys for attacks. Nothing out of the ordinary, which I see as a good thing, so you don't feel lost if you are transferring from another MMORPG.
The gameplay is great, but it does follow the tried and true system of WoW, EQ, Vanguard etc. The character creation is average, 4 races and 7 classes, but a really cool feature they added is a video explaining each race and class. The customization isn't great, but you've got more than WoW and many other games. A thing I really like is your group role for your class is pretty much set in stone, meaning say you are a Guardian, you are going to be tanking, and only tanking.
The game starts you off straight into the action, with a small mission which involves a cool story bit/characters. After you have done this small mission you are still in a tutorial, but it doesn't seem that way, you are in an instanced world, so you must complete some more core quests before you can get into the real world. Another thing this game does very well is minimizing grinding, most of your XP will come from quests because monsters don't give too much.
Now let's move onto three little things that make this game truly unique.
This is LOTRO version of Player v Player. At level 10 you can go to a thing called a "Fell Pool", once you go to it it will teleport you to a PvP zone where you can create your very own evil character. Here you will be auto-leveled to 50 (The cap) and you can do quests to earn Destiny Points, which can improve both your evil and good character. Hero characters can only begin Monster Play at level 40.
Deeds are things you can do to earn titles and permanent enhancements to your hero. They are very fun to gain, you might do a very hard one and get a VERY rare title, then walk around town and have everyone go "Hey look he has the Dragon Slayer deed!" which can be a very good feeling. Most deeds consist of doing this like "Discover this" or "Kill that" or "Use this ability X amount of times", the skill ones are particularly useful since they make your skills a lot better.
The music system is a wonderful thing. Basically at level 5 you will get an instrument skill (Only certain classes can use certain instruments) and you head to a Bard who sells them, once you obtain one you are ready to go. Pretty much you press 1 through 8 to play music, while pressing either SHIFT or CONTROL to make the pitch higher or lower. The cool part is you can play a lot of famous songs (Such as Star Wars) and even make a band!
I would highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys MMORPGs. This game is an awesome alternative for anyone who is looking for a new MMO.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/29/07
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