Review by brongle
"Lord Craft? By no means."
In opening, I want to tell you that I'm going to review this at an even perspective, I've played both Lord of The Rings and World of Warcraft and I'm pretty seasoned in both to be honest. Anyway, enough about that and onto the review.
This is where LOTRO really shines. It really is safe to say that this is the gym of the game; in fact I'd probably have to say it has one of the strongest stories from a MMORPG perspective. As soon as you create your character you're trusted into your own private instance in which you'll meet characters from the group. Each race has their own opening and each opening is extremely immersive and begins game play on a very exciting note. Whether it's that massive monster Gandalf zaps or the menacing Witch King. Outside of instances you will be leveling up on quests which are introduced by the many NPCs around the world. Most of them are well written and the writers at least give NPCs a bit of personality. For example, most of the Farmers will grammarize the way a Middle Earth farmer would. The non epic quests though I have to admit aren't really different to any other MMORPGs.
Another positive feature of LOTROs array of features. You'll start by customizing your hero of Middle Earth. Customization is satisfactory even to RPers however, it really can't compare to a game like Vanguard but it still is enough to make it look like all of your fellow players look the same. After picking your class out of a rather tasteful choice you'll go into that instance I mentioned earlier. Once out of there, you will be on the regular leveling tread mill but features such as the Deed and Destiny Point renew the game play experience and working toward epic quests is something you'll regularly be doing.
One word: Amazing. Graphics are amazing, as soon as you enter the game you'll realize that Tolkien's amazing world has been transported on to the computer and has been executed perfectly. You'll see your characters reflections and the shadows of swaying trees. The only problem I can see is that monster don't actually have their own face. They are simply texturized on unlike your character that can actually blink.
Standard MMORPG controls. WASD and the mouse will really be your best friends on a MMORPG. This isn't a bad thing, but it is rather generic.
With a decent sound track, LOTRO receives a solid eight. LOTRO gives you the chance to get an instrument and actually play things. For example, you could go to an Inn and play with a band. This really is a tasteful feature and gives another layer to the game and makes it feel more 'Tolkienish'
In closing, I believe LOTRO delivers; it certainly is a lot more immersive than World of Warcraft but is a tiny bit slim feature wise. However, with more work and updates I believe Lord of The Rings will last long and deliver a very good experience to not only fans but MMORPG player too.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/11/07
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