Review by Callmege

"Definately the best MMO we've seen for a long time"

Story: 9/10

LOTRO isn't like your average WoW clone MMO. Turbine have taken a page from NCSoft's book and has actually given the game a storyline that you follow as you level up and complete quests rather than leave the game as a generic grind fest as is common in so many MMORPG's these days. It is evident, to me at least, that Turbine took their time with every quest and as a result I feel like I am actually contributing something to middle-earth when I turn in quests, rather than just thinking "ooooo shiny new items!".

Gameplay: 10/10

As I said previously, LOTRO's quest system is very well designed. Gone are the days of your quest giving NPC basically saying "there are some boars over there. go kill them". Each quest revolves around the main storyline of the game and each quest helps in some small way to immerse you into middle-earth.

Graphics: 9/10

Quite simply, LOTRO look fantastic. It is by far the best looking MMO available to date, even though the artistic style may make you think otherwise. The level of detail is absolutely stunning at times and with a good enough graphics card, you can extend the draw distance to unparalleled levels and simply stand there taking in the immense views. Graphical excellence however, does not come cheap and a top end gaming rig is a must to run this beauty on max settings. With that said, it is possible to tweak both your computer than the game itself to provide a game that still looks graphically stunning and is more forgiving on system resources.

Controls: 8/10

Tried and tested MMO controls. WASD, 1-10 and various hotkeys. They work but they're nothing new.

Sound: 9/10

The music in the game is as stunning as the graphics, if not more so. Not only does the music match the atmosphere of your surroundings perfectly, the addition of minstrels, a musical healer class, adds a whole new level to group battles. A nice additional feature is the ability for you to play your own instrument with the 1-10 keys, Shift and Ctrl. This is especially handy for those people who enjoy playing on RP servers as it adds a lot more RP potential.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/14/07

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