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The Lord of the Rings Online
Product: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar
Company: Turbine Games
Date: 05/13/2006
Avaliable On:

Turbine continues to remain a major contender in the MMORPG world with its latest work, The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

With the recent proliferation of the MMORPG genre, it was only a matter of time before we saw the first MMO based on Tolkienís classic fantasy world. Any LOTR fanís first question is likely, during what time period will the game be taking place? The game will be set during the The Fellowship of the Ring, after Frodo has left The Shire but before the council at Rivendell. Since the fellowship has not yet assembled, players may be able to find characters such as Gimli, Legolas, and Boromir as they make their way to Rivendell.

Rather than attempt to have the entirety of Middle-Earth in the game at launch, Turbine has opted to only have the north-west areas of the world to start with, everything roughly west of the Misty Mountains and north of Rohan. This way, they can create a game world with richer detail.

Several races and classes will be available to players. Humans, Hobbits, Elves, and Dwarves will be in the game. Some player classes include Guardian (a defensive fighter), Hunter (a ranged attacker), Captain (a melee specialist with healing powers), and Burgler (stealthy and sneaky). Turbine reiterates that players will not be able to be Wizards or anything of that nature, as such entities are supposed to be extraordinarily rare in Tolkienís mythology.

Aside from the unique Tolkien setting and flavor, the gameplay is fairly typical fantasy MMORPG stuff. Players will adventure solo or in groups with up to six members. The game world is a mixture of shared spaces and instances. Players can explore the nooks and crannies of Middle-Earth if they want, but many times a group will be able to instantly travel to a quest instance, for example, and begin their fun right away.

The game looks like itís shaping up pretty well. Fans across the globe will be keeping their fingers crossed. Hopefully Turbine does well, for their own sake. Anyone who messed up the LOTR MMO will have a lot to answer for.

Alucard aka Stephen Triche

GameVortex PSIllustrated TeamPS2