[The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar] The NDA has been lifted for The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. As this announcement caught me off guard, I really don’t have anything prepared so I’ll just go off on a very brief ramble review here.
I have been in the beta for several months now and I still log in to play at least once a week. My wife has me playing World of Warcraft most of the time and that is fine with me because I am planning on pre-ordering The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar anyway (and taking advantage of the lower fees). I really don’t want to play it too much before it counts. Surprisingly, even though she is a big LotR fan, she is not showing any interest in the game. She says she just got into WoW and does not want to go starting something new right now – so perhaps it will be a game down the road for her.
The graphics in The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar are rather well done, and I have greatly enjoyed looking at the scenery. The combat has been entertaining, if not really much new. It is fun to watch the combat movements, I really like the way they animated the arrows in flight. A heck of a lot better than the goofy EQ2 animations for that. The characters remind me of the DDO ones and that would only make sense as Turbine made that game as well.
I only dabbled in “monster play” one evening so I don’t have much to say about that but it looks well done. Seems like they have taken a lot of what WoW did right and included it, mainly the “quests on tracks” that lead you around. As for something new? I can’t say they have anything special going on here. It really is more of the same, but with a different setting.
They do have a solid game here, well put together and fun. I really did not encounter any bugs of note. I also was in the Vanguard beta and I would say Turbine is way closer to being ready to launch than Sigil was and Sigil have already launched.
The setting is very appealing to me. It’s a treat to travel to Bag End or listen to the conversations in the Prancing Pony. I was a bit surprised and a little disappointed to find Gandalf standing before me right away when I started my dwarf. I hope they keep the encounters with special characters to a minimum. I do look forward to playing this at retail and hopefully I can share some screenshots soon (there is some debate as to if we are allowed to share them yet, the revised NDA says no but they said the NDA was lifted so waiting for an official word).
Most importantly, at least to me, is that I can’t find a pre-order copy in any store around here. They just aren’t carrying them so far. Weird.
Interesting facts, perhaps only to me: My wife shares Bilbo’s and Frodo’s birthday. Smaug was killed on mine.
If you have any specific questions, fire away and I’ll try to answer them.