The Lord Of The Rings Return To Moria Review – A Masterful Dive into Tolkien’s World
The gaming world eagerly anticipates each adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic works, and “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” does not disappoint. This survival crafting multiplayer game may initially raise concerns due to its association with unfinished and unpolished titles. Still, it successfully demonstrates what a competent survival crafting game should look like. To learn how it manages this, read on for our in-depth review of “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria.”
- Title: The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria
- Developer: Free Range Games
- Publisher: North Beach Games
- Platforms: PlayStation 5 (December 5, 2023), Xbox Series X/S (Early 2024), and Microsoft Windows (Reviewed)
- Release Date: October 24, 2023
- Players: 1-8
- Price: $39.99
In “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria,” players assume the role of their custom dwarf character, affectionately termed “OC dwarfsona™.” This character aids Gimli and his band of dwarves in a dangerous mission to breach a sealed runic door. Unexpectedly, the explosion results in the protagonist being trapped inside the mines due to a cave-in.
Players must then navigate the treacherous tunnels of Moria, confronting hostile orcs, goblins, and other lurking monstrosities while indulging in a bit of dwarven merriment and amassing treasures along the way.
Survival Crafting Excellence
At its core, “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” is a survival game. Players must continually monitor their character’s health, hunger, and stamina, ensuring they remain vigilant and well-prepared to face lurking goblins.
What sets this game apart is its impeccable pacing, a rarity in open-ended survival crafting genres. The developers have crafted a progression system that challenges players without becoming frustrating or excessively time-consuming.
The game shatters preconceived notions about the survival crafting genre. After a brief tutorial, it grants players the freedom to explore, placing them firmly in control of their progress. While it offers quests and a comprehensive glossary, players are primarily responsible for their advancement, resulting in a highly satisfying experience.
Unveiling new recipes and materials represents tangible progress, with each unlock significantly enhancing the character or the player’s base. The game maintains suspense by having goblin and orc hordes periodically raid the player’s base, signaling that current equipment may not be up to par.
Engaging Combat and Exploration
Combat in “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” possesses a satisfying weight, resembling the souls-like combat of “Valheim.” Players can wield heavy two-handed weapons, one-handed weapons with shields, or ranged weapons like crossbows, each with unique damage types.
Facing hordes of orcs and goblins creates tense combat scenarios, requiring players to adapt swiftly to enemy tactics. Goblins ambush from underground, while ranged units seek shelter behind armored orcs, presenting formidable challenges.
Enemies deal significant damage, particularly to armor sets before tier 2. Introducing colossal foes like trolls ensures that the game consistently challenges players.
Discovering new areas and the creatures inhabiting them remains a thrilling experience. Clearing enemy camps yields vital resources, and massive orc strongholds culminate in exciting boss battles. Co-op play intensifies the satisfaction of overcoming adversity with friends.
A Truly Dwarven Adventure
Dwarf characters in traditional games often fail to deliver an authentic dwarven experience. “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” immerses players in a dwarven setting by grounding everything in dwarven lore. Dwarven architecture, songs of inspiration, ale celebrations, and goblin-slaying banter bring the experience to life.
The game brims with Lord of the Rings lore, featuring deep cuts and references that will thrill fans. It seamlessly weaves quotes from the books and movies, truly celebrating Tolkien’s works.
“The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” offers many quality-of-life features, showcasing the developers’ deep understanding of survival crafting games. The segmented map simplifies exploration, while a user-friendly marker system prevents map clutter.
Crafting and building, even without items in inventory, prove convenient, enhancing the overall gameplay experience. Fast travel via map stones further streamlines the game, ensuring a pleasant early and late-game experience.
A Few Minor Gripes
Although “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” excels in many areas, it does have some limitations. The inability to freely build structures worldwide is a minor drawback, restricting players to crafting ladders and basic wooden platforms away from their bases. Additionally, the lack of an emergency camp feature hampers navigation in challenging situations.
Building inside camps is functional, but it may appear patchy at times. These issues are relatively minor, as building one’s base remains enjoyable.
In conclusion, “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” is a robust and impressive survival crafting title. It ranks among the best Lord of the Rings games and is one of the standout releases 2023. For franchise fans, the long wait for a quality Lord of the Rings game has finally ended.
Developer Free Range Games has demonstrated the potential of the Lord of the Rings IP and the simple yet powerful concept of creating a genuinely enjoyable game. Whether you are a survival crafting enthusiast or a Tolkien fan, “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” is an unmissable gaming experience.
Brandon delved deep into the mines of Moria alongside me, and he was captivated by the experience. He struggled to tear himself away, and “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” quickly became one of his all-time favorite games. The combination of progression and crafting in the game left an indelible impression.
Whether you’re a fan of survival crafting games or Tolkien’s epic saga, “The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria” is a must-play. If you’ll excuse us, we have more mining and orc-slaying to attend to—Moria beckons.