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Thursday | December 8, 2016
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LOTRO: Siege Of Mirkwood (PC)

LOTRO: Siege Of Mirkwood (PC)

Siege of Mirkwood is the latest addon for Lord Of The Rings Online and it places the player into a gloomy, dark and dingy world. Thats not to say it isn’t compelling however because there is still plenty that fans of the series will take from this game.

Much of the adventuring in Lord Of The Rings has been based around the War of The Ring, right through the Mines Of Moria expansion pack and in Siege Of Mirkwood you are placed firmly on the front lines, an integral part of the military campaign.

The first main non player character you meet immediately gives you a key impression of the intensity of the upcoming war when he says “You’re about to enter the first true battle of what will likely be our last combat in Middle Earth”.

The history of Mirkwood is a detailed tapestry of Tolkien myth. It is the forest previously referred to as Greenwood the Great, a place were the elves created the Woodland Realm. When Morgoth got his grubby hands on it however it mutated into Mirkwood. For those of you not well versed in Tolkien History, Morgoth was Sauron’s boss in the earlier years. When the Third Age started Sauron took over Dol Guldur and the Woodland Realm was encroached upon, being pushed further north. Bilbo also guided the company of Dwarves through the woods in another of Tolkein’s books – The Hobbit. In developer Turbine’s interpretation of the history Sauron is in residency in Mordor and he has left lieutenants at Dol Guldur, therefore many Orc forces are patrolling Mirkwood beside Sundry Bats, Spiders and wolves and all other manner of horrid creatures.

Siege of Mirkwood is for the most part a pretty standard affair however the developer has introduced some of the new Skirmish methodology into the questing, specifically the new Conclusion to Volume II epic book quests which are an integral part of your journey to Dol Guldur. Some of these book quests will take the form of Skirmishes and can be completed with one, three or even six other players – this is a concept sure to be popular with the userbase. The expansion has also raised the level cap to 65 (from 60) and some of the players managed to get those five levels in just under two days, possibly without any sleep whatsoever.

All in all there are around nine areas in Mirkwood and they all follow the same basic colour scheme, a mixture of greys and browns. To be fair however, the environments are rather varied, with dank and foggy marshes, wide and open Canyons and ruins aplenty.

On the journey towards Dol Guldur the elf encampments near the fortress are loaded with ballista and siege engines and the wily elves even managed to have a camp on the walls of Dol Guldur which is useful for those players who have charged through the new content to fight their way through the 12 man raid on Barad Guldur.

If you have played this game before there are some changes to the gameplay which Turbine have made, particularly mentionable would be the new and revised combat system, which is more intuitive and responsive. You also no longer have to dismount from your steed for instance to speak to non player characters or to travel through a doorway or portal.

The developer have also spent considerable time on the Legacy system and Legendary item, the major pieces of equipment which level up alongside the player which was first introduced in the Mines of Moria expansion. The system will not place you in a position of having a leveled weapon only for Legacies to unlock that are no longer of any use to you. Mirkwood has also introduced new Legendary recipes and a new relic slot on legendary items for crafted relics. Skirmishing is also an option to gain XP and Item XP to level up your character.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed playing Mirkwood even if the quest and instance material is somewhat limited when judged against the Moria title. That said, the overall package is solid and there is much to enjoy – we would assume that this game will be fine tuned and enhanced with additional content for many years to come.

Gameplay
83

Well crafted and great fun.
Graphics
79
The engine is smooth and the overall design sets the tone well throughout.
Sound
76
Great voice acting and solid ambience.
Value
80
Many many hours of gameplay time.
Overall
82

Recommended to fans of the franchise.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

1 Comment

  1. Alexandra Louvet

    Melkor appears only a few in Simarillion. He never turned the Woodland realm into Mirkwood. Melkor was dead since a long time ago before that the woodland realm was created by elves during the second age.
    It’s Sauron’s influence who did it…

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