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Lord of the Rings Online

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Game Reviewed: Lord of the Rings Online
Publisher: Midway
Developer: Turbine
Reviewer: Matthew Scott
Platform: PC
Category: MMORPG
ESRB Rating: T
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Game Description:

Lord of the Rings Online is an MMORPG that is played very similar in style to the game World of Warcraft. Anyone who has ever wanted to adventure in Tolkien’s Middle Earth now has the opportunity to do so. Plus, since the game is based off of the books and not the movies, the player will have the opportunity to meet with some characters that never made it into the movies such as Tom Bombadil.

The player creates a character by choosing whether to be a human, elf, dwarf or hobbit. The player must then choose a class with the options being: Burglar, Captain, Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Lore-Master or Minstrel. Each class has certain strengths and weaknesses, but this gives everyone a role to play when doing a quest together in a “Fellowship.” Once the player has picked a race and class they will be able to start adventuring. The player starts at level 1, but by completing quests some of which the player can complete by playing solo and others which require joining with a “Fellowship” of other online players, the player can eventually get their character to level 50 (soon to be upped to level 60 later this year when the Mines of Moria expansion is released.)

Unlike World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online does not have two opposing sides for PvP (Player vs. Player), but there is an option called “Monster Play.” Once the player’s hero character has reached level 10, the player can go to the main menu screen and create a high level monster to fight against another high level player’s hero character.

Also, it should be noted that in addition to the price of the game software, there is a monthly fee to play Lord of the Rings Online after the first 30 days.

Positive Elements

A player can join a community in the game called a Kinship. These Kinships create a community of people most of whom help each other out in their game experience. There are also quests that can be done in a group of people called a Fellowship which helps to promote teamwork because everyone has a role to play and the player not only has to think about themselves, but needs to focus on doing what is best to help the other players as well.

What Parents Need to Know

Violence

The player has control over moving their character forward, backward, left and right, but when it comes to attacks and spell-casting, the player clicks a button and then watches their character perform the action.

Language

I do not recall there being any bad language from any of the NPC (Non-Playable Characters) that I encountered in the game. Since there are other online players, however, they are free to type whatever they want. There is a chat filter for bad language, but this only guards against certain words. The overall content of certain conversations cannot be filtered if it is a public chat. Overall, however, in my experience I found the majority of players to be very respectable when it comes to language and other players in the game.

Sexual Content

There is no inappropriate sexual content in this game that I encountered.

Spiritual Content

Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings to give England its own mythology. If you are familiar with the fantasy type magic found in the Lord of the Rings books or movies, this is the same type of fantasy magic you will encounter and use in the game.

Misc.

Lord of the Rings Online does a very good job of promoting teamwork and community.

Reviewer's Thoughts

Overall, I found Lord of the Rings Online to be a very enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend it to teens and adults if they are a fan of Middle Earth or if they are looking for an alternative to World of Warcraft. The main caution that I would give to parents, however, is that it is very easy to get caught up in the game world and spend hours at a time playing. So I would recommend parents setting up time guidelines to guard your teen from spending all of his/her free time in Middle Earth. When played in moderation, however, Lord of the Rings Online is a very enjoyable gaming experience for teens and adults.



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