There were any number of reasons to be excited for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which launched earlier this week. For myself and many others, it was the Nemesis system--which promises unique enemies and emergent gameplay--that was the most exciting aspect of all. And while it's certainly an intriguing feature, I can't help but feel I've been missing out on it for basically being too good at the game.
Until reviews started to hit the web, I was very cautious in being optimistic about Monolith's first-ever Lord of the Rings game. For being such a major franchise, quality games based on it have been few and far between--something that's especially surprising considering its renewed popularity following the release of Peter Jackson's movies. Once I heard the almost-unanimous praise from the reviewers I trust, I was onboard. I was ready to finally play a LotR game that was a genuinely good game, not another passable one that I accepted because it happened to make use of one of my favorite franchises.
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Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend E3 this year – instead, I’m on vacation in Cape Cod, using awful hotel Wi-Fi to watch streamed press conferences. Not the most glamorous way to take it all in, but exciting announcements, great games and new details are welcome no matter how you hear about them.
Here’s my personal transcription (in very brief form) of all the announcements and showings, along with some reflection on what Microsoft had to show.
The Lord of the Rings Online has been a major success since its release in April, and as if there wasn’t enough content in the game already, MMO subscribers will be in for a whole lot more when the Shores of Evendim update hits on June 13. The best part about it? It’s going to be free – as will many of the subsequent updates to the game. Finally, I really feel like my $15 a month is really paying off.
A whole new region will be included, in addition to over 100 new quests, the battle for Helegrod raid, nine entirely new monsters and major enhancements to monster play, the music system, and Champion class. Awesome. Now, if only there were a way to transfer characters from one server to another…
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