The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria from Free Range Games and North Beach Games is a real "monkey's paw" situation. We wished for a new cooperative LOTR game, and we're getting one! That's good. But it will be a survival/crafting game in which players have to manage hunger and all that busywork. Not as good! Still, the game has a strong premise and a cool universe to its name, so we'll keep an open mind. Also, whereas Return to Moria was initially announced for PC only, it will now be launching on Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 consoles too!
Return to Moria will feature:
- Feel the Fellowship: Experience the Fellowship of the Dwarves like never before, with the rich lore of the iconic fantasy world from J.R.R. Tolkien interwoven into the very fabric of The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria.
- Survive the Dark: To survive the treacherous Mines of Moria, players must conserve resources, hunt, and gather for food and manage their sleep, temperature, and noise levels. Utilize dynamic light systems for safety and to blaze a path further into the darkness. Battle unspeakable evils and survive hordes of monstrous Orcs in visceral combat, while uncovering the secret of the Shadow that looms within the mountain.
- Base Building: Find solace from the darkness. Reveal and clear new locations to create architecture on a grand scale. Get creative and construct bases from scratch or build upon the existing environment. Beware the evils which seek to destroy Dwarven progress.
- Rebuild and Reshape Moria: Restore the long-lost ancient kingdom of Khazad-dûm to its former glory, recovering Dwarven landmarks as the story progresses. Resurrect old mines and refire their forges to yield their untouched resources.
- Explore: Delve into the depths of the Mines of Moria. Procedurally generated environments are abundant with resources and fraught with mystery and danger, providing a unique experience each and every time.
- Co-op Multiplayer: Adventure alone or band together with friends in online cooperative multiplayer with up to eight players.
- Craft Dwarven Tools, Weapons and More: Craft and loot legendary Dwarven armour, tools, weapons and structures. Rebuild ancient forges to strengthen, repair and enchant gear. Upgrade and unlock new technologies and fantastical machines.
- Uncover Magic Artifacts: Discover ancient magic items including swords that glow when Orcs are near, maps of long-dormant Mithril veins, books with forgotten crafting plans and amulets that give strength or wisdom.
- Mine Ore and Jewels: Establish mines to unearth deposits of precious resources such as iron, gold, and quartz; and fantastical materials such as Mithril. Access crafting stations and forges to convert ore to ingots and upgrade gear. But be prepared, mining is loud and can awaken what lurks in the darkness.
- Comprehensive Dwarf Builder: Players become part of Dwarven Legend as they create their own Dwarf in the custom character creator. Dwarves can be customized in a variety of ways to create a unique Dwarven identity. Then, during gameplay, players can find and craft armour and weapons to further enhance their unique style.
Mining games like Deep Rock Galactic can certainly be fun, so I'm hoping Return to Moria will capture some of the same magic. Teaming up with a group of friendly dwarves and exploring the spooky mines could certainly make for an exciting co-op experience. The trailer is narrated by Jonathan Rhys Davies, the main actor who portrayed Gimli in the LOTR movies, so it's certainly worth a watch in the meantime.
The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria will arrive on Xbox Series S|X, PlayStation 5, and Epic in the fall.