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The Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar (PC) artwork

The Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar (PC) review


"Despite all the hype, while it does a good job of being true to the Tolkien genre, and they did a fine job of producing a fantasy world that doesn't look like it is in a fantasy. The graphics reproduce a natural view of woodland nature. Still, the game is very rough. IMHO they released it wayyy too early. "



Despite all the hype, while it does a good job of being true to the Tolkien genre, and they did a fine job of producing a fantasy world that doesn't look like it is in a fantasy. The graphics reproduce a natural view of woodland nature. Still, the game is very rough. IMHO they released it wayyy too early.

The box and the art are cheap looking cardboard. Everything about this game is a rush job with a capital $ on it. While IGN glossed over the fatal flaws quickly, I am going to tell you the real deal with this MMO.

If you are a Tolkien fan then by all means get the game, but wait a few months for them to - possibly work the glitches out. For now gameplay is too ridiculous to even review. LOTRO certainly needs a ton of work. I will jump back in from time to time, but until these heinous mistakes are fixed, playing it is an annoyance I don't need. When I play an MMO I expect to have a good time.

After playing the beautifully crafted Lineage 2 not too long ago, I miss it. If you are playing WOW, don't bother churning over to LOTRO the elves in WoW are way cooler and have better powers.

On the whole LOTRO is a big yawn, it is boring as all hell, even if it does have pretty water -- but what game doesn't?

Here is a summary of some of the glitches that I have encountered. They mainly have to do with a very prohibitive lag time and other nuances in the navigation system that need to be ironed out in order to make the game playable.

I have been running elven characters on the Windfola server and found many problems in the starting areas and missions. The lag time is very bad. You can't walk and open the map at the same time. If you open anything in the task bar the char stops. You certainly can't run while looking at the map.

If you go into any towns or populated areas it stops dead still. People were complaining about the game crashing, in fact it did it to me once. The area called Thorin's Gate, it is a large indoor area with various NPC's inside it at the top of the map, it takes up to five minutes to load while a load screen sits there. If it loads at all.

During "combat" creatures will jump you from behind. The wolves and other intro creatures attack any place and any time. You can get mobbed from behind while you are running down the roads from little cats or pigs. No other MMO has entry level creatures that attack *you* and never from behind. The roads should be a safe area where you can navigate to the next area. "Stay on the path." right?

Combat is stilted. If you are attacked the lag prevents you from returning blows, leading to unwarranted deaths. The lag and the fact that you get jumped from behind makes soloing missions impossible even at the start.

If you click an NPC to read a dialog box the char continues to run. It does not stop, it will continue to run right into the walls, or off of them, and keeps on running. When you click an NPC from a distance the character should run up to the NPC, stop and the dialog box should open. That is not what is happening.

Clicking on an enemy does not initiate attacks properly. You have to turn the character around manually and then also click the auto attack button. Auto attack should be automatic. Navigation for battle should be more simplified. Getting a message that says "you must face target" over and over should not be happening. Especially with the lag problem, because there is no way to maneuver quickly and return combat.

There are problems with the environment. In a fall from one of the elevated staircases in one of the elven villages my character became trapped in an area below where there was no way to climb out of it and get back up. She had to be deleted. In the area Cellondim for example where you have the very high staircases with NPC's at the top, you should be able to have the character run right up to the NPC without falling off the steps. Instead, because clicking on a NPC from a distance does nothing, you have to babysit the character all the way up to there.

The setting for walk is too slow and the setting for run is too fast and unpredictable. If there was an option such as a slider to correct that it would be helpful. Point and click navigation should be there.

Players have been complaining about being inexorably stuck in the environment. Rocks and masonry are "sticky".

For example the mission system in Lineage 2 is brilliant. It is cross referenced with the maps and it will even put a compass in front of you to get you to the next person that you need to see. One of the biggest problems with LOTRO right now is that there is no clear way to find them.

The arrows in the mini map should be pointing in the direction of the next part of the mission that you have checked in the tracker. Not to "points of interest" it is useless and players are constantly yelling and annoyed about not being able to find where to go.

Stablemasters will say that areas are undiscovered even if they have been explored. Even in the case of a home village. For example Dullond is the home village I selected to respawn at, yet it is still listed as undiscovered if the character goes to a stablemaster in another town.

These are just a few of the hair pulling, throw- your-mouse-across-the-room frustrations. It doesn't matter what kind of machine you have, navigation problems are intrinsic in the game itself.

Don't waste your time or money on this piece of work.

Rating: 3/10

geekwoman's avatar
Community review by geekwoman (June 15, 2007)

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