|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive|
|Release: October 15, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence|
Additionally, your war-steed will level up as you use it in combat and complete quests. It’s also got its own skill tree that you’ll invest points into as it levels up. To make things even better, there’s an absurd amount of customization options to play around with, with new manes, tails, hooves, and more to be unlocked as quest rewards.
But what of the landscape itself? Well, Rohan provides some breathtaking vistas and a truly epic landscape that manages to feel completely different than anything that’s come before it. While the Shire is instantly recognizable for its round doors and hobbit holes, and Moria is known for its dark, gloomy interiors, Rohan features log buildings decorated with carvings and those iconic horse head banners. It’s got its own personality, which makes it stand out from the other areas in the game. And that’s refreshing, especially after the previous expansion, Rise of Isengard, didn’t offer a lot of scenery that felt all that different than what came before it.
And it should be noted that there are several new songs composed for the new content. Many of them sound like riffs on the score from the Peter Jackson films, borrowing some of the same instrumentation while crafting some genuinely new tunes. In fact, I would argue that the soundtrack stands proudly next to some of the best film scores we’ve heard recently. These songs are fantastic, capturing that distinctive aura that’s unmistakably “Riddermarkian” in flavor.
Riders of Rohan simply feels like the most lovingly crafted LotRO expansion to date. It offers so much more than just an expanded landscape and some new quests; it improves on several fundamental aspects of the game while adding new systems and features that make the game as a whole feel fresh once again. And that’s no small feat for an MMO that’s over five years old.
If you’ve been looking for a reason to return to Turbine’s version of Middle-earth, Riders of Rohan gives you not one, but several. I found myself constantly surprised and impressed with each new area I explored during my journey; may your own be filled with that special sort of wonderment that only Middle-earth can provide.
Editor / News Director
Date: October 31, 2012