The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan Review
The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Turbine
Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive
Release: October 15, 2012
Players: MMO
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.

The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan Screenshot

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.

Josh Wirtanen
Editor / News Director
Date: October 31, 2012

There have been some updates, but the graphics still look a bit dated. Despite this, Rohan manages to look stunning.
Turbine nailed the mounted combat controls.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Expect to hear a lot of hoof sounds. Thankfully, these are set to a breathtaking score that truly brings Rohan to life.
Play Value
Leveling up to 85 will take you a considerable amount of time on its own, then you’ve got your new war-steed to level and customize. You’ll easily spend hundreds of hours with the new content.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Introducing Mounted Combat - Ride into Combat atop your loyal War-steed as you defend the people of Rohan from the forces of Isengard and Mordor. Customize your War-steed’s armor and level its skills over time to aid you in mounted defense of King Théoden’s lands. Mount your steed and gather your fellows to fight against Warbands, contingents of roving wargs and orcs that have been scouted all over the Plains of Rohan! It falls to you to head off and defeat this new threat before they over take the land.
  • Explore Largest Landscape Yet! - Nearly three times as large as Moria! Join with the Rohirrim and ride across the sprawling Eastern Plains of Rohan. Raise high your sword to fight for honor and glory in the name of Théoden King! Experience hundreds of new quests, earn new favor, gear, deeds, and more!
  • The Epic Story Continues - The Fellowship is on the move once again and must achieve their task at all cost. It falls to you to clear the path and turn the Eye of the Enemy away from their progress as you aid the Rohirrim in their own struggle close by. Witness the breaking of the Fellowship at Amon Hen; forge alliances with the Ents of Fangorn; and aid Éomer, nephew of Théoden, as he seeks to protect his homeland from the growing Shadow.
  • Advance to Level 85 - Learn what it means to be Rohirrim as you face new challenges throughout the Riddermark on your journey to level 85. Continue your legend as you grow in power with new skills and deeds and earn new armor and gear to aid you in the battles to come.

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