The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Launches
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (commonly abbreviated to LOTRO, LotRO) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows set in a fantasy universe based upon J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth writings.
It takes place during the time period of The Lord of the Rings.
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar was developed by Turbine, is subscription-based, and requires Internet access. It launched in Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan and Europe on April 24, 2007. In China, beta testing started in July 2007, and the game was released by the end of 2007. The first expansion pack, Mines of Moria, was released on November 17, 2008.
The Lord of the Rings Online has been received very positively thus far, as reviews continue to appear since the game's initial release.
GameDaily awarded the game 9/10, praising its rich, fantasy-themed universe, well-integrated trait and title system, and a story that remains true to the works of Tolkien. Yahoo! Video Games wrote a review with few negative mentions, awarding the game a score of 4/5, while Computer and Video Games called the game an essential purchase for Lord of the Rings fans, scoring the game a 9.2/10. Eurogamer scored the game a 9.0/10, calling it tough to resist. Gamespy gave it 4.5/5 stars, claiming the game "opened up Middle-Earth to the masses" but commented negatively on its weak PvP content, while GameTrailers awarded it 8.5/10, citing its interesting tweaks to the MMO genre. IGN.com ranked it a similar 8.6/10, praising it for its solid experience, though criticizing it for its lack of major improvements to the genre. GamerNode.com awarded the game an 8.8/10, calling it the best MMO launch experience since Ultima Online. The New York Times called the game "a major achievement of interactive storytelling, the first game truly worthy of the ‘Lord of the Rings' franchise and a must-play for just about anyone with an interest in Tolkien or the future of online entertainment." In a GameSpot review, the product was awarded an 8.3/10, praising its appealing polish and intriguing Monster Play feature. Gamepro.com's review gave it an overall 4.25/5, pointing out how engaging the epic quests are, as well as how faithful to the novels the game managed to stay. GameSpy declared The Lord of the Rings Online 'Game of the Month' for May 2007.