Trial run Lord of the Rings Online

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There are two options for downloading the Lord of the Rings trial. The first claims that you can be playing within an hour, but with initially reduced graphics quality. The second is with full graphics quality from the start, and that's the one I chose. It took several hours to download, and then took quite a bit of time to update the game to the latest version. I would strongly recommend the tiered download version (the first option), if you don't want to waste the first several hours of your ten-day trial.

Character creation in the game is on par with most other MMORPGs, although being so familiar with City of Heroes I always notice the lack of true character customization in other games. This isn't something I can fault LOTRO for, since at the moment there is no other game with anywhere near the same level of customization of City of Heroes. There is a bit more you can do to customize the initial look of your character than you can in World of Warcraft, so it's got that going for it.

Your character can be one of various races found in Tolkein's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy. You can choose to be a Man, a Dwarf, a Hobbit, or an Elf, and you can be a male or female of each race except for Dwarves, which are limited to being only males. Once you choose a race, you then choose your class, which determines what kind of stats you have and what abilities you can perform. Some of the classes available are Champion, Lore-Master, Minstrel, and Warden; some of these classes are restricted to certain races.

My initial reaction, upon doing the tutorial and other introductory quests, was that it's much the same as World of Warcraft and other fantasy MMORPGs. There are lots of "go there and kill this" or "go there and collect these" types of quests. The real draw, of course, is the background, and Tolkein fans should definitely check out this game to see Middle Earth come to life. Story quests, which come a little bit later, are really, really nice, and help set this game apart from its competitors.

The animations, sounds, and music in this game are top-notch, some of them much better than World of Warcraft. They really make you feel immersed in the game world. The geography and character art looks very nice, too, especially if your computer is capable of handling the higher graphics settings.

There aren't a whole lot of restrictions to the trial version of the game. You can't use the mail feature, or auction houses, and you can't send tells to other players. All in all, I've seen games with much harsher trial restrictions.

They've got an offer now to buy the full game, which includes 30 days of playtime, for only $9.99. From what I've seen so far, that price would be well worth it to give the game more time to grow on me. To download your copy of the trial, head on over to the download page here.


See the movie: The Hunt For Gollum : Independent Movie


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