A new Lord of the Rings game was announced today as part of the Epic Games Summer Showcase. The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria is a new crafting and building game coming in Spring 2023.
Return to Moria takes place during the Fourth Age of Middle-earth, and it’s billed as a “survival crafting” game. It will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store, at least at launch. The game is developed by Free Range Games and North Beach Games, in partnership with Middle-earth Enterprises.
“Summoned to the Misty Mountains by Lord Gimli Lockbearer, players take control of a company of Dwarves tasked to reclaim the lost spoils from the Dwarven homeland of Moria–known as Khazad-dûm or Dwarrowdelf–in the depths below their very feet. Their quest will require fortitude, delving deep into the Mines of Moria to recover its treasures,” reads a line from the game’s description.
The game takes place in the Dwarven realm of Moria and has procedurally generated worlds so “no two adventures are alike,” the developers said. The game is playable solo or in co-op.
“Players can mine to craft greater gear and resources, but beware mining makes noise, and noise created in the quiet deep threatens to awaken the dangers below: where there’s clatter, there’s combat,” the game’s description said. “Excavate the mysteries of three legendary mountains, extract precious metals, scrape to survive, and battle unspeakable forces to learn the secret of the Shadow that lurks within.”
For comparison, the Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings films take place in the Third Age, while Amazon’s upcoming TV series The Rings of Power is set in the Second Age. Return to Moria takes place in the Fourth Age.
Here are further details about Return to Moria, as written by the developer:
SURVIVE THE DARK:
- To survive the treacherous mines of Moria players must conserve resources, hunt and gather for food and manage their sleep, temperature and noise levels. Use dynamic light systems for safety and to blaze a path further into the darkness. Battle unspeakable evils and survive hordes of monstrous Orcs in visceral combat, while uncovering the secret of the Shadow that looms within the mountain.
- Find solace from the darkness. Reveal and clear new locations to create architecture on a grand scale. Get creative and construct bases from scratch or build upon the existing environment. Beware the evils which seek to destroy Dwarven progress.
REBUILD AND RESHAPE MORIA:
- Restore the long-lost ancient kingdom of Khazad-dûm to its former glory, recovering Dwarven landmarks as the story progresses. Resurrect old mines and refire their forges to yield their untouched resources.
- Delve into the depths of the Mines of Moria. Procedurally generated environments are abundant with resources and fraught with mystery and danger, providing a unique experience each and every time.
- Adventure alone or band together with friends in online cooperative multiplayer with up to eight players.
CRAFT DWARVEN TOOLS, WEAPONS AND MORE:
- Craft and loot legendary Dwarven armor, tools, weapons and structures. Rebuild ancient forges to strengthen, repair and enchant gear. Upgrade and unlock new technologies and fantastical machines.
UNCOVER MAGIC ARTIFACTS:
- Discover ancient magic items including swords that glow when orcs are near, maps of long-dormant Mithril veins, books with forgotten crafting plans and amulets that give strength or wisdom.
MINE ORE AND JEWELS:
- Establish mines to unearth deposits of precious resources such as iron, gold, and quartz; and fantastical materials such as Mithril. Access crafting stations and forges to convert ore to ingots and upgrade gear. But be prepared, mining is loud and can awaken what lurks in the darkness.
COMPREHENSIVE DWARF BUILDER:
- Players become part of Dwarven Legend as they create their own Dwarf in the custom character creator. Dwarves can be customized in a variety of ways to create a unique Dwarven identity. Then, during gameplay, players can find and craft armor and weapons to further enhance their unique style.
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