|Pub: WB Games|
|Release: September 27, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence|
A major plus for content, though, is the addition of another crafting tier. Yes, this is the first new crafting tier since the game's Mines of Moria expansion way back in 2008. It's been a long time coming, and hopefully this will do something to alleviate the overabundance of tier 6 ore and wood in the game, which drives auction hall prices depressingly lower than most of the lower-tier materials in the game.
LotRO may be four and a half years old, but Rise of Isengard is already LotRO's best-selling expansion to date. This is a very good indication that the LotRO community is still thriving, and will continue to do so in the future. You shouldn't have to worry about dropping cash on the expansion only to see the community wither and die shortly after.
One final thing that must be noted here: Rise of Isengard's content starts at around level 65. If you are a brand new player, you can hold off on the purchase until you progress further. I certainly hope you do stick around though, especially if you love the Lord of the Rings. LotRO feels the closest to Tolkien's work that a video game ever has ever come, and it offers a world you can spend years exploring.
Now, for the sake of full disclosure, I must admit that LotRO has always had a special place in my heart. Its representation of Tolkien's Middle-Earth is simply unparalleled in the world of video games, and not even Peter Jackson's film trilogy can match it. It's just packed full of tiny little details that only the most hardcore of Lord of the Rings fans will pick out. That being said, Rise of Isengard delivers three new slices of Middle-Earth, brings us to Orthanc, and lets us meet Saruman face to face. If that doesn't get you at least a little excited, you're probably not a Lord of the Rings fan in the first place.
CCC Editor / Contributing Writer