The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Review
The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Turbine
Pub: WB Games
Release: September 27, 2011
Players: 1
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.

The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot

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.

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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.

By Josh Wirtanen
CCC Editor / Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.1
Graphics
Aging, but aging well.
5.0
Control
Responsive controls with the incredibly deep custom key mapping we've come to expect from the MMO genre.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Rise of Isengard peppers some new tunes in between the ones we know and love. Voice acting is sparse but solid, and sound effects are great.
3.5
Play Value
There's plenty to do here, but lack of end-game content makes leveling all the way up to 75 less rewarding. Hopefully this will be cleared up in the next big patch later this year.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
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:

  • Experience the Rise of Isengard – The Epic Story continues as the Grey Company makes its way south into Dunland. But troubles arise as their road takes them into lands where Dunlending forces, marshaled by the Wizard Saruman, prepare for war.
  • Increased Level Cap — Players will be able advance their characters up to level 75, gaining access to new traits, virtues, skills, and class quests.
  • Expanded Monster Play – LOTRO's monster play system will get a major revamp, including opening up the feature to all players, changes to monster player skills and advancement, and a brand new region for players to battle for or against the forces of evil.

  • Screenshots / Images
    The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Screenshot - click to enlarge

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