Developer Free Range Games has just revealed a whole lot more about Lord of the Rings: Return To Moria, its survival crafting game set in Middle-earth’s Fourth Age. In a recent livestream, the developers showed off concept art, screenshots, and explained more about their ethos in developing the game.
Return to Moria is set in the Fourth Age of Middle-earth, the time period also known as the “Age of Men” that kicks off directly after the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In Return to Moria however, players will be taking the mantle of dwarves who are venturing into the goblin and Balrog-plagued mines of Moria to reclaim their legacy.
Part of the livestream goes into detail on the Middle-earth lore, including why the team decided to focus on Dwarven lore, and how it approached building the world of Moria while still respecting Tolkien’s original lore.
A lot of work has gone into fleshing out the lore of the dwarves, with players able to rediscover layers of Dwarven history as they delve deeper into the ancient halls of Moria, also known as Khazad-dûm or Dwarrowdelf.
The developers also discussed how the game would play as part of the stream. Return to Moria bills itself as “the only survival crafting video game set in the Fourth Age of Middle-earth,” bringing a new type of gameplay to the much-adapted works of Tolkien.
Along with the expected elements of mining, crafting, and combat, Free Range also discussed some features that were more unique to its game, in keeping in the world of Moria. Players will have to manage light and shadow–with the dangers of Moria’s darkness made clear during the events of Fellowship of the Ring. As well as attracting danger, darkness can also have an impact on characters’ energy and psychological wellbeing.
Players will also have to be very aware of how much noise they’re making as they delve into the deep places of Moria, with orcs not the only danger players have to worry about.
Free Range Games confirmed in the livestream that Return to Moria will be arriving sometime in 2023.
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