Did you know there’s a new Lord of the Rings game out in four days’ time?

The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria key art

We were surprised to learn that The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria is out on 24 October. Did you know about this…?

I would have thought a new Lord of the Rings game would be a bit of a big deal, so I was taken aback to discover that The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria is out on 24 October, in just a few days’ time. The existence of a new Lord of the Rings title for PC and consoles had completely passed me by, and our editor was similarly in the dark. Were you aware of this game?

Now, I’m kind of loathe to admit my ignorance, seeing as it’s my job as a news writer to keep on top of such things. I’m constantly combing through websites, emails, magazines and social media for gaming news of all kinds, and I like to think I’m generally in the know when it comes to what’s happening in the gaming world. So I’ll admit that it was a bit of a shock to discover that I knew nothing about a game based on one of the biggest franchises in the world, due for release imminently.

Did you know about this? Credit: North Beach Games

But surely I can’t be the only one. It feels like there’s very little buzz about The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria, especially compared with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum from earlier this year. That game graced the cover of Edge magazine and received fairly extensive media coverage up to its release – and even more afterwards, when the reviews gave it a thorough trashing, and the studio behind the game was shut down by the publisher. Yet I’m only just hearing about Return to Moria now, a few days before release.

Perhaps this can simply be chalked up as my own personal failing. Perhaps I’ve simply had a blind spot when it comes to Return to Moria, which I just learnt was announced at the Epic Games Summer Showcase in June 2022, and received its first gameplay trailer at Summer Game Fest this year. I’m happy to admit to dropping the ball on this one. I mean, thousands of games are released every year, and I can’t be expected to know about all of them.

Apparently the mines will be procedurally generated. Credit: North Beach Games

But still, I’m very surprised that a new Lord of the Rings game passed me by. I mean, we covered the announcement of Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings MMO back in May, as well as the upcoming Tales of the Shire. I’m frankly stunned that I hadn’t heard of Return to Moria until now. Sorry to keep banging on about this, but I can’t quite get over the shock.

Perhaps we can attribute my lack of knowledge to the absolute deluge of releases screaming for attention at the moment, in a packed October release schedule. Return to Moria launches just a week after the twin giants of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and will debut on the same day as the long-awaited Cities: Skylines 2. Then the even-more-long-awaited Alan Wake 2 comes along a few days afterwards, on 27 October. I suppose there’s only so much media coverage to go around.

Anyway, Return to Moria. The game is apparently set in the Fourth Age of Middle-earth, and takes the form of a survival action-adventure in which the dwarves attempt to reclaim the Mines of Moria and seek out its treasures. “Players will join forces to survive, craft, build and explore the iconic, sprawling mines,” reads the blurb on the Epic Games Store. “Courageous expeditioners will need to be vigilant as mysterious dangers await.” Excitingly, John Rhys-Davies will be reprising his film role as the voice of Gimli.

Return to Moria is being developed by Free Range Games, who previously worked as an external developer on The Callisto Protocol, and the publisher is North Beach Games, which was also behind 7 Days to Die and Stranded Deep. The PC release is scheduled for 24 October, but Return to Moria's console release has been delayed: it will arrive digitally for PlayStation 5 on 5 December, and the Xbox Series X/S release is now planned for “early 2024”.

So now you know.

Read more: The Lord Of The Rings Gollum | Former devs describe its troubled making

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