New ‘Lord of the Rings’ Spinoff Gets Updated Release Schedule

in Entertainment, Video Games


Credit: Warner Bros.

The Lord of the Rings has been a major brand within pop culture for 86 years. It is based on the celebrated novels written by the prolific author, J.R.R Tolkien. Its extensive mythology would make an everlasting comeback with the release of the Oscar-winning masterpieces of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Since that monumental success, there has been a The Hobbit trilogy, the ongoing prequel series, Rings of Power, as well as several video game adaptations. The bar of expectation has been set high due to its legacy. The devoted fanbase will surely be pulling “a Gandalf” to see if this new adaptation too shall pass.

Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf (left) and Peter Jackson (right)
Credit: New Line Cinema

While The Lord of the Rings brand did not excel outside the cinematic medium, that position changed with Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014). It was a technologically innovative game that won countless awards and faithfully adapted the beloved source material. However, the franchise’s video game viability nosedived when a German video game publisher, Daedalic Entertainment, adapted a game based on the fan-favorite character of Gollum this year.

Credit: Daedalic Entertainment

It was a point-and-click adventure game that involved stealth and strategy. Many fans were optimistic that this unusual character choice to center a game around would be a sleeper hit. Unfortunately, those expectations were crushed faster than a hobbit crushing a second breakfast. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum contained countless glitches that featured subpar level designs, terrible AI enemies, redundant stealth missions and wonky controls that often led players to fall to their death while rock climbing.

Credit: Free Range Games/North Beach Games

However, the next Lord of the Rings adaptation will choose to focus on the rich history and lore of the Middle-earth Dwarves. Indie developers, Free Range Games, along with publisher North Beach Games have create a suspenseful survival game called The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria. The new video game will immerse players within the complex, ancient underground Dwarven kingdom after the events of Return of the King.

Players will be able to create their own custom Dwarf before they journey into the ‘Mines of Moria.’ The Dwarves have always been renowned for their incomparable craftsmanship. This special ability will be essential as players navigate through the labyrinth-like mines. Characters will need to craft durable armor, powerful weaponry and other creative inventions to achieve objectives and defeat enemies. This inventiveness will certainly be a unique feature to the game, but hopefully the creators will remember that “one does not toss a dwarf.”

The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria is slated for a digital-only release on October 24, 2023 for the PlayStation 5 and PC.

Hardcopy releases are set to debut on December 5, 2023 with a Xbox Series X/S release scheduled for early 2024.

in Entertainment, Video Games

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