The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is a role-playing video game developed by Snowblind Studios. It is based on the events taking place in the northern regions of Middle-earth in the background of the main story of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, more specifically in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy universe. It is also the first The Lord of the Rings video game to be rated M by the ESRB. The plot for the game is that the three heroes that the players can choose from go on their own journey, similar to The Fellowship of the Ring. The characters journey to different locations to help aid in the War. Their actions help the Fellowship in a way that is not seen in the films or books. Players take control of a hero of the war and are able to play through the game alone or co-operatively with other players.
The Mac OS X version of the game was developed and published by Feral Interactive and released on September 18, 2013.
In a preview article in PlayStation Magazine, it was discussed that players will have skills that are upgradeable, characters that can be customized, and that conversations play out similarly to Mass Effect without the moral ramifications. Each character also has ranged attacks which they can use, Farin (the dwarf champion) has a crossbow, Eradan (the human ranger) has a bow and Andriel (the elf mage) can cast ranged spells at enemies. All characters also have light and heavy attacks and can roll, block and counter enemy attacks. Players can also issue orders to their AI companions if they are playing solo. There are also hubs in the game which function as points where the party may rest, accept new quests, speak to people and stock up on new supplies. Hubs are towns or villages. Comic-Con 2011 featured gameplay of War in the North.
Each race also has a unique ability. The dwarf for example can mine for gems which can be used for crafting purposes and he can also smash walls down where hidden treasure can be found. The game also features unlockable difficulty modes such as a nightmare difficulty. You can replay through the game and keep all your equipment and skills from the previous playthrough. Dialogue will normally present a few choices where the player can get just the facts, delve deeper into the lore or get optional side quests. The gameplay also relies upon the player working with friends (or with AI companions) to use tactics to defeat certain enemies.
Many locations that are not featured in the movies are in the game. Locations include the Ettenmoors, Fornost, Mirkwood and Mount Gundabad. Locations from the movies also appear in the game. Players can explore Bree, Sarn Ford and Rivendell and interact with the characters there which include Gandalf, Elrond, Frodo, Bilbo, Legolas, Gimli, Arwenand Aragorn. Characters from the books can also appear in the game. The Ranger Halbarad, Radagast, and Elrond's sons, Elladan and Elrohir, are just some of the characters that players will encounter.
War in the North features three playable protagonists. The three characters fall into three separate classes, Champion (warrior), Loremaster (a mage) and Ranger (a rogue). Characters gain experience by defeating enemies, and will level up when enough experience has been gained. Characters can improve their stats (strength, will, stamina, dexterity), and use skill points to receive or upgrade special abilities.
Eradan: Eradan is the Ranger class, and is a Dúnedain. He is the most adaptable playable character and can use a bow, a two-handed sword, a sword and shield, or dual wield weapons. Eradan also has access to many stealth abilities that allow him to sneak up on enemies to attack them. Eradan is voiced by Nolan North.
Farin: Farin is the Champion class, hailing from Erebor. Out of all three characters, Farin is the most skilled in using melee weapons, but also possesses a crossbow that may be used for ranged attacks. He can also mine for gems.
Andriel: Andriel is the Elven Loremaster class who has been taught by Elrond. She hails from Rivendell. She uses magic as her defense and offense but can also dual wield a one-handed weapon with her staff, which can also be used to melee attack enemies. Her abilities include offensive and supportive spells, but she possesses melee abilities and may be leveled up to become a battlemage if the player wishes. She can also create potions from alchemy ingredients that the player may find scattered around the game world.
The plot begins with showing a map of Middle-earth and Gandalf speaking of the Great War and that the names of heroes like Gandalf the Grey (himself), Aragorn the King and Frodo the Ring-bearer are well-known. But the shadow of Sauron’s grasp had reached much further than the lands of Gondor and Rohan, and the tales of the heroes who stood in the way of his forces deserves to be told also.
Side stories are written in italics.
Eradan, Andriel and Farin are seen walking into the Prancing Pony and heading to the table Aragorn is sitting at. They inform him that the Shire Guard at San Ford was attacked by the nine Black Riders and the Rangers have suffered great losses. After the raid, one of the Ringwraiths met with a man of great malice and power called Agandaur. He tells the Ringwraith that he has done as Sauron commanded and he has started gathering the orcs of the north at the old ruins of Fornost. Farin questions why the enemy would build up a force against the Shire and Aragorn replies that a hobbit with a great burden is on the move to Bree. He asks them to help him keep the hobbit safe by thwarting the enemies preparations at Fornost.
One of the citizens of Bree, Otto Astler begins a conversation with the trio and asks them if there are things happening that are worth to be concerned about. They acknowledge and Otto tells them that he was already assuming this and therefore he has asked a Dwarven weapon merchant called Grof who is currently in Bree to sell weapons to him but he refused. The fellowship suggest that they will talk to Grof and persuade him to bring weapons to Bree. As they successfully talked to Grof they return to Otto who tells them he is worried that the weapons won't be here in time and he asks them if they could bring any weapons they do no longer need to him. He won't be able to pay very much but he urges them to help him prepare for self defense. The trio agrees.
As they are about to leave the Prancing Pony a young man introducing himself as Rowlie is stumbling into them. He apologizes that he has his head in the clouds and didn't see them. He is troubled as he is in love with Iona Bellflower but her father is against their love. He tells the fellowship that he actually wants to give a locket to Iona but sadly it's broken and he doesn't dare to bring it to the black smith as he worries about this raising suspicion. The fellowship agrees to take it to the black smith and have it repaired. Rowlie agrees. The trio takes the locket to the black smith and then takes the locket to Iona and tell her that Rowlie sent them to confess his love to her. She is very happy and tells them to forward this to Rowlie.
After they have made preparations for their quest, they set out for Fornost.
The trio sets out for Fornost to find the ruins infested with goblins and they battle their way through the ruins and dungeons to stumble upon a group of goblins guarding a Great Eagle who is chained to a ruin block. They destroy the chains to free the eagle and fend off the remaining Goblins. The eagle kills the Goblins who came out of the ruins to reinforce the other Goblins and lands close by his saviors. Eradan, Andriel and Farin are told that his name is Beleram and they give their names to the eagle. He informs them that he is a scout for Gwaihir, the Lord of Eagles and he noticed activity in the ruins of Fornost. He was shot down as he flew lower to find out more. He also mentions that he saw a great evil man whom the fellowship recognize as Agandaur. They tell the eagle that their mission is to find and destroy Agandaur.
Beleram is willing to help them but informs them that the enemy has positioned war machines and he can’t fly freely unless these are destroyed. The trio make their way to the upper floors to destroy those war machines and battle the goblins. They encounter a goblin sorcerer who is wielding Black magic but is eventually killed by the fellowship. After the destruction of the war machines the trio meets up with Beleram who thanks them for their actions and informs them that others are fighting among the ruins, who also may need help. It is hinted that it could be Elrond’s sons.
The fellowship presses on and encounters further goblin warriors whom they defeat. After further fighting the trio enters a hall in search for the two elves. A troll leaps at them from a hole in the wall. After fierce fighting Eradan, Andriel and Farin manage to best the troll, but someone is coming at them very fast. It’s Elladan and Elrohir, the sons of Elrond who congratulate them for slaying the troll.
Andriel who hails from Rivendell is familiar with the sons and introduces them to her fellowship and the fellowship to the elves. After a short conversation in which the fellowship explains why they are at Fornost, they join forces in order to find and destroy Agandaur. The elves assume Agandaur hides in the citadel of Fornost. They are shortly after separated during fighting with more goblins. The trio continues on and encounters some goblins called “sappers” who are suicide bombers. They also come across another goblin sorcerer guarding the lever for a gate. They find a scroll on the dead sorcerer’s body which they decide to keep. After opening the gate they are trapped between the gate and another gate on the other side of the small bridge. They are attacked by goblin warriors and sappers, they manage to defeat them and the sons of Elrond appear on top of the other gate and open it for the fellowship.
The three continue their way to the citadel but are shortly after trapped again in a small courtyard. They are attacked from all sides by goblins, the trio makes use of a mounted crossbow and is able to defeat the attacking enemies. Again the sons of Elrond open another gate for them. Rushing on the fellowship encounters another goblin sorcerer who is defending the gate to the outer walls of the citadel.
They encounter a large group of goblin sappers, goblin and orc warriors and several goblin sorcerers before they are finally reunited with Elladan and Elrohir. They point out that the citadel door is barred by a spell of dark power. They decide to try to break the spell but they will be defenseless for the time they will use their magic on this door. The fellowship is protecting the elves from several attacks by orcs, goblins and finally a troll. After intense fighting the elves manage to break the spell and Beleram, who has rejoined them, tells them that he can’t follow them into the citadel, but he will stay to hinder enemy reinforcements to follow them.
The elves and the fellowship make their way up the stairs and into a great dungeon hall. There they see several orcs who are standing in front of a door with the mark of the Lidless Eye which swings open and Agandaur appears addressing the biggest orc called Tharzog to tell him what is happening out there. The Orc chieftain replies that there are invaders and they have freed the eagle. Agandaur yells at them that they are useless because now with the eagle free the dark forces’ presence at Fornost will be revealed. He tells the orcs to find the invaders and kill them, then Agandaur disappears again.
The elves and the fellowship, having listened to the whole conversation, try to make their way out of the dungeon hall to follow Agandaur. The orcs notice them and only the sons of Elrond make it through before the gate comes crashing down, trapping Eradan, Andriel and Farin who tell the elves to press on and find Agandaur. The orc chieftain and the other orcs leap down to them and start attacking them.
After fierce fighting the trio are able to kill Tharzog and his bodyguards, so they rush on to find the sons of Elrond who themselves are engaged into heavy fighting with Agandaur on top of the citadel tower. As the fellowship joins the elves, Agandaur retreats, jumping off the citadel tower only to raise to the sky on a fellbeast, flying away. Beleram appears overhead and begins the pursuit, but relents as Agandaur summons a lightning storm. He returns to the elves and the trio who are waiting for him on top of the tower.
Beleram tells them that he has to return home to inform Gwaihir about the happenings at Fornost and hopes to meet them again someday. The sons of Elrond invite the trio to Rivendell, but they reply that they will make for Sarn Ford to see how the Shire Guard and their leader Halbarad are doing. The elves tell them that they are welcome at Rivendell at any time, then they say goodbye to each other.
Sarn Ford Edit
The fellowship arrives at the San Ford, where the rangers guarding the Shire have one of their camps. Halbarad, the captain, is welcoming the trio and tells them that words of their heroic actions at Fornost have already reached him. Eradan tells him that they have slowed down Agandaur's advance on the North but the threat is still there, he asks Halbarad if there is anything they can help him with. Halbarad suggests that they should make their way to Rivendell, as Aragorn has also traveled there and will be eager to hear the news about their actions at Fornost. The trio acknowledges the idea of traveling to Rivendell themselves. Halbarad then tells them that they could indeed help him with something as they make their way to Rivendell. He had sent to rangers, Kilaran and Luin on patrol along the Brandywine River until the Great East Road and from there to return through the Barrow-Downs. They resolve to search for any trace of the two missing rangers as they travel to Rivendell.
The trio pay a visit to Silanna who is taking care of a wounded ranger called Elaran. She tells them that he is suffering of the Black Breath and she has no idea how to cure him, the three others suffering also had already died. Eradan asks her if she knows anything about the Black Breath and Silanna remembers a rhyme her teacher had told her. Athelas (Kingsfoil) is mentioned in it. Eradan suggests using Athelas to help Elaran but Silanna replies that she doesn't have any. She tells him that the herb grows in the Barrow-Downs and as he travels through them he should bring her some. Eradan agrees.
The fellowship sets out for the Barrow-Downs, which are just north of the Sarn Ford.
As the fellowship arrives at the outskirts of the Barrow-Downs, Farin asks Andriel if she knows anything about the Barrow-Downs as he only knows that there are many ancient tombs. She replies that the Barrow-Downs were built by the Fathers of Men in the depths of time, they were sacred to the Men of Arnor and they buried their dead there until the North Kingdom fell to the Witch-king. Eradan adds that this place has an evil reputation in the folklore of Bree and the Shire.
They advance down the serpentine down to the hill. On the way there they discover an herb, Athelas, they will later bring to Silanna to cure Elaran. As they reached ground level they notice an unnatural fog and soon discover that the dead have risen from their graves as they enter the first tomb. They defeat the undead and rush out of the tomb to find two trolls in the downs. After the fellowship has slain the trolls they are attacked by more undead. One of them still wearing armor and wielding a sword, it is shown that evil spirits have taken control of this one and make the undead glow like the ghostly fog. They overwhelm the undead and press on to a larger plain as a large group of undead rushes at them, whom the fellowship eventually defeats. On their search for the missing rangers they enter two other tombs. Farin recognizes that there are writings on the stone but it’s too faintly for him to see, so he asks Andriel. She tells their fellowship mates that this seems to be a list of names and that these men are identified as soldiers of Cardolan. Eradan recalls that the history tells that the men of Cardolan were among the last to hold out against the Witch-king and they fought a last desperate battle among the Barrow-Downs. Andriel suggests to cleanse the Barrows from the evil spirits to honor the fallen men.
As they proceed through the Downs they encounter a Barrow Wight, an evil spirit from the times when the Witch-king had control over the Barrow-Downs. The wight attacks them with swirling stones which it raises from the ground using dark magic. The fellowship is able to defeat the Barrow Wight and continue their way through the Downs. They enter the next tomb and battle more undead. As they leave the tomb they are soon after attacked by another Barrow-Wight using dark magic to hurl boulders at them. Again the fellowship is able to defeat the evil spirit and continue their way just to stumble upon a broken ranger sword. They enter the Barrow of Amon Gorthad as they continue their search for the rangers. As they make their way through the Barrow they are stopped by an old gate which is locked. During their search for the ancient key, which they eventually find in a chest next to a stone statue resembling a hooded Ringwraith, they are attacked by more undead. They rush through the gate and battle more undead and finally encounter another Barrow Wight that again hurls boulders at them. They dispatch the undead and the Barrow Wight and press on through the tomb. They find Luin lying on the ground. As they address him by his name he speaks of a strange plague but can’t recall that he did as he finally wakes up. The trio asks him if he is capable of joining them in the search for Kilaran and he acknowledges. After defeating more undead they find Kilaran lying on the ground but the Barrow Wight Lord has taken control of the dead body of Kilaran. Andriel tells Eradan and Luin to throw their feelings aside as the man they knew is already dead and the dead body is controlled by the evil spirit of the Barrow Wight Lord. After heavy fighting the fellowship and Luin prevail against the Barrow Wight. Eradan invites Luin to join them on their journey to Rivendell as he has seen dread things and surely needs rest. Luin kindly refuses and says that he will soon be himself again and then carry the body of Kilaran back to the Sarn Ford to bury him with his brothers. They say farewell to each other and the fellowship makes for Rivendell.
As the fellowship arrives at Rivendell they are welcomed by Elrond and Aragorn, who tell them that they are very thankful for their actions at Fornost as it gave safe passage to Aragorn and the Hobbits. Eradan asks them what this is all about as Gandalf the Grey joins the conversation admitting that it was about time to tell the trio what is going on. He asks them if they know what “Isildur’s Bane” is and they reply that this is another name for the Ring of Power. Gandalf tells them that they have guessed correct and then continues to tell them that the One Ring, lost for centuries, has been found once again. He reveals the plan to bring the Ring back to Mordor to cast it into the fires of Mount Doom and that a fellowship of nine will be formed from all Free People in Middle-earth: Elves, Dwarves and Men. Aragorn and Gandalf will be part of the fellowship. Aragorn and Gandalf tell the trio that Agandaur’s mission in the north is not clear and it can only be guessed what he is up to. Elrond believes that Agandaur will strike against Rivendell as Sauron’s hate for the Elves is very great. Aragorn adds that if Agandaur seeks strength he could find it in the Ettenmoors. Gandalf tells the trio that he himself was in the Ettenmoors and it was very strange that he did not encounter any trolls there. Eradan suggest that they will scout the Ettenmoors to unveil any threats gathering there and deal with them swiftly.
The trio takes some rest in Rivendell from the actions at Fornost and the most recent fighting in the Barrow-Downs. As they make their preparations they visit the Elven smith Angmir to have him repair their gear. While he is repairing their gear they start a conversation with Angmir who tells them that he has recently finished a quite exhausting task: the re-forging of the broken blade of Narsil. Aragorn named the sword Andúril, the Flame of the West. Now, Angmir continues, he started to dedicated himself to imbuing Elf-stones into weapons and armor, but sadly as there are fewer wanderers coming by high quality Elf-stones are hard to come by. He asks the trio to bring high quality Elf-stones to him, if they stumble upon any. The trio agrees. Before leaving the smithy they show strange artifacts they found in the ruins of old Fornost and the Barrow-Downs to Angmir, who recognizes them as parts of the Work of Westernesse (Numenor). He explains that this is an artifact from the Numenorians and he would be able to craft a powerful weapon for them from these relics.
After having their gear repaired, the fellowship spends further time in Rivendell and eventually gets to speak with Elrond again. They show him the scroll they found on the dead Orc sorcerer. Elrond recognizes the scroll is written in Black Speech and it is guidance for Black magic written by Agandaur and Wulfrun. He also says that this scroll is one of seven. And the trio also brings forth a tome that they found at Fornost which Elrond recognizes as the personal journal of an ancient seer. Elrond thanks the fellowship for bringing the matter of the Black magic scrolls to his attention and for bringing the seer’s journal to Rivendell.
After the conversation the trio tries to get some rest but is stumbling across Bilbo Baggins who tells them that he has already heard of the great deeds they had done at Fornost. He asks the trio to help him out as he tries to write a poem about Aragorn but a verse is giving him trouble. They help the Hobbit to fix the verse and then are asked by him to bring this poem to Lady Arwen. The fellowship searches for Arwen, finding her soon after on the walk way leading to gate. She tells them that she also had heard of their actions at Fornost and that she had heard of Eradan from Aragorn. She tells them that she is cooking Miruvor, but is running only on herbs that are needed for the potion. She asks the trio to bring her the ingredients she has written on a list should they come across them in the Ettenmoors. The fellowship agrees.
The three rest a little longer and then makes for the Ettenmoors.
The trio are sent to scout the area at Ettenmoors so that the fellowship of the ring does not have any trouble. When they reach there the meet their old friend 'Beleram' the great eagle. He tells them that there is a stone giant who are gathering an army of trolls. So their mission is to find and kill the giant. Fighting trolls and wave of enemies to get to the giant was easy. Then at last fight the giant, first wound his legs, then when his leg is injured attack his hands and finally when injuring his hands attack the face. But be aware his injury heals and so he will stand back on his legs. After the final blow Beleram will come and finish the giant. After everything is finished Beleram's king appears with other giant eagles.
Mount Gundabad Edit
The trio swiftly and quietly makes their way through a secret passage and when they reach the entrance the main tomb, they find clues that someone else is also fighting. Soon they meet an injured dwarf. The trio find out that there is a group of dwarf warriors here to find and use a special weapon to defeat the trolls. So now the trio mission is to find and help the dwarves. Fighting various enemies like trolls and other enemies fought earlier. The trio reach the main fortress and find that only two dwarves are left fighting waves of enemies and when finally they are activating the weapon, one of the dwarf is injured and still more enemies are coming. Then trio come and help them fight the waves of enemy with the help of a mounted crossbow perched at a height. After fighting for a minute or two the weapon is ready, and the dwarf start blowing a huge horn which attracts more enemies especially groups of trolls. After fighting for about some minutes the whole building starts collapsing. The trio are surprised but the dwarf said this was what they intended for and they are sorry as they also die with them. But suddenly through the building cracked wall comes the great eagles and carry them to safety.
(See Nordinbad Siege)
The trio are in Mirkwood -to find the wizard Radagast as to find out the lair to a dragon Urgost who is joining the bad side. As the great eagles fly to Mirkwood it has been attacked by flying mounts. So now the trio continues the journey by foot where at first is stuck at an ambush, where somehow or the other the trio escapes. As the trio reaches the Radagast's home, the trio is attacked by spiders. Then the trio finds Radagast's staff. Then they follow the tracks of the spider to find out about Radagast. On the way the trio is attacked by both trolls and spiders, especially a big spider. Just before the final event where the trio finds Radagast, the trio found a secret passage where they fight the enemy and a captured elf, who was on a scout with a companion and they were attacked by trolls. After rescuing the elf, it went of to find its companion and the trio entered a cave in search of Radagast following the trail. Finally, at the end they find Radagast alive but unconscious and wrapped up in a Spiders web. There they meet the queen of spider (who is big, ugly, and deadly). The trio fight and defeat the queen, freeing Radagast. Then Radagast wakes up and said that he had left his house as it was getting darker than usual because of dark magic. He said that he was suddenly caught by this giant spider who he had not expected. When the trio ask him, where does the dragon live in the mountain, he answered he did not know but he could ask his friend the sparrow(as Radagast can talk to animals and birds) with the help of his staff, which was returned to him by the trio. One of the sparrows knew where exactly the dragon is, and so the trio are off to Urgost Lair.
Urgost Lair Edit
The trio's mission is to meet with the dragon but before you do that,Agandaur has some of his guards outside the entrance to the dragon cave. The great eagles land far away from the dragon's lair as the dragon can kill them in the sky. So the trio marches towards the dragon den facing a new enemy a sorcerer, which cast spells as Andriel. The trio has to slay many enemies to reach to the dragon's lair loke the sorcerer, archers and powerful melee weapon enemy. Once outside the dragon's lair, the trio must defeat the captain of Agandaur which is quite powerful and strong like a boss. Then finally after slaying the captain, the trio meets the dragon where the trio has chance to fight the dragon or give him Carn Dum (which the dragon want). The best option would be to give him Carn Dum as it belongs to Agandaur which after killing him can be given to the dragon as it an old which fortress.
Nordinbad Siege Edit
Nordinbad is the house of the dwarfs, which the trio had met in Mount Gundabad. The dragon had informed the trio that Nordinbad is being attacked by Agandaur and they should go at once. Nordinbad was at Siege when the trio arrives as the dwarfs had lost hope and were losing. The trio first hold the enemy from breaking the inner gate with the help of mounted crossbow as the enemy comes on top of walls with ladders and huge platforms. So with the help of mounted crossbow, it was easy to defeat wave after wave of enemies. Then comes the difficult part where two troll with armor and a powerful melee weapon attack the door of the inner gate and the trio must stop them from breaking it. The problem is that the troll straight away goes to attack the door and does not stop to attack the trio. So the best way is to use the best powerful skill to distract the troll from attacking the door. After this defeat the General/Captain so that the enemy is demotivated and retreats. One of the worst things that happened in the war was that the great Eagles were attacked and two of them died but Beleram is alive but seriously injured and has been healed by the dwarfs.
Carn Dum Edit
The trio sets for Car Dum to kill Agandaur. With Beleram injured, the trio decides to climb the mountain in order to avoid fighting the army. They sneak into the fortress through the sewers but manage to attract enemies in their efforts to pull the lever to open the gate that leads into the fortress. After venturing forth and slaying waves upon waves of enemies, the trio comes face to face with a fellbeast. In the middle of the fight, the ever loyal but injured Beleram flies to their aid and fells the fellbeast. Finally, the trio proceeds into the final room and fights Agandaur. In the final fight, Agandaur uses a plethora of skills including levitation, teleportation, lightning spells, and weapon enchantment, all of which proved useless against the might of the trio. As Agandaur lays dying, he asks for aid from (the now defeated) Sauron. Their journey over, the trio and Beleram return to Rivendell to rest, while the dragon makes Carn Dum his home.
If the player(s) decide to call for Beleram's help in the final stand against Agandaur, Beleram will answer their call and sacrifice himself. Nevertheless the trio will make for Rivendell after the dragon Urgost has claimed the fortress of Carn Dum.
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North received mixed to positive reviews. Koalition awarded the game 8/10 stating that "The cooperative multiplayer aspect is fantastic and the game is balanced very well". Gamefront gave the game a positive score of 8.5/10 praising the game as being "a successful effort for Snowblind" and stating that "It’s a fun title that you can enjoy with your friends or alone". IGN awarded the game a "Good" score of 7/10 praising its graphics and level design but criticizing the plot as being bland, the characters as lacking personality and the game suffering from repetitive gameplay. GameSpot gave a score of 6 out of 10, stating issues such as odd enemy behavior, technical issues with multiplayer and a general feeling of disappointment.Game Informer also had feelings of disappointment; giving the game a 5.5 out of 10 score. It cited issues similar to that of GameSpot. On Metacritic the game holds a 62/100 for the Xbox 360 version, a 66/100 for the PC version and a 63/100 for the PlayStation 3 version as of January 29, 2012. The German edition Der Krieg im Norden received a positive review from theZillo Medieval magazine praising the possibility of playing in previously unexplored areas of the game's world.