A co-op survival crafting sandbox is coming to Middle-earth. The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria is a multiplayer survival game set in the 4th age of JRR Tolkien's Middle-earth, where players will team up with their fellow dwarves and carve out a new empire under the mountains.
"Summoned to the Misty Mountains by Lord Gimli Lockbearer, players take control of a company of Dwarves tasked to reclaim the lost spoils from the Dwarven homeland of Moria—known as Khazad-dûm or Dwarrowdelf—in the depths below their very feet," reads a press release from publisher North Beach Games. "Their quest will require fortitude, delving deep into the Mines of Moria to recover its treasures. Players will join forces to survive, craft, build and explore the iconic, sprawling mines."
Deep underground, players will band together to hunt for resources, build a subterranean base, and battle orcs, goblins, and even more monstrous foes attracted by the noise of the dwarves' hamming and chiseling. You'll have to manage your sleep, temperature, and a "dynamic light system" to create safe zones in the darkness of the mines. Restoring and rebuilding ancient technology like forges will give players access to better gear and machinery.
Crafting weapons and gear isn't the only way to swing your hammer: Return to Moria (opens in new tab) also promises a "Comprehensive Dwarf Builder" which is a fun name for a character creation tool. The realm of Moria is procedural to ensure "no two adventures will be alike," and co-op will support up to 8 players, though the publisher notes it is also playable solo.
The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria is coming exclusively to the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab) in 2023. Check out some rather murky screenshots (to be fair, it is set under a mountain) and the full list of features below.
- Feel the Fellowship: Experience the Fellowship of the Dwarves like never before, with the rich lore of the iconic fantasy world from J.R.R. Tolkien interwoven into the very fabric of The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria.
- Survive the Dark: To survive the treacherous Mines of Moria players must conserve resources, hunt, and gather for food and manage their sleep, temperature, and noise levels. Utilize dynamic light systems for safety and to blaze a path further into the darkness. Battle unspeakable evils and survive hordes of monstrous Orcs in visceral combat, while uncovering the secret of the Shadow that looms within the mountain.
- Base Building: Find solace from the darkness. Reveal and clear new locations to create architecture on a grand scale. Get creative and construct bases from scratch or build upon the existing environment. Beware the evils which seek to destroy Dwarven progress.
- Rebuild and Reshape Moria: Restore the long-lost ancient kingdom of Khazad-dûm to its former glory, recovering Dwarven landmarks as the story progresses. Resurrect old mines and refire their forges to yield their untouched resources.
- Explore: Delve into the depths of the Mines of Moria. Procedurally generated environments are abundant with resources and fraught with mystery and danger, providing a unique experience each and every time.
- Co-op Multiplayer: Adventure alone or band together with friends in online cooperative multiplayer with up to eight players.
- Craft Dwarven Tools, Weapons and More: Craft and loot legendary Dwarven armor, tools, weapons and structures. Rebuild ancient forges to strengthen, repair and enchant gear. Upgrade and unlock new technologies and fantastical machines.
- Uncover Magic Artifacts: Discover ancient magic items including swords that glow when Orcs are near, maps of long-dormant Mithril veins, books with forgotten crafting plans and amulets that give strength or wisdom.
- Mine Ore and Jewels: Establish mines to unearth deposits of precious resources such as iron, gold, and quartz; and fantastical materials such as Mithril. Access crafting stations and forges to convert ore to ingots and upgrade gear. But be prepared, mining is loud and can awaken what lurks in the darkness.
- Comprehensive Dwarf Builder: Players become part of Dwarven Legend as they create their own Dwarf in the custom character creator. Dwarves can be customized in a variety of ways to create a unique Dwarven identity. Then, during gameplay, players can find and craft armor and weapons to further enhance their unique style.