And by god, I got close. The Lord of the Rings Online is one of the only MMO games that I've ever played, and as it tossed me into a world where, like the books, every third word was a reference to another character or place, with a learning curve that I can only describe as "Do it yourself, fuckface," I fell in love. My college classes disappeared. The girl I was dating went...somewhere. It was as if I was jumping into a pool of liquefied Tolkien, and I could splash around until I was forced to repeat a course.
Why It Doesn't Work For Anyone Else
When you're basing your game on another fantasy storyline and you don't want someone leaping in your face to say "Actually, ULMO is Water Lord of the Valar, you tempestuous ass," you have to find a way to fit into the narrative. And this is tricky, because if you try to create too much of your own stuff, you might as well be making Knights of Magic Shit: Vague Fantasy Series #14. And if you try too hard to fit into the established story, the creation of goals for the gamer to accomplish is a stricter process. This story already has a beginning, a middle and an end. And now you're trying to create a migenddle, which is a word invented by someone way dumber than me, I promise.
It happened with Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which was a great game until you went to do any of the Lord of the Ring-sy stuff, like face down Sauron. But doesn't Sauron die at the end of the book/film series? So in this game, do you kind of just...let him go? Yeah, sort of. There's a lot of stuff wrong with making your final battle with the Dark Lord hinge on your ability to click "A" really fast. But even more feels wrong with the fact that, because Shadow of Morder can't step on any Hobbit toes, you're stuck with a non-finish. You didn't land the knockout blow. You just poked him in the eye, so he said "You dang ol' jerk!" and locked himself in his tower.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Your quick time event skills! They're just...too powerful.