The good news: I’m finally at the gates of Minas Tirith. The white city. The windy banana. The last bastion of civilization for the next 375 miles. Also home to 16 Starbucks and the region’s first IKEA.
The bad news: The armies of hell are hot on my heels.
Let’s back up a bit.
When last we left our intrepid Captain, she was wandering around in the maze of pain and depression known as Osgiliath. Happily, she was about out of it, although she didn’t know it yet.
One final mission took us through a strangely empty city. While Syppi’s companion wonders where the Orcs have gone like some sort of horror movie victim saying loudly, “WELL WE’RE SAFE NOW!” the Captain starts having strange ghostly visions. The Eye of Sauron makes its cameo, the city starts flashing into its pre-war state, and some girl shows up to point the way to a big wolfy battering ram.
I’m still upset that the game made me disable this thing instead of letting me joyride it around Gondor for a bit. Ultimate MMO mount? Oh, what could have been.
Anyway, just about then some evil dude in red shows up…
Yes, I’m… on a grand adventure and certainly not lost and too stubborn to ask for directions back to Bree.
I got the feeling that the appearance of Red Robes here was supposed to be some huge “ermigarsh!” moment, but to be honest, I don’t recall who this was. I think I hit my limit for how many pretend names and places from Middle-earth I could memorize about a year and a half ago, and since then I’ve been winging it and hoping that nobody asks me to introduce them at parties. I should NOT need to know so many hyphenated phrases.
Anyway, with that reveal over, Osgiliath was all done and we got a quick port out to Pelennor Fields. Isn’t there supposed to be a battle here? Lots of geeks showing up to rend their shirts as they squee in pleasure? That’s probably later.
Oh no! You hit Faramir — a guy I literally met about 30 seconds ago — with a neck dart! What, are you a cartoon villain or something? Because I could get on board with that.
I’m not the biggest proponent of flight in MMOs, but it does seem unfair that the enemy gets these wicked-looking beasts and I’m still hoofing it.
The ride to Minas Tirith while the Nazgul swarmed and swooped was a neat cinematic moment, although I doubt I was in any actual danger. Every time one of these guys show up, I try to tab-target them for a sneak attack, but I think some Turbine dev is wise to me.
While I’m not having the sort of nerdgasm that I assume some Tolkien fans would have when entering the city, I will admit to being impressed with its scope. Turbine did not skimp on Minas Tirith — it’s a huge city with seven or so rings of what I can only assume are amusement park zones and a super-high outcropping that makes me dizzy to look at.
Gandalf shows up and immediately puts me on a vital task for the fate of Middle-earth: to navigate my way up through all of these rings, getting passwords at each door. Naturally, I get stuck at the very first door when I can’t get through it and there’s no one to talk to. Regroup! At the tavern!