Hello! I am Jon-Paul Dumont, the Game Director for The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria™. We've been working on this game for both PC and the PlayStation 5 throughout its entire development, and we're really excited that it is finally available for those of you who love this console as much as we do.
If you weren't familiar with The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria, it is a survival crafting game set in the 4th Age of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. It follows the adventures, or misadventures, of a group of dwarfs who come at Lord Gimli's call to retake their ancient homeland, known as Moria. The hopes are when they're done with it, it will finally become the restored Khazad-dûm.
Our story begins with Gimli, whom we all know from The Fellowship of the Ring, writing a letter to the various clans across Middle-earth, calling on them to help him re-enter Moria. Of course when they arrive, the famous Doors of Durin--the ones that Gandalf spoke “friend" to in The Fellowship of the Ring-- can't be opened no matter how hard they try. As they increasingly become more desperate disaster happens, and your dwarf is now trapped inside Moria.
Step one on this journey is to figure out how to return to Gimli’s camp. Once it’s clear this is not possible, you begin to discover the mysteries of this place: why wouldn’t the door open, how is it that the orcs are back and in such large numbers, what is this cryptic "Her" that the orcs speak of, is there a evil preventing the Dwarves' return? You will then begin your treacherous journey through the mountain, finding clues along the way.
Dwarves really are the perfect characters for a survival crafting game, as they are inherently great craftsmen and miners. Your dwarf is trapped in a dangerous situation, what do you do? Improvise a pickaxe, dig out some ore, light up a forge, and get to crafting. Once you feel able to take on the challenge of the darkness, create a torch and ignite the lamps of Moria, beginning the long process of restoring and bringing light back to the ancient home.
Exploration is rewarded in finding new resources, places to build, and, of course, crafting recipes. Return to Moria’s technology progression does not follow a typical wood to bronze to iron path. The Dwarves start right away with metalworking, and these will continue to improve as you uncover ancient secrets and recipes as you go. The Third Age armor and weapons are good, but the First Age is the best.
The most unique part of our game is everything that you do has been created in the most dwarfy way possible. That means you don't just monotonously dig out resources, you sing while you do it. If you play in multiplayer, your characters will harmonize with each other as they sing. There are no potions in the game, you brew ale, with each ale giving you different abilities and buffs. You don't just build a supply camp or a base or a cabin in the woods, you build your own fortification, castle, and dwarven stronghold. Each base is complete with a meal table to bake and serve meals, decorations with your favorite weapons and shields on the wall, and monuments to those that you've lost along the way.
Playing alone will feel like a tense adventure in a dangerous place, while playing with a group can become a laugh fest amongst you and your friends. This is what we absolutely sought to create—a game that you would immediately say, "That's the one I want to play with my friends." It can be a pretty raucous affair, as many of us have been able to watch as people play it live.
We really hope you enjoy playing The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria on the PlayStation 5. It really is a love letter to J.R.R. Tolkien's dwarfs made by fans for fans of both survival crafting and Middle-earth.