New Lord Of The Rings survival game Return To Moria sounds like Deep Rock Galactic x Gimli

As part of the Summer Game Fest’s adjacent livestream events, Epic Games did it’s own thing to show off this year, and first on the docket was the reveal of a Lord Of The Rings Game that, as a lapsed fan, I’m actually interested in. The Lord Of The Rings: Return To Moria is a multiplayer action survival game about the Dwarves trying to reclaim the most cursed mine in all of fantasy canon. It’s due out in Spring 2023 and will, of course, be an Epic Games Store exclusive.

It’s only a short trailer right now, but Return To Moria, due out some time next year, is looking both moody and potentially memetic. Who doesn’t love screenshots of Dwarves doin’ stuff? Drums in the deep, ladies! Look at those caverns! Phwoar!

It’s set in the Fourth Age, which is the peacetime was immediately following the War Of The Rings (what happens in the movies, basically), and players embody a Dwarf summoned to a proc-gen Moria by Gimli to reclaim lost spoils. As you mine and excavate, crafting gear and so on as you go, you could make too much noise and awaken the threats lurking below the surface. So it sounds like Deep Rock Galactic but Tolkiened up – and with more survival in play.

A pair of Dwarves in The Lord Of The Rings: Return To Moria look out over a deep, but narrow cavern full of mist and mystery

I wanna’ splore

The store page says it’s possible to play solo, but multiplayer seems to be the order of the day, and Return To Moria allows for up to 8 person co-op. There’s much crafting and base-building to be done, some of which you might choose to do around the existing grand structures of Moria, and as well as looking out for orc hordes you must manage needs for food, sleep and temperature. Mining: it’s intense. Sounds like there’s a story for lore-heads as well, plus enchanted gear (your classic glowing sword), mithril and jewels to dig up.

I’m a Lord Of The Rings fan in the sense that I read the books and watched the movies a lot (special extended editions with DVD commentary, mark you), but I sort of drifted away from it all what with The Hobbit films being a bucket of piss served in three portions… But who hasn’t sort of dreamt of being a hardened Dwarven miner bashing in some orc heads and yelling about axes a lot? Extra fun that Return To Moria has a “Comprehensive Dwarf Builder” to make your custom character. Good stuff.

Still, we’re at the theory stage right now. Developers Free Range Games have worked on a few projects before, but Return To Moria looks to be their first foray into this kind of survival-me-do. I look forward to seeing this one in practice. Check out the Epic Store page to see more.


Not E3 2022 is in full-swing – see everything in our E3 2022 hub, as well as our complete round-up of everything announced at Summer Game Fest 2022. Many more big game showcases and streams are still to come this summer, so make sure you stay up to date with our summer games stream schedule.

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