One of the very best shareware RPGs ever made, with very high production value and longevity that rivals the best commercial games, Mordor: The Depths of Dejenol is an epic fantasy RPG in the best dungeon hack tradition set by Rogue. Mordor introduces a user-friendly interface and above average graphics without sacrificing hundreds of hours of gameplay. Despite the name, the game is not based on Tolkien's classic Lords of the Ring novels but an entirely original gameworld, populated by strange monsters and races that AD&D fans will find refreshingly unique. In addition to familiar character classes (called "guilds" in the game) such as warriors and wizards, you can play as scavenger (cross between a warrior and a thief), nomad (quick learner), or even villain (fallen thief). The same goes for races: you can choose to be a morloch (cousin of trolls) or osiri (distant relative of elves) in addition to human, ogres, trolls, and other typical AD&D races. Choose your alignment as Good, Neutral, or Evil, then off you go to the dungeon of Mordor for fame and fortune. |
Despite what the lengthy background reading in the manual would have you believe, Mordor is a dungeon hack where the plot takes a (very far) back seat. The game can be summed up as: go down into the dungeon, kill monsters, search the corpses, find treasures, go back to town to sell treasures and heal, go down into the dungeon again (deeper this time). It may sound very boring to some, but as they say, the devil is in thedetails... and Mordor has got enough details to put Diablo to shame. There are dozens of spells, hundreds of monsters, items, and many detailed (bordering on anal) features Rogue fans have come to expect from Roguelike descendants. You can, for example, "bind" monsters to be your companions by casting the charm spell on them. Once charmed, these monsters will be your allies in battles, and you can sell them in the town of Marlith once you go back to the surface to heal and replenish supplies. The game literally offers *hundreds* of hours of gameplay, especially if you want to explore every nook and cranny in Mordor. If you are a Rogue or NetHack fan who wants to try a faithful Roguelike with good graphics, look no further than Mordor. It may not be the most charming or original game, but it's still one of the best dungeon hacks that deserves a lot more attention. Two thumbs up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs