Although I was really excited for the release of Rohan nearly two years ago, but it felt that although I ventured further into the new land and discovered the new game mechanics like mounted combat i fell less and less in love with the new region. It began to take so long to travel the long roads and especially at the beginning, the rubber banding horses made walking to Mordor actually not sound that crazy.
But the upside of the update was the enhanced graphics and grass, everything looked more real and that’s some thing I defiantly loved.
This added with the Celtic feel of the entire region made it enjoyable on a cultural standpoint, there was just so much grass but it almost felt crowded with the amount of war-bands and enemies. It’s a difficult trade off because at the same time when you’re questing you don’t want to have to go searching too far for the objective. The only rule remains, you have to be level cap to ride across Rohan without fighting anything.
However the addition of drauger is my favorite and yet the most overlooked. Instead of the whights of the barrow Downs and the surrounding dead in Eriador the drauger are like no other enemy in the game because when they die they explode in green guts. The reason this is special is that unlike the rest of the game, there is barely any blood whatsoever.
Sadly the entry to Rohan is met by a very dead and decaying land but not creepy just very dry and brown. The planes are wide and the quests aren’t as many as you’d like. In reality it works out to just a so-so kind of environment, once out of the wold you get to see interesting things like views of grass and some nicely designed settlements and towns.
There were some interesting little nooks and coves where mysterious dangers lied. Such as the Lathbear dens, home to demon monsters that stalk the Westfold. Their lair has a very creepy feeling around it and the fog that is constant there only increases the uneasiness of the cave and valley.
The only two major landmarks that are contained in the Westfold was the Argonath which was extremely exciting to see and the ruins of Amon Hen. The seat atop the hill is something to marvel at and the ages that it has seen pass before it.
Which is why during one of those level cap downtimes Riders of the Riddermark Kin Leader Peodric constructed a fan-made commercial for the release of helms deep and the Eastfold. If you haven’t seen it you can watch it here the charging scenes at the end were some of the most difficult things to shoot but it was inspiring to see everyone come out or pass by and join the charge!