The cake genre has been around for as long as anybody can remember. Copious amounts of new releases come out every year but us, the public, keep endlessly lapping them up. Today has seen me receive the newest iteration; a review copy of Lord of the Rings Online cake: 2 year Anniversary edition.
The first thing that you will strike you here is the graphics. The cake aims for and for the most part achieves complete photo-realism. It is stunning, tricking your mind into thinking you could reach out and grab the thing. It is with upmost regret that I have to say that unfortunately such graphical quality is somewhat wasted on the horrendously old fashioned art style. It looks like something from a 1950′s countryside which is too far past ‘retro’ and quant to be enjoyable. Adding to the dissapointment are a few breaks in graphical quality which range from looking average to looking truly dreadful which could be easily rectified.
In a turn against the norm with the Lord of the Rings Online cake: 2 year Anniversary edition you can actually experience the graphics before you actually install it. It’s a good job really – installation is a bit of a nightmare and if I didn’t know what I was in store for, I might have given up. First you have to get through the packaging which required an unofficial 3rd party tool called “knife”. After that you probably want (but don’t necessarily need), yet another 3rd party tool called “plate” to install the cake onto. I wouldn’t mind but no mention of any of this is included in the documentation.
When you actually get into the cake after the fiddly install you quickly realise it’s the standard affair. Mostly comprising of the tried and tested fruit, cake, icing approach; there is little here to surprise. In fact, I would go so far as to say no effort has been put in here to innovate or improve the genre past it’s base values.
If any redeeming feature is to be found here it’s in the mod support, but I fear it is already one well established in the cake genre. You can pretty much do whatever you like either to the core unit or just bolt on something extra. For example I went straight for the “Tea” mod which was excellent, but there are a whole host of alternatives available including “Coffee”, “Cream”, “Custard” and “Smarties” to name a few, all of which make the whole experience much more enjoyable and add some much needed longevity.
The final nail in the already sturdy coffin with Lord of the Rings Online cake: 2 year Anniversary edition is that as quickly as it begun, mod support or no, your experience will be over, and when it is over, you won’t be particularly bothered. Yes the graphics are stunning but packaged with such dated art-direction and a basically far-from-brilliant core you aren’t left with anything you really care about. It’s not a bad experience per-se, but not I would look forward to experiencing again.