LOTRO: Rise of Isengard raging in 2011

Turbine's free-to-play MMORPG receiving third expansion next year; level cap upped to 70, new territories added, monster play expanded in digital-only release.

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Though the upcoming Hobbit film is nowhere near release, Tolkien fans thirsting for new Middle-earth content will receive two titles in 2011. Last March, Warner Bros. announced that the action role-playing gameLord of the Rings: War in the North will arrive sometime in 2011.

Also coming next year is Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard, the free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game's third content expansion. Set to be released during fall 2010, the add-on follows Mines of Moria and Siege of Mirkwood, which shipped in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

The evil Saruman and his similarly nefarious minions await gamers in the new expansion.
The evil Saruman and his similarly nefarious minions await gamers in the new expansion.

Rise of Isengard will be available exclusively for purchase through the Lord of the Rings Online virtual marketplace. However, its price has not been announced by developer/publisher Turbine or copublisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

The Rise of Isengard expansion will contain three zones: Dunland, the Gap of Rohan, and the famed Isengard, complete with Orthanc, the iconic tower where the traitorous Saruman dwells. Journeying through these zones, players can level up to a new height of 70.

Also included in the Rise of Isengard expansion will be "expanded" Monster Play. The updated mode will be open to all players and will include changes to monster player skills, as well as a new region in which to battle.

For more on the series, check out GameSpot's review of 2007's original Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

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