So a few months back, my cousin asked me for my opinion on Lord of the Rings: War in the North, and I told him, “It’s just another hack-and-slash with co-op, nothing to really get excited for.” The next day, he told me that he played it and was sucked in. When I asked him what was so special about the game, he replied that it was the anticipation of looting and leveling. At that point, I sort of took a step back and realized that most of the mediocre titles that manage to sell decently contain those aspects. Bland combat, bland story, but throw in some loot, level-ups, upgrades, and achievements—and BAM—the consumer will be hooked. Hey, I can’t really complain about that, because it’s proven to work—just ask the millions of people playing World of Warcraft, and I’m sure they’d be glad to tell you about their oranges, and I don’t mean the fruit.