No question that because it's an LCG, there are obvious parallels to both Decipher's and I.C.E.'s prior card games. But from all appearances, this incarnation owes more to Reiner Knizia's Lord of the Rings boardgames released by Parker Brothers in 2000. The game was also a cooperative quest, in that case accomodating 2-5 players, wherein the players assumed the roles of Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and, joy of joys, Fatty! The hobbits made their way through 7 lands (Bag End, Rivendell, Moria, Lothlorien, Helm's Deep, Shelob's Lair, and, of course, Mordor -- pronounced correctly only with rolling r's!) on 5 different game boards as players used cards from a common deck, as well as item and ally cards from realm-specific stacks, to stay ahead of Sauron (represented by a game piece as well as the hobbits and The Ring itself) and transport The Ring to Mount Doom for final destruction. The game was incredibly difficult to beat, but you all won as a fellowship or lost as a fellowship. With FFG's primary identity as a board game company, and the elements of cooperatively playing out of a single set of cards, there's a very real probability that this LCG will attain the epic feel and incredible enjoyment of the Parker game. That game even came with a Hall of Fame sheet to record the rare conquest of Sauron and all those who were involved. I'm really anxious to see this thing in action.
Anyone else remember that fantastic game?