Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC,
Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Price: $49.99 (GameFanShop – PC) – $59.99 (Amazon.com)
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Shadow Of Mordor
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Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor Review Transcript:
I have always found Orcs to be the peon race of any fictional lore; whether it’s Lord of the Rings or Elder Scrolls, the race just seems to do the bidding for some higher power with greater purpose. In Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, I discovered a new found respect and enjoyment for the Orcish race and become immersed in the hierarchical structure of their political systems, in other words, Orcs are freaking badass.
Fighting my way through hordes of Orcish warriors, captains and Warchiefs, this game really does make you feel as if you’re in Mordor turning the tide of the upcoming war. Developed by WBgames, the guys who brought you the Batman: Arkham series, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a fun and entertaining game with only a few issues here and there but overall a solid open world title.
Being an open world title you almost have to make your own fun when the story finishes. And honestly, I am okay with that until the point when the game becomes repetitious and boring. The hours spent trying to Promote Pug the Humiliator to War chief with infinite power was insane, just so I could have an interesting battle that was on some sort of difficulty scale.
You play as Talion, a Ranger who fights for revenge and the sweet release of death after the loss of his wife Loreth, and his son Dirhael. After the loss of his loved ones Talion became “possessed” by Celebrimbor, who in Lord of the Rings lore has a massive role in the origins of the saga. Without giving too much away from this game’s story, this title almost feels like filler for anyone who wanted to know about the origins of the Lord of the Rings backstory but was too lazy to pick up the books, like me.
The story itself threw a lot of information at me during the introductory stages of the game, but I could not help but want more of this amazing lore. Throughout the game Celebrimbor unlocks missing memories about who and what he was prior to “possessing” Talion. The slow hand feeding of the story was well paced and made for an enjoyable play through. If you are looking to buy this game and you tend to rush the story to completion, then you will not have much of an experience.
One issue that I had with this title is the lack of story length, the amount of content given is a little lackluster. It took me a solid 15 hours to get through the game at a strolling pace, completing side missions and murdering Orcs for funsies. With day one season pass, we can look forward to forking out bucket loads of money for trickles of story and gameplay for a year or two to come.
Playing the game on PC the texture quality was pretty good. I did not know what I was expecting when running the game for the first time, but I was very content with the look and feel of the game. The lack of loading time when traveling through the open world added to the overall good experience with the game. The character models were the standout when talking about the graphical fidelity of the title, every Orc looked amazing. Different descriptors would alter the look and battle style of the Orc which made the game fun and made the player keen to explore more of the game.
Music is something that makes the Tolkin universe, so grand, whether it is throat singing from Dwarfs or Elven vocals, we can always expect the Lord of the Rings universe to send our ears up into the heavens. Music changes when you enter combat or different parts of the map, when in combat the sound of Orcish war drums course through your veins which just add to the frantic nature of fighting hordes of Orcs.
The voice acting in this game is spot on. Every character is voiced to a tee with Orcs having the distinct snarly sound as they do in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Troy Baker, who voices more characters in video games than ever conceivable lends his talent to Talion which cannot be faulted.
The Nemesis system is fantastic. After fighting your way through a few lower level Orcs you are pointed in the direction of this hierarchical system where an Orc military structure is presented to you. Gathering intelligence is key in forming strategies on how to best these higher level Orcs in battle and ultimately having lasting effects on the end bosses. After the story is complete, this Nemesis system IS the game. The challenge system focuses solely on killing Chiefs in record time and within different conditions.
This game honestly plays like a Batman game; you are given ability points to unlock different skills and traits very similar to Batman: Arkham series. If you are impressed by the gameplay and feel of the Batman Arkham series I honestly suggest that you pick up this title because you will not be disappointed with the free flowing combo and the nemesis system for the Orcs.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a great game. Even though everything is reminiscent of a Batman Arkham title the overall feel and style of the game is Lord of the Rings and does a pretty good job of owning everything about the genre.
There is one massive issue I had with Shadow of Mordor and that was with the last boss fight. After epic battles with Orcs and different Black Hand bosses you are pitted against the last boss with great anticipation of an awesome battle to come, and then it happens, a ridiculous Quick Time event.
I am not sure whether this was laziness on behalf of the developers or a shortage of time, but it was such a let down to end such a fantastic game with a Quick Time event.