So for anyone who read my first post, I did mention somewhere that occasionally I play video games, you know much like most people my age and younger… and even older… let’s just say like most people. Now I am not a great gamer, I often die on very simple things and can’t beat what others would consider easy but despite this I tend to find a game every once in awhile that I enjoy despite my countless deaths that happen because it is me. So with this being my first review of a game please realize, what I may have died countless times from you could do with your eyes closed and what I found frustrating or annoying you may have fun with. With that let me go with my most recent game completion Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an open world hack and slash style RPG. The story takes place in the Lord of the Rings world sometime before the actual events of the book/movie/game trilogy play out. You play as Talion, a ranger of Gondor tasked with guarding the border of Mordor at the Black Gate, before it is the dark and creepy Black Gate you see in the second movie I believe it was. The story has a sort of generic plot in a sense where Talion witnesses his family brutally murdered for a blood sacrifice, right before he himself is murdered, by servants of Sauron, a few moments later (well at least for you, who knows how long it was for Talion) Talion wakes up and starts recollecting memories of what happened, realizing he is now haunted by a Wraith and is on the edge of life and death, which gives him all sorts of useful abilities throughout the game.
Essentially you are now thrust quickly into the open world environment and go on a vengeance fueled killing spree taking out Uruk Captains and Warchiefs. Both of which are in endless supply because 1) the game wants you to have things to do and 2) it fits with the story because as long as an Uruk is willing to kill whomever is shouting out the orders or is able to show off their skill (by let’s say killing you) they can become a Captain or Warchief. So yes as I just mentioned there, if you are killed by rabble in a fight because let us just say you are overwhelmed since it can happen, that rabble now becomes a Captain whom is significantly harder to kill.
Captains and Warchiefs though are obviously not invincible, each coming with their own weaknesses and strengths. For example Random Captain #1 can be immune to stealth and ranged attacks but vulnerable to combat attacks. Added onto this he may have a fear of caragors and become enraged when struck by explosives. So against this Captain you would want to use sword combat but not try to sneak up on him and slice his throat when he isn’t looking.
To figure out the strengths and weaknesses of Captains you have to find intel, this can be carried on orcs which then require you to grab the orc and use your wraith powers to find the information or the intel can be found occasionally across the map just lying on tables or bodies. Knowing this intel can lead a fight from being long and tedious, to being over in a few seconds if the weaknesses are used against them correctly.
Gameplay and Combat for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is immensely similar to other games. The free run, stealth, and I would say even a little bit of the combat is nearly the exact same as what can be seen in any of the Assassins Creed games that have been coming out for the last 7 years now. The combat itself though is nearly a pure copy of the Batman: Arkham series of games, except instead of just knocking people out you are killing them brutally for murdering your family. The two when combined create a perfect blend that works amazingly well with the setting of the game, so really I give a pass here that I thought of other games playing it.
One of the more, I would say unique I suppose, features of the game is the plethora of Wraith abilities you gain through the games progress. Near I would say the halfway point to three quarters completion you gain the ability to Dominate the minds of Uruk. Starting out with just lowly rabble such as archers, warriors and defenders, you quickly progress to being able to Dominate the minds of Captains and even Warchiefs, giving yourself your own personal army. Which while also being part of the story, makes for some fun and interesting fights against other Captains and Warchiefs when you pit them against each other.
I heard from a few sources on the internet that the game was apparently rife with bugs, so I must have gotten lucky since I did not personally notice any in my playthrough. I thoroughly enjoyed my time, despite being short, in the game. It was one of those titles that isn’t overly hard if done right, but can be unforgiving if you try to muscle your way through something the wrong way, like going against a Warchief, all of his bodyguards, and not knowing a single one of their weaknesses or strengths until mid fight. For me this almost always led to my death which then meant either more Captains, stronger Captains, or stronger Warchiefs as they leveled up through my deaths.
I have already finished the main story, which is sadly fairly short. Though I also spent quite a bit of my time also running around finding the collectible artifacts as well as doing the side mission to free slaves or to improve my weapons. Which probably made the game easier than it should have been when completely upgraded. I would still recommend this game to a fan of LotR or even Assassins Creed since the game reminded me of that series a lot while playing it. I also think this game has the potential to have some stellar DLC to come out in the future, so it will be fun to see what comes along.
Now most reviews I see usually give a score… or +/- of the game at the end for the TL;DR section… and I kinda don’t want to honestly… but I will at least give a simple out of 10 score to make people happy.
So if I were to score the game I would give it an…. 8 out of 10.