Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

8.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 9/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Sound: 8/10

Good Story | Lots to do

Feels like other games in the same genre

Game Info

GAME NAME: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

DEVELOPER(S): Monolith Productions

PUBLISHER(S): Warner Bros

PLATFORM(S): Playstation 4

GENRE(S): Action Adventure

RELEASE DATE(S): September 30,

Have you ever felt like you want to be right in the middle of a battle in Mordor, feeling like the ultimate bad ass but at the same time in the back of your mind knowing that at any moment you could actually be killed?   Monolith Productions’ new game based in the Lord of The Rings universe is a open world action and adventure game that will give you that previously described rush.  It takes place before Lord of The Rings but it focuses on taking down the dark lord, Sauron.

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In Shadow of Mordor, you take control of Tallion, a ranger who lost his family right before his very eyes and is killed himself but doesn’t fully die.  Instead he is joined with another spirit, Celebrimbor, who originally made the ring and had his family slaughtered as well.  In the game you have the ability to kill orcs while climbing up the ranks of captains and war chiefs all the while leveling up your abilities and stats.  If at any point where you die in the game, the Orc that kills you will gain more power and become a captain or if already a captain they will rise further in the ranks.  There are tons of side quests and plenty to do in this game besides the main story missions.  Monolith has even put in a couple missions where you have to follow and work with Gollum.  You will eventually work up the ranks by slaying all of the captains and bring out some of the head people who were responsible for killing your family.  The voice acting is good, but nothing that really stands out.  However, Andy Serkis is still amazing as ever voicing Gollum.

Graphically Shadow of Mordor looks really gorgeous for an open world game and holds up well even when there are more then 50 characters on the screen.  Unfortunately, great graphics don’t make a great game and the gameplay in Shadow of Mordor often feels very familar.  When you go to a location to slay a captain you use your vision to lock on to him and can then strategize how you are going to take him out while either using a distraction or without even getting involved into a fight at all.  Running through the game, you can use your abilities to scale up buildings and assassinate enemies from above just like Assassin’s Creed. While fighting handfuls of orcs it feels very reminiscent of the Batman Arkham series, which isn’t a bad thing. In key junctures when you try to ride one of the monsters or at moments you are on your last life, there are quicktime events that can be frustrating at times and possibly be a life saver.  When you finally max out all of Tallion’s skills, you feel like an unstoppable force that can take on anything and anyone.  The ability to have a vision that slows down time and allows you to use your bow for more of a precise shot is a very nice touch, which can get you out of a jam when you’re trying to survive in a big battle or trying to be more stealthy.  The sound works great when your fighting and beheading your foes or even fighting the monsters in the world.

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Although this game does not have a multiplayer mode per say, it does add a nice little online feature in the game.  When a captain or a higher rank kills you, it will be posted so that your friends can see who killed you and can avenge your death to earn extra experience.  While not the same as a full fleshed multiplayer mode or co-op, it is still a nice touch.

The Recommendation

If you like an open world game filled with lots of content where you can easily spend more then 20 hours trying to complete everything, you will love Shadow of Mordor.  I wish this game had more originality and less borrowed features from other popular titles.  It still manages to add it’s own take on the genre which works fine for a licensed title like Lord of the Rings.  I will find myself playing this game again very soon just to get lost in the world and to try to get my hit counter up past 100 again.

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Author Rating
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Author: Chris King View all posts by
Sony & Microsoft Writer. Just trying to get my name out there and share my passion for video games.