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GAME REVIEW: Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor

 
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2652087-8920139868-Shado
2652087-8920139868-Shado

 
Overview
 

Published by: Warner Bros. Interactive
 
Developed by: Monolith Productions & Behaviour Interactive
 
Platform(s): Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows
 
Genre(s): Action role-playing
 
Mode(s): Single-Player
 
Game Type: , ,
 
FG RATING
90%
90/ 100


User Rating
63 total ratings

 

Raves


-Combat system is very responsive, no complicated stuff required to do an epic kill -'Nemesis System' is a very ingenious way to get you immersed in the game -Visual details are on par with other current generation of games -Storytelling was not rushed, it's like watching a long lost Peter Jackson directed movie

Rants


-Occasional frame rate stuttering -Could have added more interactive stuff within the environment


Bottom Line

It ‘s almost time for another J.R.R. Tolkien movie this December and fans of the Lord of The Rings series should be itching with excitement already. I got good news for you guys out there, you won’t need to replay those collector edition Blu-rays just to get the Middle Earth vibe going again. Gamers should be delighted […]

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Posted October 27, 2014 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

It ‘s almost time for another J.R.R. Tolkien movie this December and fans of the Lord of The Rings series should be itching with excitement already. I got good news for you guys out there, you won’t need to replay those collector edition Blu-rays just to get the Middle Earth vibe going again. Gamers should be delighted to know the we finally have a game of the year candidate on our hands with Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Tolkien’s fans who aren’t that much into gaming should be tempted to play or at least watch the gameplay and storyline of this awesome game.

Here are the PC specs I’ve used for this game review:

Processor: AMD 8320FX 8-Core Processor
Graphics Card: MSI Radeon R9 290 Twin Frozr Gaming OC
RAM: G.Skill 8GB 1600mhz
….and some other stuff powered by gnomes :)

Food and Drink during the game: A serving of Lembas and a mug of Miruvor.

ShadowOfMordor_2014_10_12_06_23_36_840

The Story:

The game takes place somewhere in the timeline between The Hobbit and the first installment of The Lord of The Rings. Our hero, named Talion is a member of Gondor’s rangers. He, with his wife and son are tasked to guard the Black Gates of Mordor when the army of Sauron came barging in destroying and killing anyone in their path. This lead to his brutal death along with his wife and son. Talion was not so lucky when he realizes that he isn’t going to the afterlife just yet when he was revived through a ‘curse’ and given wraith-like abilities to exact his revenge against those that murdered his family.

MiddleearthShadowofMordor_TalionCelebrimbor

 

This curse had him stuck with the spirit of a legendary elven smith master Celembribor who as some may not know, created the Rings of Power. Gollum also makes his appearance throughout the story and helping you rebuild the story behind the death of Celembribor referring to him as ‘Bright Master’.

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Gameplay:

The mechanics of the game is pretty much reminiscent of the Assassin’s Creed series where players are tasked to find towers to reveal part of the map’s landmarks and missions. The combat system though, is closely resemblant to the Batman Arkham games. The game plays out on an open-world setting.

The main selling point of the game pretty much relies to the ‘Nemesis System’ where every interaction you have with an enemy changes the way they deal with you as time goes on. This molds the combat like never seen before since every little thing like having one of these guys escape may cause a huge impact with the next time you encounter them.

This system was toned down with previous generations of gaming consoles and is highly aimed with the next-gen platforms such as the Playstation 4, XBOne and PC. Another great thing about this system is when players get to issue death threats to those on top of the hierarchy of brutes called ‘Warchiefs’. This can be done by rising up the kill/dominate ladder of baddies shown in the screenshot below.

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Weapons are pretty much fixed and this is not like any other RPG where you get to see drops of legendary swords and daggers. The arsenal that you get to equip are strengthened by ‘runes’ which has their own rarity ranges, from normal to epic.

runnes

Your equipment is greatly enhanced with the wraith abilities granted to you which you get to level up as you gain experience while the story unfolds.

shadowMordorAbility

Stealth is also a big factor when it comes to delivering kills. Some missions may involve tailing certain Uruk-hai and Orc captains to get to their Warchief’s location and delivering the assassination required. There will also be missions where victory is told by whether you get seen or not.

There were times as well where I got really cocky and had this mindset to kill everyone at once on the bottom of the Uruk’s chain of command. That was a huge mistake on my part since I found out the hard way that there is a huge chance of having to fight more than one captain in a said location/camp at the same time (I counted four to five in my gameplay). This lead me to think that I can’t just go all Aragorn on these bastards and had to plan every kill carefully. I found out that by having one captain on my leash and having him deliver the death threat in my behalf would greatly ease the difficulty of fighting them all at once. In this example, one Orc stands out the most and that would be Ratbag whose main goal is be on top of the chain and become a Warchief himself. This manipulative Orc would go to lengths and even side with you from time to time just to meet that goal.

Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™_20140926200033

One thing that I really enjoyed with the game is the chance to dominate and control enemies. Once you get to ‘dominate’ their thoughts, you’ll be able to turn the tide in any battle. Having archers who usually stay at the highest vantage point of any fortress in your command is a good example of this advantage. This feature is not set just for lower ranked baddies, since you will be tasked to also have 5 Warchief’s under your control at some point in the game.

Visuals and Performance:

Overall, the game’s visuals are top-notch but could’ve been better in my humble opinion. There were times where the game feels like hampered by the lack of full utilization of the system specs. Talion’s cloak looks great when the wind blows and especially during thunderstorms where you’ll see the fabric realistically get that soaked look.

Shadow_of_Mordor_Rain

The work they did on the environment was also good but they could’ve added more to it. I was hoping to see more vegetation and creatures on the Sea of Núrnen but this is just a minor gripe for me.

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Framerate issue is somewhat noticeable in this version of the game. PC users who are specific when it comes to this might be a bit ticked off to find that there will be times when the FPS will drop and would cause some stuttering. But this happened only a couple of times for me and it didn’t occur until the second world/map.

The Verdict:

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor proved that it is indeed possible to make a highly acclaimed book and movie series into a potentially huge game franchise. It was a bold move to make something new with the ‘Nemesis System’ but it really paid off and should not be the last time we see this type of innovation since it might be noticeable in other games in the future. This is one of those games where I had it installed and only noticed that I’ve been playing for 8 hours straight after telling myself that I am only testing it out. I might put a ‘time-played’ factor in my future reviews since it really makes or break a game for me. Overall, the game really played up to my expectations and I would highly recommend this to all LOTR fans and gamers alike. You guys won’t be disappointed with this one. I think we have a good game of the year candidate here my friends.


Mac Barredo

 
Hi I'm Mac. The day my father Odin banished me from Asgard, I was bitten by a vampire and had radioactive waste dumped into my eyes. To make matters worse, my mutant ability to control weather activated just as I was hit by a blast of gamma radiation.


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