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Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor review

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year - PlayStation 4

  • Review
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  • Shadow of Mordor inherited its combat system from Rocksteady’s Batman series with its swordplay largely reliant on combos and well-timed counters. Talion can also shoot enemies at range, pinning them to the ground with a low shot or taking them out instantly with a well-placed arrow to the cranium. As you progress and build up an array of skills the combat really comes into its own. Special skills can be unleashed after eight consecutive hits allowing for various devastating finishers and other badass abilities like stun attacks and fire arrows.

    With the narrative, Monolith has expanded on the lore of Tolkien rather than just drawing from it. Given the literary genius of Tolkien’s masterpiece and the cinematic marvel of the film adaptations it’s surprising that Shadow of Mordor fall’s so short in its narrative. In its opening moments we witness the murder of main character Talion’s wife and son before he himself is killed by the forces of the dark lord Sauron. He is subsequently resurrected by a Wraith to hunt down those responsible and repay the favour. The dramatic opening suggests an epic sweeping narrative of love, loss and revenge that sadly never lives up to this initial expectation.

  • Mechanically the game has all the qualities of the love child of the Assassin’s Creed and Batman games. The navigation system feels plucked straight out of Ubisoft’s popular stealth series – main character Talion even eagle dives from heights assassin style! Shadow of Mordor does however flow a lot faster than the Creed series. Talion is able to scale surfaces and navigate the sizeable open world with both speed and ease. While stealth also plays a role, developer Monolith Productions have stuck with a faster paced action-focused approach. Enemies are easily avoidable by simply legging it or even in large groups they can be eradicated with clever use of combat skills and strategy.

    It’s important to gather intel and get a good sense of what you’re up against before you head into battle against Captains and Warchiefs. The latter especially, since unlike Captains, they don’t wander around freely in the world. Drawing out a Warchief amounts to a quest in Shadow of Mordor, with some specific condition — kill a certain number of orcs in two minutes, for example — attached to it.

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    Shadow of Mordor has a lot to offer – addictive and satisfying combat, a beautiful varied and vast landscape to explore and a unique battle system that provides a brilliant blend of tactics and action. Despite a story that’s far from epic it boasts production values and a musical score to rival its film counterparts. Shadow of Mordor is by no small measure the best LOTR game to date and moreover a title that any fan of action games can appreciate for the fresh approach it brings to the genre.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Official Site | Agegate

When developer Monolith Productions sat down to conceptualize Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, it decided early on to give the player a ton of freedom in how they explore the game world. This is a game with a huge open-world environment.