Middle Earth - Shadow of War

After buying a new PC, I immediately wanted to play some games so I downloaded Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. It has a few Game of the Year awards and I’m a LOTR fan so seemed a good pick.

I’ve spent 31hrs playing through the basic single-player story. And it was fun. The gameplay is a mixture of Assassins Creed and Batman Arkham series (those are basically my only points of reference) but set in Mordor. The graphics were great. The map of Mordor was beautiful. I especially liked Sauron’s statue that mirrors old kings from The Fellowship of the Ring movie. Orcs are also awesomely done and each captain or war chief is seemingly unique in looks and name (acting and lines less so).

Game difficulty changes rather abruptly. I had a harder time in the first part of the game than the latter where I just breezed through the final few missions and bosses. Awards in the second part make it easier to level up and, once you have few key powers, it’s so much easier. Maybe the hardest enemy was one problematic orc in the first part.

The story augments original lore nicely (if it ended without a cliffhanger, it would fit perfectly). Nemesis mode is ok but not amazing. After a while, it becomes tiring chasing down captains and war chiefs. I didn’t get the desire to complete that segment of the game any more than ie. collecting flowers and artifacts.

I think this was the first game I played with help of YouTube. When I was younger I would go read text tutorials online. Now a few good videos helped me out of tough spots. Props to the guy showing me the dagger throw trick (you have an infinite amount of daggers that are automatically thrown into any incoming orcs and can increase hit streak). I wish difficulty settings can be adjusted since combat for me involved a lot of stealth and running from enemies to recoup and to pick them off one by one. I remember Batman games as much better in that regard.

I liked the Gollum subplot and wish it lasted longer. Definitely better than the dwarf animal hunter who replaces him for similar side-missions in the second part of the game. Ratbag missions were also fun. Again, sad to see him go after the first part.

I watched DLC missions on YouTube and decided to skip. Even if one had the fight against Sauron himself but that looked entirely too difficult and frustrating. This is also the point story went from nicely thought-out Tolkien fan fiction to a bloated mess that most franchise games become (looking at you Assassins Creed). That’s the reason why I won’t be rushing to try Shadow of War.

All in all, good game. Time well spent. The story and graphics were great. First part/map harder but better/more satisfying overall. After the game, I went to re-watch LOTR and Hobbit trilogies.