Dear Diary, I Played Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor!

Yes… this game has a lot of things that need to be discussed… so let’s just get right down to it.

WARNING: SPOILERS START HERE!

This game had me pumped just from seeing the cover, and other reviews had me pumped as well.

If you liked the combat style, and really just the style in Batman: Arkham Asylum, you will love this game. The graphics… well… let’s just say it had me hugging my Xbox One.

The story starts and the Black Hand of Sauron has returned, and has killed both Talion and his son, who are rangers of Gondor. However, Talion is banished from death and has actually been revived by Celebrimbor who is a deceased Elven blacksmith who aids him on his quest for revenge. The game’s tutorial is very unique, you’ll be introduced to the controls as part of the storyline; first, you’ll learn how to attack and counter while training with your son, Dirhael. You’ll then learn how to sneak by crouching as your wife walks by and running up and kissing her. After the basic controls are learned, the game introduces you to the rest as the story goes along.

So how about the combat?

Just like in B:AA, your goal in combat is to get as high as a combo as you can get. You’ll attack enemies by bouncing back and forth between them and dodging them. You can also hide in bushes, attract them, and stealthily kill them without ever being seen or hear. Or you could climb up on tents and cliffs and jump on their heads, that always works. So, what about that Elf who revived you? He comes in handy too.

When attacking enemies, you can summon him for execution  by tapping Y+B and then stabbing the Uruk rapidly. You can also enter Wraith mode and use the bow to shoot down Uruk rangers and Caragors, who by the way, are NOT fun to attack, but they are fun to ride. While normal Uruks are the main target during the game, there are special Uruks too. Each Uruk has a Power level and when they battle for higher ranks, their Power level increases if they’re successful. This Power level is also affected when you battle them.

The ranks are Grunt, Captain, and Warchief. If a Grunt defeats you in battle, his Power level increases and he moves up to Captain. If a Captain defeats you in battle, his Power level increases and he moves up to Warchief. If a Warchief defeats you, his Power level increases. The Nemesis System is also set up to show you when Captains and Grunts battle and who defeats who. When you defeat those in the Nemesis System, depending on who you defeated, another Uruk might be promoted to the deceased’s rank. When their Power level increases, their difficulty raises too, so… try not to get killed too much.

There are a lot of options on how to kill your enemies as well, based on the executions the game lets you unlock. You can also equip runes for your weapons, which have perks associated with whichever Rune and weapon you have selected. Such as getting a 30+ combo, you have a certain % chance of restoring full health, if you’re using the bow and you get a head shot, you have a certain % chance of restoring full Focus, or if you’re using your dagger for stealth attacks, you can regain Focus and Elf-Shots (arrows.)

This game, on top of being fun, creates a new challenge for anyone wanting something different for a change. While most games do have the influence of other games, Shadow of Mordor has just enough to feel like its still its own game.

My Overall Rating: 9.3/10.0

 This is ncdogg,
Man-Swine!

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