Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
September 30, 2014
That’s right. This game is the definition of brutality. Like literally. You read the title of this review. Horror as I may state , could just be a mere word. Experience the game, you will witness the real horror. I mean, look at this guy!
What’s the game all about?
Don’t confuse yourself. This game isn’t exactly a horror genre. As for someone who has experience the game, I can tell you this game is “horrish” in every way possible. Moving on. As I mentioned in the subtitle, what I mean by this game being an Assassins Creed alike game was, Shadow Of Mordor greatly owns a fun-to-explore map which makes it as an open world action-adventure video game that you just can’t allow yourself to get up from the chair and do something useful in your life. Just like the AC series. Except, it’s a game which is based on the epic high-fantasy novel(LOTR), that has more actions and numerous of vile killing methods that you can think of. Perhaps, this game has to be one of the best Lord of The Rings tales… (I don’t know. I’m not a fan of the movie nor the actual novel). What say you? (For those who have played). Plus, the map is so satisfyingly spacious, that you can execute more huntings on various of quests! Or should I say, looking for another Uruks for another “lesson”.
Why Assassin’s Creed alike?
You might be curious why. And no. This has nothing to do with “rippingoff”. Shadow Of Mordor is distinctively unique in its very own way. However, indeed. There are numerous of parts which will possibly remind you of AC gameplay (if you’re an AC fan) which makes it even entertaining because who doesn’t love an epic combination of AC series with this badass game? Not me of course. (Hopefully, we’re on the same boat.) Fortunately for us, the mixture is actually happening in this case and here’s the proof:
1) Leap Of Faith
A very well-known move among the AC fans. What’s a leap of faith you asked? (How could you!) It’s an acrobatic freerunning maneuver in which the person performing it dived off of a high structure and landed, unharmed, into a cushioning material. (Well, mostly a haystack) But in Shadow Of Mordor, Talion (The main character in this game) is able to perform a vertical leap with a completely straight structure which is called the “Forge Towers”.
Oh, and by the way, there are only 5 forge towers in the map. Unlock all 5 for easy teleportation. Yes, you can teleport through these towers by choosing the “Fast Travel” option. It sure does saves your times and your “fingers” energy. Trust me, you will someday realize how important those forge towers are when you happen to waste hours just to get to your destination. (Stop acting like the game features any sorts of vehicles!) And yes, I am implying how big the map is.
2) Assassination. Lots of Assassinations.
Shadow Of Mordor happen to acquire an AC-alike assassination style when it comes to stealth kills. You can kill an Uruk in the “assassin” way, which is gratifying for most of us AC fan. (I mean come on! It supplies us great pleasure as we honor the way of assassins, ain’t it?) As an AC fan, I have to admit, my first impression after finding this out was “This is pure delightful. Hey! Let’s F that trashy-looking Uruk silently!” which I believe most of you will go through the same process.
Pro Tip: You can attract an Uruk if you happen to not able to reach them so they’ll come closer to you (Probably in the act of searching for you) without knowing their life is at stake. (Dumb Uruks)
You can always sneak up from behind of an Uruk and kill them with your totally unhidden dagger brutally, or using the “Assassins way” which either way, it’s satisfying to look at. Stabbing their body mercilessly or just cutting their throats without having to think twice. This leads to another reason why killing is one of the best part in the game. You get to choose your way of lethal torture. (Sometimes I feel sorry for the Uruks. But hey, it’s not my fault they have 0% of IQ)
3) (Probably the last but not least) The Parkour System
Finally, the prominent element of what made AC stunningly shines. Yes, but before you proceed making fail assumptions, the freerunning concept that this game has to offer is not distasteful at all. (Not even close to disappointing) In fact, it brings out a unique outcome toward the climbing styles which drastically affect the gameplay. The parkour system in the Shadow Of Mordor is familiar with AC’s. It’s totally definitive. Even better, the in-game trait which based on a “horrishly” brutal gameplay is just splendid. Such an out-effing-standing mixture.
The parkour system in the game is aimed for players to get from one point to another point in a complex environment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. (Of course. This significantly helps you to creatively escape or chasing/killing your target the “assassin’s way”.)
I admit it, the game may not offer a large open world, but what I liked about it most, is that you can walk or climb to every imaginable part of it, and really exploit environment for example, hide before Uruks by hanging from a pier or roof. Also every part of the world, every place, has its history and every creature, person, even flower has some info you can discover and if you are interested to read about it. For example, who is The Black hand of Sauron or what and where is Barad Nurn and much more about it.
Pro Tip: Vault over a rock or any possible obstacles to gain extra speed. (Perform this action to outrun those Uruks)
On the surface, we could assume Shadow Of Mordor is Assassin’s Creed that’s being set in the Lord Of The Rings universe. (No Illuminati joke intended)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a third-person thrilling adventure game that “indeedly” offers you an adventurous journey in an open world which is set within Tolkien’s Legendarium. The story of the game takes place between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. You will play as Talion, a ranger who was killed by the Black Hand Of Sauron. (Sort of for the sake of ritual which I have no idea about) The beginning of the story is just sadistic. (Why would you do this to us!) The game will have you watch Talion’s family being sliced in the throat to death. (DUH!) Cruelty at its best. Overall, the main storyline of the game is interesting, but short and not much complex. It’s quick, few cutscenes and the game focuses mainly on your actions, which some players may appreciate. If you are a fan of LOTR you might find it remarkable, but not deep enough.
The Nemesis System
What? How is this even relevant you asked? What is this “Nemesis System” anyway? It’s a complex technological feat that enables the game to procedurally generate bosses for you to take down. The game tracks numerous of specially tagged Uruks as part of Sauron’s armies, who will lead the other Uruks in battle. Defeating these leaders will help to weaken Sauron’s army, and these leaders will drop a rune which the player can install on Talion’s weapons to provide additional buffs in battle. Alternatively, being killed by a leader will cause the current mission to be canceled and the player returned to a safe point to continue exploring, and the leader will gain additional power, making him more difficult to defeat in the next encounter.
This is really unique and really perfectly made. Uruk leaders of Sauron’s army must be the best warriors, so they fight to take the leadership. One Uruk murders his superior and can get promoted on to his position, and this all is influenced by players. Every Uruk leader has his own unique name, randomly generated visuals, rank (depends on how long he’s in the system), strengths and weaknesses (which can be revealed by interrogating another Uruk), relations with other leaders (bodyguards) and fighting styles. All this is admirably made.
The developers at Monolith Productions created an entirely new way of interacting with enemies.
The Combat System
It gets better. Shadow Of Mordor offers fighting system like Batman, not hard when you get used to it and when you get enough skill points it makes you invincible. You engage in epic combat against a large number of swordsmen. It’s pretty challenging tho. Your experience with other games might fool you into thinking you can manage the mob. But there are times where you must simply run.
Within Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, there are two unique skill trees: theRanger tree and the Wraith tree. These two distinct trees allow for Talion and the Wraith to become more powerful as experience points are gained through a multitude of activities. Through these experience points, Talion levels up, and a skill point is subsequently gained. This allows the player to select new skills to learn, depending on the amount of skill points they have obtained. Both skill trees are divided into tiers based on how powerful certain skills are; more powerful skills and abilities occupy higher tiers. Higher tiers can be unlocked by completing power struggles and defeating Nemeses. Some abilities cannot be unlocked until a prerequisite ability is gained, and certain abilities are gained only through completing storyline quests.
I’m pretty convinced that I missed some of the good features this game acquires (yes I guess you could say this is just the beginning) but hey, have you tried this fun thing called “play the game”? it is up to you to discover the beneath of this masterpiece. How? By actually playing them! And yes, there are abundance more to experience. The basic mechanics of the game are just flawless. Shadow Of Mordor is a great example for future action-adventure games to draggle.