Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor(PS4) Review

Besides the EA movie licensed games that were released with the three movies and a few spin-off titles. There hasn't really been that many games involving the Lord of The Rings universe has there?

Well Shadow of Mordor seeks to change that and it will really surprise with how fun it is. But it may be because it plays a lot like another game a lot of us might have played involving a certain man in a mask.

Banished from Death

The story to Shadow of Mordor is a very interesting one, exciting to those who are a fan of the Lord of The Rings universe.

The game centers around a Gondorian ranger, Talion, that is posted at the Black Gate. The outpost overlooking the lands of Mordor. One night the outpost is attacked by the Black Numenorean; Sauron's most elite captains in the Mordor army.

Talions' family is then taken captive to be part of a ritual and is killed right in front of him. Talion is also killed, or so it seems that way. Talion is mysteriously still alive and finds himself bonded to the spirit of an Elven Wraith. The wraith does not remember his past life or why he was bonded to Talion. That does not stop Talion and the Wraith to join forces and to find both answers to who the Wraith is and to seek revenge on the creatures that killed Talions' family.

Take in the charming sights of Mordor

Mordor has never looked better.....let that sink in.

The lands of Mordor are filled with both calm plateaus and mountain regions with the remains of past civilizations filled with the camps and strongholds of the Uruk legions.

You will see old towers, keeps, camps and some somewhat beautiful sights in the region. If you are familiar with the lore of how Mordor came to be what it was in the LOTR movies, you'll see the signs that Mordor was actually once a light and beautiful place. Not a land of death and smoke as it is more commonly associated with.

A little bit from Column A little bit from Column B

By now some of you may have already heard that Shadow of Mordor plays like a Batman Arkham, Assassin's Creed hybrid.

There is the up in your face combat/ combo system of Arkham Asylum and the parkour/ stealth assassination moves like that of Assassin's Creed.

But the game does not completely rip off the elements to feel like it's a simple copy and paste. There are many differences that make Shadow of Mordor it's own game, rather than a game that wants to aspire to be like the other games. In my opinion, Shadow of Mordor does the parkour elements and stealth sneaking and assassinating better than many of the Assassin's Creed entries.

The in your face combat is different as there is a certain weight to swinging Talions' sword at orks and it's at a much slower pace. The Arkham Games have a much more nimble and fast paced combat style. The most obvious difference is that Shadow of Mordor's combat is bloodier than the Arkham games.

The main game has you in the open world of Mordor. The moment you start the game there is a lot of tasks you can take on without playing a lot of the main story. Though it might be best as you do learn some skills and abilities by playing the main story.

You can begin the game not by playing the main missions. But by hunting down the Captains in Sauron's Army, finding artifacts that tell the story of the slaves, people or orks that once inhabited Mordor. Take on Combat, Archery and Stealth challenges to upgrade your weapons with new powerful abilities. Maybe you want to do something else like hunt down Uruk Captain's that are trying to become more powerful like fighting other Captain's to raise through the ranks. Maybe the Captains are recruiting new Uruks to follow some of the Captains and so on.

But wait! There's more!

Maybe your friend has been playing the game, maybe he got killed by a Captain he was trying to kill. Out of nowhere you could end up with a Vendetta mission which has you hunting after the Captain that killed your friend.

Which then leads me to the Nemesis system. Each time you turn on the game you may notice that there's something different about Sauron's Army. The Nemesis System is a system that randomly generates new captains for players to hunt down, each with their own unique appearances and traits.

Some of the Captains may be weak and vulnerable to any of your deadly moves you have available or maybe they are very strong and can counter or are immune to any of the tricks you have up your sleeve. What can happen when you encounter the Captains is you can "kill" a Captain but then at random you can find out that the Captain survived his encounter with you. He may actually learn new traits and his appearance may change based on the injuries you inflicted upon him.

Start the game up and everything in Mordor may not be the same way you left it.

The Verdict

Shadow of Mordor is a great game. The story is especially interesting for many of those who are fascinated with any lore involving the Lord of the Rings universe.

The land of Mordor may not be the greatest looking location you may have explored in video games but it is still an interesting world to explore.

The game itself changes every time you play the game with a new set of captains, hunting events and vendetta missions to accomplish while you participate in so many tasks and challenges throughout your experience in Mordor.

If you're looking for a nice game to play while you wait for some of the future 2015 releases. I would strongly recommend giving Shadow of Mordor a shot.

Shadow of Mordor gets a great 8 out of 10

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