“Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor” was released in 2014 (exact same year Alien Isolation came out) on PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360/Xbox One. It received positive reviews from critics, fans and gamers alike. In addition to good reception, the game sold enough copies worldwide. A sequel known as “Shadow Of War” came out in 2017. Like the first one, the second game earned positive reviews.
As of 2022, there’s no confirmation of a third game. However, Warner Bros. (WB for short) and Monolith Productions are working on a game based on Wonder Woman. Another game in development centers around Gollum before he met Bilbo & Frodo. One more thing, Amazon Prime announced a TV series titled “The Ring Of Power,” will stream on September 2nd, 2022. Set thousands of years before “The Hobbit” and “The Lord Of The Rings” focusing on different characters and Sauron’s rise to power. Before the aforementioned titles come out, I wanna share my thoughts on Shadow Of Mordor. My favorite game of 2014.
This review contains no SPOILERS. Feel free to check out my non-spoiler article.
Victory & Defeat Aspects
Victory: Troy Baker did a decent job for his voiceover performance as Talian.
Nolan North (my all-time favorite voice actor) & John DiMaggio (Bender from Futurama and Jake The Dog from Adventure Time) both did a great job for their respective voiceover performances.
Gameplay is presented as a third-person open-world action-adventure game. You navigate Mordor on foot encountering a number of enemies standing in your way. After you take over a forge tower, you can fast travel. You can parkour from Point A To Point B. Use stealth takedowns to kill an enemy or make ’em your pal. Don’t forget to disable the alarm to prevent reinforcements from showing up. You engage in close quarters combat with a group of foes. Grab a herb to replenish your health. You can also heal via making a foe your buddy.
Graphics are breathtaking as they bring many important elements to life including character models, an immersive world, fluid animation, lighting, environmental locations etc.
Both the PS4 and Xbox One primarily features a mechanic called, “The Nemesis System.” It helps you track down members of Sauron’s army. A specific Uruk has strengths and weaknesses. Interrogate a selective Uruk and he will reveal an individual’s name and stats. If you die, a few of them are promoted yet they become stronger. If any of them flee from you, they also get promoted. The Nemesis System never gets old. It’s obviously the best part, because it deserves Bonus Points.
Main Story is set between The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings. After Talian is slain by the hands Sauron’s henchman The Black Hand, he joins forces with a ghost named, Celebrimor. They make a deal to share a body to seek revenge against Sauron and avenge Talian’s family and taking down Sauron’s soldiers one by one.
Side Missions consists of weapons challenges, rescuing hostages, collecting flora/artifacts, hunting creatures just to name a few.
Skill Tree contains useful abilities enhancing both your melee, stealth and range abilities. You can also spend money on weapons and slots attached to your arsenal.
Shadow Of Mordor is influenced by well-known video game franchises including “Assassin’s Creed,” “Bioshock” and “Batman: Arkham.”
In order to respect the source material, Monolith Productions researched J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and Peter Jackson’s adaptations. I would assume Peter consulted with Monolith, because he’s actually a gamer and consulted with Electronic Arts in making “The Two Towers” & “The Return Of The King.”
Combat System takes cues from the Arkham games. A combo system highlights how many hits you take. If you stop or hit, the counter resets. Thankfully, a parry attack blocks enemy attacks and can also dodge attacks. If things get out of hand, use the environment like shooting a campfire to create an explosion, shoot bait to attract a creature, open fire at explosive barrels. Enemies are pretty tough. Each one is equipped with a single weapon or two.
Photo Mode is available. It never gets old taking cool snapshots.
Chemistry between Talian & Celebrimbor serves as the main highlight. They must work together in the same body if they want to defeat Sauron and his army.
Gollum makes a few prominent appearances as a mission giver.
If you beat the game, a platinum trophy pops up labeled, “One has walked in Mordor.” A reference to Boromir’s infamous quote and meme. “One does not simply work into Mordor.”
If you bought the Game Of The Year edition or purchased all DLC, you play character-based storylines. First one is “Lord Of The Hunt” involving a hunter named, Torvin. The last one is “The Bright Lord” set the day Isildur refuses to toss the ring in Mount Doom. You know, the prologue from “The Fellowship Of The Ring?” This time it solely focuses on Celebrimbor’s battle with Sauron and his army.
Final Main Mission sets up Shadow Of War. Meaning, Talian & Celebrimbor’s story arc isn’t over yet.
Defeat: I couldn’t find nothing wrong. I’m giving the developers an Extra Point for making a flawless game as possible,
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor is arguably the best (if not the best) video game based on The Lord Of The Rings. Reminder, Shadow Of Mordor is my favorite game of 2014. If you’re excited to watch The Ring Of Power on Amzaon Prime, the aforementioned game is worth your spare time. Don’t forget to play Shadow Of War.