After Warner Bros. (WB for short) and Monolith Productions released “Middle Of Earth: Shadow Of Mordor” in 2014, both companies commenced development of a sequel set in “The Lord Of The Rings” series known as “Middle Earth: Shadow Of War.”
Middle Earth: Shadow Of War was released in 2017. (same year Injustice 2 came out) on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Like its predecessor, the sequel earned positive reviews from critics, fans and gamers alike. Plus, it sold enough copies worldwide.
As you may know, Amazon Prime’s upcoming prequel series set before “The Hobbit” & The Lord Of The Rings titled, “The Rings Of Power” will stream on September 2nd, 2022. Don’t forget to mark your calendars. Monolith Productions are currently developing a Wonder Woman video game. One more thing, Gollum will get his own game sometime in this year.
This review contains no crucial SPOILERS. I’ll give some of you a chance to play this game.
Victory & Defeat Aspects
Victory: Troy Baker reprises his role as Talion and he did a decent job for his performance.
Developers took their time researching J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and Peter Jackson’s films in order to create an immersive world. I think Peter consulted with the developers for input. He’s also a gamer in real life as he helped Electronic Arts adapted “The Two Towers” & “The Return Of The King.”
Gameplay retains elements from the previous game. You navigate Mordor on foot encountering a number of enemies standing in your way. After you take over a 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. You engage in close quarters combat with a group of foes. You can also heal via making a foe your buddy.
Chemistry between Tailon & Cerebrimbor serves as the main highlight. Their partnership still factors in sharing a body to combat Sauron’s army.
Gollum, Shelob & Sauron play pivotal roles.
The sequel is bigger than the first game. Here’s a list of “augmentations.” Monolith Productions compared Shadow Of War to “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” This is what EA’s “The Godfather Part II” wishes to be a massive sequel.
- “The Nemesis System” makes a grand return. This time you get to build your own army. Level each soldier one at a time. Promote him as a warchief and war lord. Grant him a power boost. Create an assault force choosing your personal allies and buy assets you’re gonna need to overcome defenses. Monolith Productions earns Bonus Points, raising the bar by commanding an army. As a warning, some soldiers might ambush you. A member of your army will possibly betray you. So be weary.
- Boss Fights are intense yet fun to beat a toughie.
- Skill Tree adds powerful new abilities for your sword, dagger, bow and ghost powers.
- If you complete Weekly Challenges, you can upgrade an individual piece of equipment to Talion’s current level.
- Combat is cranked Up To 11 commanding your army to liberate a fortress battling your way through various soldiers, captains, warchiefs and last but not least, a powerful war lord.
- Double Jump is pretty useful.
- You can ride a dragon.
- After you conquer a fortress, you can select your allies and buy defenses.
- Gems can be forged granting you additional stats.
- Search for words in Elven language by solving a poem. If you succeed, you’ll earn a prize.
- Gear and weapons range from common to legendary. Even the soldiers are worth a challenge to acquire.
- Depending on a mission, additional objectives earn you coins, a gem and skill tree.
- Taking over a tower reveals secrets.
Main Story is told in Four Acts. Act I is getting to know the basics. Act II is where the fun begins. Just take your time, because this is gonna be a massive journey. Act III ends Talion & Cerebrimbor’s tale. Act IV is a neverending war against Sauron’s forces. We all know The Return Of The King ended on an epic high note.
If you bought all DLC or own a “Game Of The Year edition,” there are two story-based expansions. First one titled, “The Blade Of Galadriel” focuses on Galadriel’s Elven assassin named, Eltariel. She continues her quest to battle Sauron. Last one is “Desolation Of Mordor” with Baranor a commander from Gondor who looks for an army to liberate a fortress.
Like its predecessor, Shadow Of War is influenced by well-known video game franchises including “Assassin’s Creed,” “Bioshock” and “Batman: Arkham.”
Photo Mode is included. It never gets old taking an awesome snapshot.
In order to see the true ending, you’re gonna have to beat the game 100%. Think you can handle it?
Defeat: WB made a big boo boo including loot boxes and microtransactions. Thankfully, they’ve been removed in favor of earning in-game currency. I prefer the old fashion way making your way up without paying actual cash. I will only buy story based DLC.
The only downgrade is you can’t view Talion’s new set of gear and weapons in cutscenes. He only wears his default outfit. What a bummer.
The Final Verdict: A-
From my point of view, Shadow Of War is an awesome game worth playing. Despite one gripe, the sequel could’ve earned my highest grade an A, FOR APEX. If you’re excited to watch Amazon Prime’s upcoming The Rings Of Power. Play the first game and then the second.