Published on October 6th, 2014 | by Mica Rose0
Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor Review
There has been a distinct lack of buzz surrounding Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, perhaps it was the fact that Lord of the Rings games have fallen flat in the past or simply because it has been drowned out by the release of the long awaited Destiny. During my visit to EGX, however, I joined a queue to play one of three games, The Evil Within, Alien: Isolation and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Having already played The Evil Within briefly earlier that day and having little interest in Alien: Isolation, I opted to try out Shadow of Mordor. Those 15 minutes or so playing convinced me then and there to pre-order it.
The game is a perfect balance of Batman: Arkham Asylum combat, Skyrim open world encounters and Assassin’s Creed free-running. Those three elements together make it seem familiar and completely new at the same time. Not since the days of playing co-op on the Lord of the Rings PlayStation 2 games with my younger brother have I felt that a Middle-Earth game has really lived up to the expectations that Tolkien’s world deserves
You play as a character named Talion, a Ranger who has been cursed between half-life, half-death; possessed by a Wraith who has long forgotten who he was. Together they journey through Mordor, infiltrating and battling Sauron’s army to find The Black Hand and put an end to his tyranny, discovering the Wraith’s past along the way. No knowledge of the Lord of the Rings universe is necessary to enjoy the game but many things will seem familiar to those that are existing fans.
Troy Baker’s voice acting is superb. It’s hard to believe that Talion is the same voice behind Joel (The Last of Us) and Booker DeWitt (Bioshock Infinite) but his English accent is so authentic it fooled this born and bred Brit.
The story missions are diverse and are a great way to learn the different powers and abilities you acquire as you level up. A rather unique feature can be found in the Sauron’s Army; each Captain has strengths and weaknesses that can be exploited during battle. You can discover these by gathering intel from around Mordor. Intel is gathered by interrogating vulnerable Uruks, looting dead bodies and rescuing slaves.
The game makes excellent use of next-gen features too; the speaker in the DualShock 4 is used to give and eerie atmosphere of whispers and secondary dialogue stands by emanating from your hands rather than your tv. The graphics look impressive, with each Uruk looking more gruesome than the last in 1080p.
This is a definitely a game to pick up on next-gen before the heavy hitting AAA titles arrive in November, even more so if you’re a fan of the books and movies.
So what do you think consumers, can you simply walk into Mordor?
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