Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Video Game 2014) Poster

(2014 Video Game)

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The Lord of the Rings game we deserved and the one we needed.
xcvb_200324 June 2015
The Lord of the Rings game we deserved and the one we needed.

I always wanted a good RPG to take place in the LOTR universe and developers Monolith Productions delivered just that. The game is set in Mordor and takes place before the LOTR events. We are given control of Talion, a ranger, who after being sacrificed is merged with a wraith and together they must uncover the wraith's past and have revenge.

I'm a huge fan of LOTR and naturally every little reference, ever little thing related to it made me really excited. And because of that, I really liked some elements of the story. That being said, the story overall was lackluster. It started out great, but after that there were very few story missions and fewer still felt proper. This was my biggest gripe with the game. Not many characters in it, some were interesting, some were OK. I liked the protagonist and his companion. Companion's history was interesting.

The game really shines in the gameplay department though. I loved its combat system. Was like a modified version of Arkham games combat system. It was fluid, fun and really satisfying. Finishing off Uruks in gory ways was always entertaining. As the game progresses, you get newer and more powerful powers, allowing you to take down more and more Uruks at a time in various satisfying ways. The game was pretty easy though. There were very few places where I felt like I was properly challenged. And it got more easier as I unlocked better powers.

Apart from combat, the game featured climbing and free-running mechanics very similar to Assassins Creed. While it wasn't sometimes as smooth as the AC games and I occasionally got stuck at certain places, it was still a good addition. Just like AC, you could do a lot stealth kills and stuff, reminding you of your assassin days. And I really enjoyed it. Often times, the enemy groups were too large to confront head on, so thinning out the herd with stealth always made for a wise decision. The stealth also helped the game from being too repetitive as you can change up your fighting style from time to time.

The most amazing thing in the game though was the nemesis system. It made every battle and every death mean something. If any Uruk kills you in battle, He gets promoted in the ranks, gets more powerful and even remembers you when you try to fight him again. This made for unique feature unlike anything I have experienced in a game. It gave every Wandering Uruk a purpose other than just getting killed and it added to the stakes in every battle.

The game gets really fun in the second half, when you get to control Uruks. This added an extra layer of strategy and planning. I often took down tough warchiefs by taking control of their bodygaurd captains first and then relish the sight when they turn on him during the final encounter and do all my work.

The game has basically two large areas to free roam. The first one is a desolated barren place while the second one is a more greener and nice area. Both are fairly large but feel very similar and repetitive. Beside from this, the game doesn't have any interesting side quests, which lead to boredom after playing it for long stretches.

Graphics were great, game looked beautiful. Character models were highly detailed. Soundtrack was good, and I really loved the nice touch of Uruks chanting a warcheif's name when he is revealed, making a big entrance and all. Made them feel formidable and stuff.

Overall, it was a great RPG. Had tons of fun killing countless Uruks. Story could have been a lot better. Took me around 16 hours to finish it. Definitely a must play if you are into western RPGs and want good combat system and/or are a fan of LOTR world.

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Utterly Brilliant
JimmyWhimmyNutrinSon25 July 2016
As a huge Tolkien fan (I absolutely love The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books)I couldn't wait to get my hands on this for my PC. And I absolutely love it. The combat is basically the Assassin's Creed/Batman Arkham combat, but it seems to be a bit different. Not as slow-paced as AC, but not as fast as Batman Arkham. It's a perfect meet in the middle (Earth-see what I did there?). It has likable characters, great boss fights, great voice acting (anything Troy Baker does, is brilliant). The only downside is the overwhelming amount of enemies early on. Sometimes I just felt as if I couldn't defeat them all. Luckily from there on-out, it's good. I strongly recommend.
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Most Astonishing Game for the Next-Gen Consoles
jorgeheinrich312 January 2015
I just bought this game a few days ago. and I'm still not getting bored of it. This is possibly the most fun game I've played since The Last Of Us came out for Playstation 3! The graphics are absolutely gorgeous! And don't even get me started on the combat! The combat is so smooth and so fluid, yes I know it's EXACTLY like the Assassin's Creed combat and so is mostly everything to be honest, the sprinting, the sneaking, the climbing. But this game has one thing that no other game has, and this is what makes it special. The Nemesis System! It's absolutely magnificent! That's what makes this game great is that it could go on forever. The Nemesis System is basically a system of a mere twenty captain Uruks, they all have special names and power skills and ranking and weaknesses and strengths, and that's fun! If a Captain kills you, then they rank up and possibly get promoted, if YOU kill them then they obviously die but they can come back to life but they're just demoted to beginner and aren't in the system (nemesis branch of captains) anymore. but when you run into one, you'll know because they'll stare you down and say some rude thing "you weak peasant." some sort of comment. and then you can fight them yet again. Also, when you kill a captain you always get a Rune which you can apply to your sword, bow, or dagger. (depends on the rune because they're each meant for one of the weapons.) So overall, I give this game a solid 10/10 because the replay value is very high in my opinion. The graphics are beautiful! The combat and nemesis system are outstanding! and overall I think it was a well spent $50. I would recommend buying this game. Even if you're not into the middle age type of games like The Elder Scrolls, because in my opinion I hated those type of games until I bought this. So give it a try! Thanks for reading.
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Great combat system, overall fun game but sometimes can be very frustrating
85122223 February 2016
Greetings from Lithuania.

I beat "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor" (2014) main story (completed ~64%) in about 23 hours. It is very fun game, which has great combat system, interesting enemies ranking system, great graphics, sound design. Story was not bad at all, and i'm not "Lord Of The Rings" series fan although enjoyed every movie. There many said quests, but they are very repetitive, kill someone in some time and etc. (hate missions were there is a time limit). There are two main maps in the game, which aren't very big, but there is enough content to keep you involved, collect that, gather that and etc. During game play i stumbled upon two bugs, which made my to restart missions. But some fight can be helluva frustrating, when there is almost no chance it winning the fight or you hit those last chance buttons but sometimes unsuccessfully but you not by your fault.

Overall, "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor" is very enjoyable game. It's game play and combat system is very similar to Batman series, which is good. Fights are always very brutal, and i had some fun in crushing some skulls. Game also features very interesting "after dead" enemy ranking system, which isn't very superb as it would like to show itself, but it is a fresh thing. All in all very cool game not without some issues.
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Played on PS3
Starbuck82312 January 2015
This game will get compared to the AC series and the Batman series. I can see the similarities to AC but I found it has more in common with the Batman series, especially when it comes to controls and upgrades. Perhaps it is the association with Warner Brothers. Unfortunately, while being better than Batman - Arkham Origins, it has numerous faults in common.

Not to say this is a bad game. It has excellent voice acting and scripting. The nemesis system adds definite difficulty and thus strategic planning on the players part. Lots of Middle Earth lore. Engaging playable characters.

The main reason why I compare this to Origins (aside from controls/gameplay) is that is has numerous glitches and small faults that make things frustrating. As said above, I have it on PS3, so it may be different on other platforms. I read quite a bit about this game and it got great reviews and little mention of these problems (even on PS3 specific reviews).

The glitches/tech issues. One of my main annoyances was the long delay from the pause/map screen to the return of the gameplay. Every time you pressed it regardless of action taken, it took 5-10 seconds to return to play. While sounding like a small thing (nitpicking just about), it really detracted from the flow of the game, from if you were checking a survival challenge or pausing during a hectic moment to gather your wits. I can't think of such a highly rated game that does this.

Another was the graphics - while great in some aspects (characters and cut-scenes), I saw many parts in the environment where it would flash about or be very grainy. Many commented on the quality of the graphics but I did not rate it as highly, especially when the frame rate slowed from time to time. And, unfortunately, this slowing wasn't as rare as you would hope. Most of the issues were from the environment, things like background settings just plonking themselves into frame often in poor resolution before it jarringly sharpened, things suddenly appearing/disappearing etc. The character animations were stable (though I did have a few times I dropped through the ground for no apparent reason, one time fighting a captain. Very frustrating). Often, within the Orc menu, I found it would shift a few times while sharpening the details on the Captain. And, this well could be my TV, but I found I had to get really close to be able to read the writing - details about the strengths/weaknesses, details about the artifacts etc, all were somewhat tiny and blurry. I have a HD TV and haven't had this problem before (My eyes are fine too). Small things but again, detract from the game.

Speaking of the environment, it is a large map with plenty of side missions (AC/Batman). But to me, it really all looked the same. Wooden, dirty, slave camps, ruins etc. I know the setting doesn't lend much but running across the environment, you can't tell where you are and makes it monotonous. You can't just look around and tell what area you are in very easily. So you have to always check the map. Which, when you have the constant delay from checking your map/marking waypoints and returning to play, it gets tiresome. Not to mention sometimes the scaling feels a little off. Sometimes climbing things, it feels like it's much bigger than it should be or compared to when you were climbing something similar moments before.

Big talk has gone into the Nemesis system. It is the major strength of the game, though has it's faults. It's great working out a captains strengths/weaknesses then planning a strategy to take them out and finally accomplishing it (it's hard - if you get overwhelmed, you'll probably die which will make the Orc harder to beat next time). But doing all that work/planning and killing captains seems to be hollow when 20 minutes later the Orc you killed is back in the line up and stronger. I understand why they eventually return but the quickness of their recovery does bug me and very much detracts from your play.

There are a few small other things, but really, this is a solid game. Honestly, not a 9 or 10/10 game like most reviews have said but 7/8 level. I've given it a 7 here mainly due to the tech issues and visual. Another small note - the musical score. While Middle Earth type (aka, Howard Shore orchestra style) often it is very over bearing in the wrong moments.
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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014)
aomeranong4 March 2019
  • Presentation : 6
  • Story : 7
  • Direction : 6
  • Gameplay : 8
  • Graphic : 7
  • Score : 6.8 "Should try!"
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Un-lorefriendly, an AC rip-off, but it has its charm
MegaGothmog28 October 2014
I finished the game recently, and I do have to say that it was a game that you can enjoy.

When we saw the trailer, many of us already say the mechanics, and the climbing from Assassins Creed, and we were not wrong. The climbing, sneaking, distracting and fighting are a complete copy of the AC games. We even have bushes to hide in, stealth-take-downs from above and below, and that convenient counter-button. Thank goodness I know the AC series, that helped me get the hang of the game.

The game has it's lore-friendly moments. As a Middle Earth fan I know too much about the world and lore of Middle Earth so there were plenty of moments where i smiled all smug-like because I knew this detail, this artifact, this piece of back-story etc. On the other hand (and that hand is quite big), there are a lot, as in a lot, of moments that are not lore-friendly at all. I prefer not to give any spoilers, so i can't get into that too much. But prepare for some major flaws in the Middle Earth universe when you play this game.

There are also good points about the game. For one is the fact that it stays difficult. It is always fun to mow down 200 enemies with ease, but you always feel overpowered. Not with this game. Sure, at the end you are powerful enough to take down any enemy, but prepare to run when you fight 15 or more. Also the fighting mechanics are fast, and you need to pay attention if you don't want to die. No longer that single-button spam. The fights will keep you on your toes. The cut-scenes are also beautiful, and the environment looks amazing. The effects are nicely done and overall the game just looks really good. At least as good as AC IV.

If you are thinking about buying the game, think twice before you do it. If you are a Middle Earth fan like me, you will cringe a few times because of un-lorefrienly moments, but all in all it is a game that I can play without throwing it out.
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If anything don't get this on a previous generation console... Actually, just play Batman and Assassin's Creed instead
WakenPayne16 January 2016
I am in the middle of reading The Hobbit and I'm on the way to becoming a Tolkien fan. I feel that creating a video game out of his Middle Earth ideas could work, they could be great but I have heard most of them are either okay or bad except for this and maybe a couple of others. In terms of it living up to what's considered both the best fantasy stories ever written and the best fantasy films, along with being considered one of the absolute best trilogies in film history, this game has A LOT to live up to... It doesn't to the extent that I'm not even half way through and I feel like rage-quitting.

So the plot, Talion is a ranger who, along with his family gets murdered by Sauron's army. He wakes up as a Wraith in Mordor and bonded to him is another ghostly figure. It's up to you now to run around Mordor trying to stop Sauron's army from rising again.

Okay, my first complaint as nit-picky as this is I feel is warranted. When you read the books or watch the movies there are many places that, when presented with the idea of creating an open-world video game on that the idea of running around and exploring them sounds completely bliss, but they choose a barren wasteland most famous for a giant volcano and The Eye of Sauron (and if you think you can stumble on them in this game for consistency... You give this game too much credit!). I know the idea of making a world as huge as Middle Earth come to life in an open world is too high of something to ask but you can't get out of Mordor.

Now the story, is this really the best they can do?! The only way I remembered the maim character's name is Talion is through reading the plot synopsis before typing the review. This could be an investing story. But with this (and the gameplay, which I'll explain in the next paragraph) I feel that the developers were trying their damnest to rip off Assassin's Creed 2.

The gameplay... See if this sounds familiar, a stealth game where you can hide in bushes and have to run up towers to make the gameplay slightly less tedious and the protagonist has one long blade and one shorter blade for stealth killing. But the combat itself is ripping off another game, Batman Arkham. But you would think that with those 2 games with great gameplay that it would be a blast right... Well, at first. The game has permanent death, It's just you keep getting resurrected making missions you fail stay failed, this I wouldn't have a problem with but where my problems lie is the F#CKING CAPTAIN ASSASSINATIONS! Every time you fail to assassinate one their level goes up, making sure the next time you face him will be harder then the last. So if you want to finish what you started and just sucked at killing one like I did then you'll repeatedly waste your time running around, marking him, going to the Orc, then getting your ass kicked to the point where being cheap doesn't even begin to describe every encounter, it's a 2 hit death after a while and everyone else feels like a bad guy from Assassin's Creed or Batman again! It's annoying.

Last and definitely the least. DON'T get this on the Xbox 360 or PS3. The best way to describe my version is they forgot to tone down the graphics for the last-gen consoles. Thus making every cut-scene only play for a couple of seconds before a loading screen interrupts it and sometimes run across textures that look like early 6th Generation games to load in about a minute later. Needless to say if you have the option of playing it on the Xbox one or PS4 even after this then do it.

Onto what I enjoyed in the game. Well at times despite the increasingly steep difficulty curbs for the bosses if you die and despite me calling it a rip-off of Assassin's Creed and Batman Arkham this game at times does manage to capture the awesome way those games make you feel like a badass by combining stealth and the hack 'n' slash/beat-em-up. I also liked the way they represent the characters from what I've seen. While taking Gollum out on an escort mission he starts singing about how he worships the other ghost with you or "The Bright Master" for taking him to the One Ring (although he doesn't know he's lying) and insults Talion and "Bagginses". That alone is the best part of the game. Liam O'Brien is absolutely flawless in recreating Andy Serkis' Gollum voice. The rest of the voice acting is quite good too.

While there are some good things that someone may see as being passable as someone who has only played it on a PS3 (I'm assuming the PS4 and Xbox One versions are slightly better) to me there's barely anything in this game that's worth anything more then a couple of hours play per month. The worst thing is how increasingly cheap some of the people who've killed you will be (If this game makes a sequel, literally all I ask is consistency in the difficulty of taking down one guy). It's literally just Assassin's Creed meets Batman Arkham with the face Lord Of The Rings but getting about 40% of that right.
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Not "Open World" in GTA or Skyrim sense
sbulgacs13 February 2015
This is the first game I have bought for the Xbox One and I have decided to review it as some of the previous reviews are a little misleading. The closest game I compare this too is Assassin's Creed. However for role playing fans it is definitely not the same. The reason for this is that the game is mainly run fight, run fight and in that sense it is more like Batman Arkham City. Also the world is not huge. I get the feeling that it was designed to play on the PS3 and Xbox 360 but then someone asked them to tweak it for the next gen of console. However the designers decided that making the world larger would be too much hassle so added things like characters that "learn" and ever more complex fighting routines.

The graphics and motion are slightly better than many PS3 and 360 games but when you consider the lifelike graphics of Far Cry 2 are approx. 8 years old the "slightly" better rendered imagery here is certainly nothing to shout about and no major leap forward. Also when you consider the hugely upgraded processing power of the Xbox One, this game has not even come close to the consoles capabilities. Do not forget that a slightly "dumbed down" version is also available to buy for both the PS3 and 360.

The game play, due to its combative nature, gets quite lame after a while and due to the comparatively "medium" size of the world becomes repetitive. That is to say that you do find yourself running around the same areas and streets over and over again attempting to complete very "samey" missions. On the upside unlike say GTA 5 the character development is rich you can find yourself fighting up to 30 different Orcs who all move differently and appear to have pretty distinct characters. However this can regress into a Dead Rising scenario where you are quickly over run and have to escape. Taking you back to running around the world again trying to complete other pretty similar fight type missions. Think Lego LOTR game.

The game is quite long I have been playing for about 20 hours at 41% of game completion and I am still enjoying it (even due to the repetition). The game approx. sticks to the LOTR mythos and if you are familiar with the universe you will meet many familiar characters and situations (most of which you end up fighting with or in). I would go so far as to say that this is the best LOTR game so far and I have played most of them. If they do another one or anything similar I would suggest they add more role playing elements on top of the fighting and also make the world bigger so we don't end up running round and round in circles a'la Lego game style! Would I recommend this game? Not to a role playing fan but to anyone else who likes LOTR's and obviously fighting. Would I rush out to buy a next gen console just to play this game hell no. Buy the PS3/360 version and save yourself some money.
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True expiation on the lord of the rings universe
lillyfinn-7847917 June 2016
This game take you to Mordor prier to the evens of the hobbit. Her you play as a ranger witch has his soul boned to the Elvin creator of the rings of power on a quest for revenge for the murder of you wife and son. You are limited to Morrdor but there is still much to explore and you are able to go very close to the border of Morrdor. you fight uric with are like orcs but stronger. you are able to use meany ability in the game. You can ride animal and control uric. As well as combat based ability's like shooting Sprite arrows taking uric soils and stealth kills with swords and knifes. all in all it is a great game and I would highly recommend it
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