I know that it isn’t a new game but when I choose Middle earth shadow of war I saw that it has a predecessor and I loved the lord of the rings movies even the Hobbit so I had no choice, but to try this as well for the story. 🙂
You start at a peaceful place training with your son and BAM you’re in the middle of mordor fighting some orks. The storyline hit me so fast and got serious that I didn’t really manage to know what the hell was going on. You and a wraith are attached and you search for your memories together to fill out the missing pieces from your pasts like a puzzle. There is an 32 piece ithildin symbol that you can collect and it forms a door. Don’t do it… It doesn’t do anything. I know if I love the lore I enjoy it and the voice actor is awesome, but damn they could have at least give a little buff to something. There are several flashbacks and some of them really give you the goosebumps. I really loved the authentic style lots of occasions you and the npcs speak elven or orkish. After you start the game there you are with countless of options, there are artifacts, missions, collectibles and whole bunch of stuff so I tried to clear areas one by one. The most annoying thing is that if you are on a mission and get too far away in the heat of battle you die instantly. It was so irritating at first that I almost gave up on the game. On the one side it’s great that there are a bunch of side quests where you can get upgrades and runes and stuff, but on the other it messed a bit with the story on my perspective. Pretty soon I met with Gollam and I was overjoyed because he is one of the main reasons I started playing this game. After several free the slaves quests ( every slave looks basically the same) I totally forgot what happened to him. There was another funny dude called ratbag. He is an ork who helps you, but to tell you the truth somewhere along the way he is vanished too. There is also dwarf hunter ( a dwarf who hunts not a hunter who hunts dwarves) that you have several quests together. I thought that the storyline is going to be quite short, because of the quick beginning, but man I was wrong. It is great and worth playing. I don’t want to spoiler anything but they did a cliffhanger at the end so I have to play with shadow of war as soon as I finished this article.
Since you are a half wraith and a half ranger you have abilities from both sides. I wanted to max out just the wraith side, because that is for ranged attacks and supernatural talents like heat vision and domination so I liked it better at first, but you can’t. The domination becomes a critical part of the gameplay, because after some time you can dominate almost anything. You have to spend points for both of your ability tree to unlock the better ones. Your character has 3 weapons. A sword a dagger which is a sword, but you broke it and a bow. When you kill enemies they drop runes. You can use them to upgrade the weapons. When you have a bunch of runes on them they look so awesome. Of course there is headshot with the arrow, but you can also pin enemies with it. It is a pretty useful tool when an enemy with intel that you need is running away from you. While playing the game your character becomes a killing machine. There are executions and brutalize with tons of blood. I didn’t expect so detailed finishing moves and so much thought in every slash, throw, cutting, gutting from a 2014 game. The choreography of the combat is exceptional and I think that is the main reason that so many players got hooked on this game. When I flee while jumping over enemies behind me a cloud of flying tomahawks and poison spears can really get the blood boiling. I used to play Ryse son of Rome on my Xbox it had similar graphics, with good combat, but middle earth combat system tops it.
Over 80% of the time I was at grassy places assaulting walls or wooden buildings. I had hoped that there will be dozens of mines and hills, but not. There was a vulcan with next generation ashes falling from it at the end, but the scenery didn’t take away my breath. Interacting with it is another thing. There are bee hives that you can disturb to attack the enemy, there are barrels that explode, you can eat every damn mushroom and root for health, and there are fireplaces that can also explode causing massive fire damage to the living at their vicinity. These assets can really turn the tide when you are in a combat. It gives you the option to make great strategies not just hack and slash and hoping for the best.
How should I start this. This was a great disappointment for me while I have to admit that this game has one of the most thought out enemy systems that I have ever played before. I start with the bad side. I am the frigging middle earth where should be dragons, demons, ents, spiders, trolls, and a whole bunch of other monsters and there isn’t any. I only fought with ghuls, orks and uruks, sometimes caragors and maybe 3 grugs. Somebody tell me why?! I really hope that the next one will be different in this. If I set this aside the orks and uruks are extensive. The enemy have a nemezis ranking tree. They got footsoldiers captains, warchiefs. When an enemy kills you it gets promoted and they power also raised. They have names and memories so when you encounter one more than once he remembers your previous one and talk to you accordingly. With the domination skill it is awesome as you infiltrate their ranks one by one and climb their political ladder. They also have their unique faces and skills that make them different enemies, but in my eyes they are all orks with the same size and same number of hands and claws. You need to gather intel from enemies to know those skills because it can be quite disturbing when you start to shoot one in the middle of a group and after they noticed you realize that it has an immunity to ranged weapons. Next to the ranking system they have classes too like Berserkers, shielded ones, and ranged types. When you don’t interact with them the time doesn’t stops. So every enemy is doing their own tasks everywhere. There are turf wars and such and everyone is looking for power. If you see an enemy more than once there is a possibility that he received a higher rank since you last saw him. This what makes me forget the bad side that I mentioned earlier. Oh and the most important part. When you aren’t strong enough not just attack everything you see because those nasty ork fuckers like to call for reinforcements in populated areas and you get overwhelmed quite soon. I learned this the hard way.
There are four type of quests. The bow quests, the dagger quests, the sword quests, and the outcast quests. They involve free the slaves, stealth, ranged practice and the usual quests that these kind of games have. I have to highlight the defeat the warrior horde and the bridge crossing missions. They were far the best for me. The bridge crossing is a tower defense type when the horde is coming and you have to defend something. Great massacres there.. One of the defeat the horde missions there was a bonus objective to gain a 100 hit combo!! My average hits were around 12 at that time so you can imagine my war cry while knee-deep carving and slicing the scum.
I feel I left out a whole bunch of stuff and haven’t explained so many things but I could write a book about it and that itself says a lot about the game. I’m looking forward to write about the next one (shadow of war) and I will try to include some of the stuff that has been left out from here. CRAP SHADOW OF WAR IS ONLY AT A PRE-ORDER STATUS! At least I give a link for it too.
Update! Here is the link for the Shadow of War: Middle earth Shadow of War
Where to buy
Check my Cheapest Places to Buy page for Middle earth Shadow of Mordor cdkeys!