Shadow of Mordor is a lord of the rings game, somehow they’re still making them, even though it was popular about 15 years ago. Back when Frohawks were a thing and Jayden smith was just a mistake waiting to happen.
The game is very derivative of the Arkham and Assassins creed series. It borrows their fighting styles and parkour elements but neither feel as polished or original. It’s very easy to pick up and play though if you’re a fan of either. Due to this though it doesn’t feel like anything fresh or original. It even takes the detective mode from the batman series but it’s not used for anything other than seeing where your enemies are so that you can sneak up behind them and cupcake them with your most lethal silent but violent fart.
Where the game does shine is in its Nemesis system. This great rivalry mode is like when you were back at school, someone bullied you, they got moved up in the popularity charts, pulled the girl you liked whilst you went off to die, alone, forever.
It’s a great system that really gets you hating the people you went to school with, I mean the people in the game and when someone has killed you 5 times and you finally get them there is a brilliant sense of accomplishment.
It can get a bit dramatic however as the first time you clash swords with them there is a bit of banter back and forth, whilst this would be ok in small doses, if you fight 5 nemeses’ in a fight it severely slows the combat down and makes you just want to smash your TV in.
There are a couple of bad gameplay mechanics, for instance you can slow down time whilst aiming your arrow, I noticed this makes you move faster and I was able to run after characters easily because of it.
The travelling is pretty much all done by foot but there are some neat tricks like speedrunning when hopping over obstacles to get you from A to B, this isn’t as bad as phantom pain as the world doesn’t feel desolate and there is purpose within every area.
The story is very very humdrum, it’s weird how something based on a book could have such a shit plot and I honestly didn’t care or have any attachment to the characters throughout. They also end the game on a quicktime event which just feels like a cop out. The whole storyline just feels like padding to get you from one fight to the other. I didn’t really care even though I’m a big Lord of the rings fan. Probably why I’m still a virgin at 28.
Overall the game is a fun time killer but I didn’t feel like it had any true depth to it. On a scale of the hobbit to lord of the rings, I give it a harry potter 2. Bit of a pale imitation but hey, what do you expect when its 15 years late.
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