Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor by Monolith Productions
Genres: Arkham Style Combat, Assassin’s Creed Open World, Lord of the Rings
Have you ever wanted to kill thousands of orcs and feel absolutely no guilt about it? Do I have a game for you!
I bought this old game on sale and played it with an eye on this game’s oncoming sequel. Originally published in 2014, Shadow of Mordor was a genre re-defining video game. It does Arkham style combat better than Batman, and Assassin’s Creed open world better than Assassin’s Creed. That, combined with the innovation of the ‘Nemesis System,’ made this game an instant classic. If I have one complaint it was that it was too short. It could have used a third campaign setting in addition to the Black Gate and Nurn.
Knowing what I know of LotR lore, this game was stupid. The video game devs took extreme liberties with Middle-Earth canon, such as exploring orc culture. As far as I can tell this game happens either before or concurrently with the events of ‘The Fellowship of the Ring,’ or maybe it just replaces the events of LotR entirely.
Now that said, it also honored the books quite a bit. The artifacts you pick up off the ground contain actual Middle-Earth Lore, referencing the events of the Simarillion. The characters, both human elf and orc, spoke as you’d expect Middle-Earth people to speak (at least if you’ve watched the movies). In expanding on the lore of Nurn (a location in southern Mordor) we got to see more of Middle-Earth which is something most fantasy fans have wanted for years.
Net total, this was a fun game. I’m looking forward to when I can get the sequal on sale a few years from now.