• Community Review of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

    Are you looking for a new game to buy/play? TGT community member rudyjuly2 has put together a review of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Developed by Monolith Productions and published by WB Games, the title has been extremely well-received by critics and fans alike. Despite the last of marketing and fanfare we see other titles receive, word of mouth and positive reviews have helped the title become a hit and one of the best titles of 2014.

    Continue on to see Rudy's review and if you have played the title, share your thoughts as well.


    I got this game as a Christmas gift and it was a lot of fun. A short review is this game is Assassinís Creed with Batman combat set in a LOTR world. The graphics are solid if not spectacular. I had early reservations over whether this game would be repetitive but there is a lot of variety in this game to keep it from feeling that way.

    First, the setup of the game is very similar to Assassinís Creed. You have waypoints (forge towers) that unlock items on the map and fast travel. Climbing and moving around is similar including all too convenient wires that travel from one roof top to another. You have roughly 20 Yellow Story/Main missions along with a lot of side missions that are limitless. There are Red Side Missions that are truly limitless and deal with battles with Orc/Uruk leaders. You have 54 optional White Missions (30 bow, sword and dagger and 24 Outcast missions). There are also 20 collection and hunting challenges so there are MANY things to do in this game if you want. I finished the game at roughly 33 hours and I still have quite a few things left to do. You could finish the game in under 20 hours or you could spend 40-50 hours to get the platinum. Itís up to you.

    Many things in this game are video game friendly. Enemies are clearly defined by colours or markers and the map itself is very compact allowing you to travel very easily. You canít run more than 10 seconds without running into people to fight and you can quickly reach your desired mission start areas. Where this game separates itself from Assassinís Creed is the combat. Assassinís Creed combat is simple while this game is very diverse and much better. The amount of options at your disposal from stealth moves, stun moves, execution finishers, counters, bows, daggers, riding monsters, blowing things up along with special Wraith moves (special abilities from the LOTR world including controlling people) is huge. At first I was overwhelmed but the main story missions do a good job of explaining them and you donít get all of your moves at once. Things unlock nicely over the course of playing.

    The story is actually pretty decent. I liked it but a lot of times itís just fun to run around and fight people. That is where the Nemesis system comes into play. The game remembers the wins and losses for both you and your opponents. Beat an Orc Leader? You gain power and he gets knocked out but someone else will take his place. Lose to someone? They gain power and will taunt you at your next meeting. Who gets promoted is based on your personal game experience so my Nemesis ended up Lugnak Thunderhead who maxed out at Level 20 after killing me about 5 times early on. It was so satisfying to finally take him out later in the game. Itís this personal connection that makes the game even better. To go up against the tough Orc leaders you definitely need to get some Intel on them to discover their strengths and weaknesses. For the higher leveled bosses you will have to go after their weaknesses or you will fail. Some Red/Mini-Boss missions are Vengeance missions. Some of my friends on PSN had been killed by an Orc Leader and I could take on those missions to avenge them. I thought that was cool.

    The game has a fairly extensive RPG element. You can upgrade your moves and abilities as you gain power. By beating bosses you gain special runes that you can apply to your weapons that grant you enhanced abilities as well. I was almost maxed out by the end of the game which leads to one of the weaknesses of the game. Near the beginning itís very easy to get overwhelmed and killed and I enjoyed that. During the second half of the game I rarely died. You arenít invincible but you are so powerful things get too easy. The final boss battles are underwhelming and there are no difficulty levels so there isnít anything you can do about it. I do like the fact that your health doesn't auto-regenerate. You do have to collect herbs to heal back up.

    At the end of the day there are a lot of things to do and enjoy with this game. Itís a brawler at heart but with a ton of options to keep it from getting repetitive. The Nemesis system adds a nice personal touch that keeps you connected to a world that is always changing. I highly recommend everyone to give this game a shot. Probably my game of the year for 2014.



    - Are you interested in writing/submitting your own community reviews for games here at The Gaming Tailgate? Send a private message to cdj, gschwendt, or JBHuskers for more information. We would love to publish and promote them here at TGT!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Shadow of Mordor started by Rudy View original post
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      I should add there is no co-op or online component to this game. It's strictly an offline, single player game unless their DLC has something I'm not aware of. I have not played any of the DLC. I do have a code for a mission on the PS4 that I will try soon.

      The Dagger side missions can be a bit annoying because they are more stealth based. There are no "tailing" missions like Assassin's Creed and I do feel the main missions are better in Mordor as well. The main missions in AC Black Flag felt like the weakest part of the game but Mordor is balanced.
    1. SCClassof93's Avatar
      SCClassof93 -
      Yeah, what he said.
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      Nice write-up Rudy! Good to hear there are no tailing missions. Those drive me nuts, especially the ones in ACBlack Flag.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      Yeah, there are some optional stealth missions that can frustrate but overall the missions and controls were all fun. It is a game I think everyone can enjoy, especially if you liked Creed or Batman. I had a ton of fun with it. Have almost 40 hours in at this point. I may buy the Dlc at $10 as well.
    1. CLW's Avatar
      CLW -
      Good stuff man this is in my Queue to give a shot. I'm normally not a big fan of games like this but it has gotten allot of good buzz so hopefully one day I'll take a crack at it.
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      I would be interested in the game but fighting games aren't really my thing. AC, GTA and Watchdogs is about the extent of my violence in gaming as I am not very good at video game combat situations.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      There are a lot of different things you can do but it is not rocket science. No worries about that Jaymo but this is a heavy action, fighting game.

      CLW- I think if you are interested in this game at all you won't be disappointed.
    1. SCClassof93's Avatar
      SCClassof93 -
      Let us know how the dlc is rudy. I finished it but can always go back and mop up some trophies. This was my second fave of the year.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      Quote Originally Posted by SCClassof93 View Post
      Let us know how the dlc is rudy. I finished it but can always go back and mop up some trophies. This was my second fave of the year.
      What was #1? I'm waiting for Sony's discount. I'm guessing this week.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      The ps4 version uses the controller speaker quite a bit to indicate special moves as well as some dialogue. I thought it was pretty cool.
    1. souljahbill's Avatar
      souljahbill -
      Game Informer gave it the best action game award of 2014 and it came in 2nd to Dragon Age: Inquisition for GotY.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      I'd be interested in Dragon Age. I just worry that the actual combat isn't that great. That is a LONG game too that I heard is fairly complicated with all the RPG stuff. Has anyone here played that game?
    1. SmoothPancakes's Avatar
      SmoothPancakes -
      I have been very very interested in this game. I haven't bought it yet, but have been meaning to for quite a while now.

      #TheScriptIsDead
    1. skipwondah33's Avatar
      skipwondah33 -
      Hmm reading this piques Mt interest. Have a friend who also has it and said good things about it.

      Still want to get another this other game as well
    1. SCClassof93's Avatar
      SCClassof93 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rudy View Post
      What was #1? I'm waiting for Sony's discount. I'm guessing this week.
      Diablo 3
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      I am 4 trophies away from a platinum. I need level 25 rune, liberator on caragor , graugs heel and brand 5 bodyguards against war chief. I may grind and use tips to go for it.
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      I'm about an hour into this. Damn it's fun!
    1. SCClassof93's Avatar
      SCClassof93 -
      Quote Originally Posted by JBHuskers View Post
      I'm about an hour into this. Damn it's fun!
      I agree
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      Quote Originally Posted by JBHuskers View Post
      I'm about an hour into this. Damn it's fun!
      Just a pure and fun action game. You can just run around and scrap all the time if you want.
    1. SmoothPancakes's Avatar
      SmoothPancakes -
      I just bought it and am downloading it right now. Depending on how long the download takes, I don't know if I'll be able to sit down and play some tonight or if it'll have to wait until Saturday when work quiets down.

      #TheScriptIsDead