Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Review- One Game to Rule Them All
Review by Nolan P. Smith
(Victor Valley)—For months, gamers were seeing the trailers and game play for Middle-Earth- Shadow of Mordor and waited with a mild anxiety. For one, the game looked and sounded amazing, but on the other hand, it was a licensed game, and most licensed games fail miserably. Thankfully, Shadow of Mordor not only dispels any worries: it’s also one of the best games of 2014.
Monolith Productions crafted a game that isn’t just a great Lord of the Rings-The Hobbit inspired game, it’s an amazing game on its own right. You play as ranger captain Talion, who after being attacked by orcs and losing his wife and kid right in front of his eyes, was murdered. But his story just began, as he ended up in between life and death and saved by the elf wraith Celebrimbor, who bonds to Talion for this journey. Now, both are on a mission to stop the army of orcs commanded by the dark lord Sauron, avenge the death of Talion’s family, and uncover the memories of Celebrimbor.
The game plays a lot like the recent Batman video games, which means a lot of countering, a lot of high impact action, and amazing finishers. The game also borrows aspects of the Assassin’s Creed, as you scale towers and strongholds and land stealth moves on unsuspecting orcs, orc captains, warchiefs, and more. Game play can switch with a button from Talion to playing as Celebrimbor, who sees the world as a wraith and fights with his arrows rather than blades. Weapons can be upgraded via a points system, a system that is actually easy to follow, unlike some games.
Also, for fans of the Lord of the Rings franchise, there is plenty that ties into the characters we all know from the movies and the books, making the game that much more entertaining. I won’t give anything away, but we do see familiar faces, familiar lands, and familiar jewelry, enough to make fans swoon over.
I have to admit, I purchased quite a few games in 2014, and this is the only one that I have been addicted to. The landscape of Middle-Earth is easy to get lost into, and easy to get sidetracked. I really don’t see any flaws with this game, as the game play is smooth and responsive, the voice acting is top notch, and the story pulls gamers in from beginning to end. I give Middle-Earth- Shadow of Mordor a perfect 10 out of 10. Go hunt some orc and have a blast doing it.