Fight through Mordor and uncover the truth of the spirit that compels you, discover the origins of the Rings of Power, build your legend and ultimately confront the evil of Sauron in this new chronicle of Middle-earth.
User reviews: Very Positive (8,771 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 30, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Would be a competent but unremarkable Arkham-style open world game about killing orcs but made special with the Nemesis system and excellent voice work."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (2)

October 16

Update: Build v1636.29

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, build v1636.29
Photo Mode:

  • Photo Mode added to Shadow of Mordor. For more information, check here.
Updates:
  • Various bug fixes and improvements

ːShowdownː

132 comments Read more

October 10

Update: Build v1426.21

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, build v1426.21
Stability:

  • Fixed a source of the game failing to launch due to a corrupt VCRedist installation.
  • Fixed the issue with error message box being destroyed upon shutdown, allowing more detailed information to some players when game crashes during launch.
  • Fix for most common crash when partner of a sync-action is removed.
Graphics:
  • SLI profile for Shadow of Mordor is on the way. More information as it’s available.
Investigating:
  • We are looking in to the source of our save file loss issue. If this is happening to you, please contact Customer Support at http://support.wbgames.com/.

ːShowdownː

106 comments Read more

Reviews

“AMAZING”
9.3/10 – IGN

“Revolutionary”
5/5 – Joystiq

“Remarkable”
4.5/5 – VideoGamer

About This Game

Fight through Mordor and uncover the truth of the spirit that compels you, discover the origins of the Rings of Power, build your legend and ultimately confront the evil of Sauron in this new chronicle of Middle-earth.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: 64-bit: Vista SP2, Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 | AMD Radeon HD 5850
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 25 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: 64-bit: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz | AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 | AMD Radeon HD 7950
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 40 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
1,435 of 1,519 people (94%) found this review helpful
31.9 hrs on record
Shadow of Mordor is an excellent third person action game that takes the best parts of the Batman Arkham games, places it in Mordor, throws in a little (of the best of) Assassin's Creed and some outstanding voice work and out comes an excellent game.

Here's the tl;dr Pros/Cons:

Pros
+ Looks great. Sounds great.
+ Exceptionally optimized. Don't be fearful of the requirements. I came across no bugs whatsoever.
+ Takes one of the best combat systems in recent gaming history and applies it to a world that it really excels in. Combat animations are brutal (in a good way). Sneaking up on orcs and/or mauling a large pack of orcs is fun throughout the entire game. Some awesome "orc death" animations. The sight of an orc head flying away never gets old.
+ Strong story in a world that is teeming with stories.
+ A TON of stuff to do. Sidequests, hunting, collectibles, challenge modes. Nemesis system essentially creates a neverending enemy hierarchy.
+ Encourages further reading of Tolkien.
+ Stealth is fun and easy to get the hang of.
+ Fun with Carigors! When you hear an orc say "It's a carigor!" Climb up high, and have fun siccing them on orcs.

Cons
- Story can be finished quickly unless you take your time.
- An absolute fart of a final boss fight. Total copout in terms of design.
- A smattering of quicktime events that are annoying and take you out of the immersion.
- Some forgettable supporting characters. Lack of Middle Earth races represented. Mostly just men and orcs.
- Respawning of enemies in areas cleared prior happen almost immediately and is another immersion killer.
- Game map (there are two sections, one opens later in the game) seems small for a game that is a 35 gigabyte download.
- A bit easy. Lack of a choice of skill level hurts replayability.

I'm writing this review shortly after completing the story. According to Steam, I have 20.3 hours invested into it. I did not do everything there is to do and I imagine had I taken more time I could easily have gotten 50 hours into it. However, I found myself into the story and enjoyed the missions a lot, so I kept at it especially after gaining one particular ability. I won't spoil it, but it starts with a "B" and you get it roughly 60-70% of the way into the story and can totally change how you approach any skirmish in the game, big or small. Needless to say "B" is awesome and plays a key role in the lead up to the final confrontations. I am on the fence as to returning to the game to finish the plethora of side missions and I am probably going to wait until story DLC before I do so.

Without going into too much detail of the story, the game is one that grabs you immediately. Put simply, the Shadow of Mordor is a story of revenge and the opening is done so exceptionally well that I was immediately engaged and wanting to destroy orcs within minutes of taking control of the main character, Talion. While the game does a decent job of keeping this interest, I do feel there were some shortcuts taken in almost every respect. The story is not immediately predictable, but does run into some typical cliches that may have been unavoidable. The big bad guys that are your true "targets" (they're not orcs) are more fearful in terms of their look than their bite once you fight them.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the game is what's being termed as "the nemesis system". What this means is that when you are defeated in battle, the orc that defeats you grows in power, remembers you, and you are encouraged to seek him out to exact your revenge. There is almost a neverending limit to orcs that get promoted, so as you kill one, another will take his place in the power hierarchy in essence creating a constant power struggle amongst the orcs of Mordor. They will even fight themselves, plot against one another, and you can essentially push this one way or another by the choices you make. Unfortunately, this system does not have an effect on the story and could almost be considered a meta game as the story missions are mostly unaffected by this system until nearer the end. Despite this, the nemesis system is one that I imagine will be copied and perfected by other games. I am already imagining something like this in a game of political intrigue, or with a terrorist mastermind who becomes stronger via the choices you make. This is an excellent mechanic that deserves to be explored more fully.

QuickTip: Focus on Ranger abilities first. They are integral to strengthening Talion.

Most of the enemies in this game are run of the mill orcs. Some are stronger than others (i.e. Captains) and require some aspect of a mission (kill X number of guys a certain way) before they appear. It is very Arkham-esque in certain respects as most of the foot soldiers are complete pushovers. That said, I found most of this game entirely too easy. The only times I felt truly challenged by my enemies was when they were completely overwhelming or I was stuck in a chokepoint unable to defend myself. You will die, but I guarantee you will feel "cheated" at times regarding your manner of death. The lack of a skill level selection hurts this game's replayability.

QuickTip: Run a benchmark when you first launch the game and experiment with the settings from there. I was able to Ultra everything even if the benchmark put me at high on everything!

All in all, I am extremely impressed by Shadow of Mordor. It's an engaging and fun third person action game in a familar world with great mechanics and some new ones that should be staples in future games. It's technologically sound, and while I felt extremely let down by the final boss "fight", the journey was worth it. I wanted Talion to succeed and that is half the battle in a game like this. When the player cares about the "avatar", you've got yourself a great starting point. If you are at all a fan of this world, you owe it yourself to play this game.

Overall: 8/10
Posted: October 2
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733 of 794 people (92%) found this review helpful
32.9 hrs on record
The experience that stands out most for me was encountering an Orc named Zakadush The Warrior. This ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ showed up everywhere. He was also immensely terrifying. Not just because of his insane strength, but because of his personality. You see, Zakadush never spoke. He would only breathe heavily, giggle, and scream. There were many times I found myself with the upper hand in an intense combat situation, only to hear heavy breathing from behind -- and BAM -- Mr. Giggles (Zakadush) would ambush me, fling me around (literally), and beat me to a pulp. When I finally bested him during one of his many ambushes, I felt sweet relief and satisfaction. I was finally done with that psychopath.
NOPE.JPEG.
Zakadush somehow found his way back from beyond the grave and hunted me down again. This time, scars covered his face and gave him the look of an all-familiar clown villain from another series we're all familiar with. Mr. Giggles continued to be a pain in the ♥♥♥ for the rest of my game. I finally threw him off a cliff about an hour ago. Since I didn't cut off his head, there's no way to know for sure if that's the last I'll see of him. I want to believe he's dead, but I've learned that this game is cruel.


Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor may be one of the most surprising games of the year. My expectations were hugely surpassed by this gem -- and a shiny gem at that, the game is gorgeous and smooth. The main storyline is alright. The overall plot is interesting, but it feels disconnected between missions and has odd pacing. You can tell it isn't the main focus of the game, which is fine as I spent all 32 some-odd hours crafting my own story.


The combat flows smoothly and is incredibly brutal. There is weight behind every sword swing, stab, leap, throw -- you see where I'm going, it feels good to control. The combat is heavily borrowed from the Batman: Arkham games, but I feel it adds its own flavor to it as well. The animations are amazing through and through and make the combat, movement, and just about everything else feel very immersive and smooth.


The open world exploration is heavily reminiscent of the Assassin's Creed franchise and a bit of the Far Cry series. Movement feels good and climbing is nowhere near as clunky as it is in Assassin's Creed. Climbing isn't without its faults though, there are a few hang ups with the parkouring system, though they aren't big issues and are hardly worth commenting on. The stealth system is a nice mix between what is found in the Batman and Assassin's Creed games -- overall, there is a bit to be desired, but the mechanic is satisfying nonetheless.


I have beaten my enemies and have been bested brutally many times. The game isn't a cakewalk and rewards quick-thinking as well as slow tactic. You can be easily overwhelmed if you're not careful and sometimes you can't bounce back. As you get used to the controls and systems at play, the game naturally gets a bit easier -- especially when leveling up. As a difficulty junkie, I was still experiencing death in the late game, though significantly less often.


Death is satisfying in Mordor -- it's the main way you build stories with your many enemies. The Orcs who slay you will grow in power, they'll taunt you the next time you meet, and they remember every meeting. They'll recall their defeats and your demise. You develop an enemy -- a nemesis. The system is dense.


The nemesis system is probably one of the most dynamic, deep, and satisfying AI tech I've seen in quite awhile. The stories that unfold through the gameplay are amazing -- they're also unique, in that they're YOUR stories and experiences. The replay value is absurd. It's incredibly hard to stress just how great this game is, but it may be one of my all-time favorites now. The potential this game has met, and the systems it has introduced, are immense. I very much look forward to experiencing more of Middle-earth and I'm going to be playing in this world for quite some time.
Posted: October 3
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1,188 of 1,389 people (86%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Having played for hours now, I've been extremely surprised by the quality of Shadow of Mordor. Great story and characters, visuals, environments, etc. What I really love is how much personality the developers lend to the actual Orcs, it's very unique in a game like this. Highly recommended, I forsee Shadow of Mordor going on several top 10 / GOTY lists this year.

http://youtu.be/RR-nxPYP7TM
Posted: September 29
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518 of 593 people (87%) found this review helpful
18.7 hrs on record
Disclaimer: At this point, I have finished the main story and have dabbled into much of the sidequests.

This review will be split into 4 parts and each will be rated out of 10, with a final average score at the end:
-Story
-Gameplay/Mechanics
-Visuals
-Sound

[STORY]
The story is full of cliches and tropes, such as but not limited to a badass ranger having his family killed in front of him, but survived and goes on a roaring rampage of revenge. Nothing new in particular, but I believe it can be excused by the fact that it was Tolkien who kickstarted much of these tropes and trends.

The writing takes creative liberty of gutting the lore often. While it is a subjective as of what it does to the story, I believe that the bending and breaking of the lore (i.e. elves cannot be wraiths) works to the strength of the game, giving it a more interesting story. To sum it up, the story is a good story, yet lacking in originality. The worst part is probably how rushed it is towards the end, but nevertheless it is a memorable plot anyways.

Conclusion: 7/10

[GAMEPLAY]

The gameplay can be viewed as something of a cross of Arkham games with a smidge of Assassin's Creed thrown into the mix. I personally view the criticism of it being an "Assassin's Creed ripoff" as invalid, largely because of the fact that the only thing that is a rip-off of AC is the free-running mechanic, which is smooth for the most part. It does have stealth kills, as does the AC franchise, but nowadays stealth kills/takedowns are so common in gaming that it can hardly be considered a rip-off, and even if it is, it is a very well done rip-off. It is also published by WB, so I don't believe it to be wrong to rip-off another game under the same producer. (Batman Arkham Asylum/City/Origins)

The combat is much more challenging than either AC or Batman, in my opinion. While it is still relatively simple to completely obliterate orcs, there are usually huge numbers, especially in strongholds, and berserkers and shields make it quite difficult to just breeze through. While there are instant kills in the form of stealth kills and finishers, higher level captains/warchiefs are much more resistant and immune to this, making it a real challenge to figure out the weaknesses of certain uruks, meaning that it is challenging, but not unfair.

This brings us to the nemesis system. It is very well designed and gets rid of a bit of the repetitiveness of the game. This system means that all the captains and warchiefs are unique. Some are strong, some are weak, and if one kicks your butt a few too many times he might even become your arch-nemesis, meaning that he will keep coming back! My personal nemesis was Ratlug the brave, who was immune to everything but explosions and ranged attacks, forcing my to turn him into a pincushion every time I face him. What's worse is he has the Ambush trait, meaning that he keeps showing up in the worst of situations, such as when I'm fighting another captain or warchief, or when I'm running for my life from a horde of ghuls, poisoned and heavily injured. I would not like to divulge much as it would spoil the game for you.

The lack of bugs and glitches is also amazing. In my 15 hours of playtime, I have not run into a single bug and only one glitch one time, where I tried to drop assassinate a captain but was stuck frozen mid-air above the ground for a few seconds, before the game teleported me to the spot next to my target, who was unharmed.

Conclusion: 8/10

[VISUALS]

I was unable to run this game in Ultra, as it requires an absurd amount of Video RAM (6 GB, holy moly!). However, the texture quality, while not ground breaking, is still rather decent most of the time with the occasional terribly textures, but nothing immersion killing

The cutscene quality is reasonably high, and weaves itself seamlessly into the in-game visuals. I believe a good amount of it is pre-rendered, but it is very hard to see the difference. Overall, the visuals are not hugely amazing, but it isn't too shabby either, and the landscape and map design in general is beautiful.

Conclusion: 7/10

[SOUND]

I have had some audio cutoffs and stutters in cutscenes, but I believe that is most likely a framerate issue instead of a sound issue. The sound effects are top-notch, you can feel immersed with every single sword blow, arrow shot or explosion as you shoot a barrel full of putrid uruk grog, really making the gameplay feel very smooth or impactful when it needs to. The soundtrack is also quite a fine tune.

The voice acting is flawless, as I can't find a single thing wrong with it. Every single line of dialogue was delievered with clarity and emotion, and the voice actors have done a very good job. From the protagonist and the antagonist, the supporting cast in the main quest to the idle musings of random uruk grunts or the complaints of the human slaves littered around Mordor, not a single line of dialogue struck me as strange or not well-delievered.

Conclusion: 10/10

[OVERALL]
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a great game. While it lacks a lot of originality, it makes up for it by using the right ideas from the right places and implementing them very well. While the story is nothing to write home about, the way it is delivered to the player through the visuals and the sounds makes it a memorable one, with a host of memorable supporting casts, especially a certain dwarf!

The gameplay is smooth and it is very satisfying to hack at an uruk and send its limp body flying or to decapitate a warchief, but here lies the problem; the gameplay is good, but it is also repetitive. It means that you will most likely not get to do much else in this game but run to a place, kill some uruk, rinse and repeat. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable experience.

[FINAL VERDICT: 9/10]
Posted: October 2
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335 of 395 people (85%) found this review helpful
20.3 hrs on record
Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor is an action packed RPG that has a bunch of lore and content from the loved lord of the ring and hobbit franchise . It is an absolutely awesome game with reasonably good storyline. The graphics are very next gen with a beautiful landscape that is full of detail, amazing lighting effects and interesting characters both new and old characters to the J.R.R. Tolkien's lore.

The combat is very similar to the Assassins creed franchise and even more to the Batman games. With swift, immersive gameplay that will make every kill feel beautiful but it can be quite challenging when you face more than a dozen enemies at once. With three different weapons, the Sword, Dagger, and Bow. There are plenty of ways to take out you enemies , going silent with a knife or bow or just rushing head long into a pack on Orcs. You can then use your wrath powers to stun enemies and unleash a fury of attacks, or shoot an arrow to teleport to your enemy and take him on one on one.

The game takes place open world of Mordor, in which you are trying to kill off Orcs and their Captains to get to the top of the tree. Killing Captains will give you runes that you can put on your weapons and skill points which can be used to unlock exciting new skills.

If you are a fan of Lord of the Rings or Hobbit franchise and enjoyed the combat from the batman games, then you will love this game from the start to the end, therefore I highly recommend this game for you. Even if you aren't into the franchise of LOTR or The Hobbit, the game is still an amazing game with its appealing graphics, very fun combat and a smooth and beautiful open world.
Posted: October 1
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