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 (16,805 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 (6)

February 17

Update: Build v1951.6

New Features:
  • Bright Lord DLC support added. (Note: Bright Lord DLC requires slightly higher system specs than Main Game Campaign. If you’re noticing a loss in performance, please lower system settings.)

Continued PC Improvements:
  • Fixed rare crash encountered when going into Skills Menu.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur if blood failed to render.
  • Fixed issue where game would crash after a video card driver crash.
  • Fixed crash related to physics.

  • Improved rendering on domination FX to improve framerate.

  • Fixed issue where users save progress could be lost after watching benchmark to completion.

  • Added ability to skip Splash Screens after first launch.

  • Steam Achievements not being awarded properly. (Issue 1: Occasionally Achievement wasn’t awarded even though game criteria satisfied. Game now verifies again whether Achievement criteria has already been met and will re-pop. In some cases, it may be required to perform unlock a 2nd time. Issue 2: Some Achievements weren’t being awarded in Challenge Mode even though they should have. This issue should now be resolved.)
  • Fixed issue where player would lose Orc Hunter Rune when restarting Lord of the Hunt DLC.


153 comments Read more

January 9

Update: Build v1808.19

PC Specific Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed issue where non-English Keyboards couldn’t rotate artifacts or select Captains in Army Screen.
  • Fixed issue where motion blur was not being applied on Camera and Objects setting.
  • Fixed mismatched help-text on Video Screens (Display Adapter and Max FPS were incorrect).
  • Added additional messaging to FXAA help text.


69 comments Read more


9.3/10 – IGN

5/5 – Joystiq

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

    • 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
    • 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
1,914 of 2,028 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
33.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2014
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:

+ 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.

- 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
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954 of 1,030 people (93%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
32.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2014
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.
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.
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584 of 655 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
Click for Gameplay Trailer - Review
+ detailed game world
+ high foresight
+ good cutscenes
+ usually sharp textures
- muddy ground textures

+ dynamic and lively world
+ flowing day and night cycles
+ gollum!

+ very good speakers
+ good sound effects
+ quiet atmospheric music

+ easy for beginners
+ no overpowering counter
+ some tricky missions
- but in the story missions a bit too easy

Level Design:
+ different approaches possible
+ short distances
+ flowing exchange between crawl and climb, good stealth missions

Weapons & Extras:
+ three main weapons can be upgraded
+ more than 30 unlockable skills
- not all skills useful

+ principally interesting revenge story
+ exciting spirit-figure
+ some interesting minor characters
- hardly highlights
- open end

Game Size:
+ two large sections
+ many side missions
+ upgrade system
+ around 30 hours playtime

The action takes place between the events of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The focus is Talion, a Ranger of Gondor. His family is slaughtered at the beginning of the match. Talion survived the bloody ritual of initially unexplained reasons, his body must be shared with an ancient spirit. Both - spirit and Talion - muse for vengeance.
The story (so far) seems really good and sad.
The only thing that throws me off is that I can walk in the middle of the map and not a single orc can see me. The other thing that might be a pain later is the constant respawning of enemies. I clear an entire area and 5 seconds later it is infested again.

It is an outstanding action game, offering a satisfying mix of stealth and melee combat that series like Assassin's Creed or Batman: Arkham have perfected.
But the Nemesis system, which cleverly makes enemies grow and evolve along with the player, is what elevates Shadow of Mordor into the upper echelons of open-world excellence.

The intricacies of combat could've simply consisted of fights against plain grunts using your supernatural abilities, and Mordor would still be a ton of aggressive fun. But the Nemesis system turns every duel to the death into so much more, giving the villains just as much personality as your hero.
You can get this free range, easy and fun battle system that allows you to take on multiple enemies at once, while protection against attacks.
The 20-to-1 scenario really never gets tired of this kind of flexible attack mechanics.
As you start leveling up in Shadow of Mordor, you gain both human and wraith special attacks. For example, you can wraith punch an enemy, which knocks them for a loop, then press the attack button multiple times to charge up to a life ending attack that has the enemy’s head explode right off their body.
The leveling system in this game is a bit deeper than what you might expect. For typical third-person action games I expect some sort of upgrades, be it in the form of purchasing upgrades or with gradual, simple leveling up. The abilities tree is split in two to accommodate both characters. Talion’s abilities include delivering massive death blows to characters, throwing daggers, dealing a decisive blow at the end of a fight, as well as poisoning the drink of orcs (yes, you read that right).
There are a lot more abilities to gain in this tree for our ranger, but you get the drift. The wraith has the abilities to to pin people in place, deliver a wraith flash and do a stealth drain.
These are neat items that you attach to your weapons (initially the sword, bow and dagger). They are modifiers that you can collect as you dispatch mini-bosses, significant characters and/or bosses. These modifiers have a certain numerical level attached to them that can be mixed and matched to create a cornucopia of powerful ranges for your weaponry.

Charging through the decent but less-exciting story missions would probably take around 10 hours, but the goal of killing or dominating the Warchiefs is much more time-consuming and interesting. The sidequests like stealth challenges that task the player with killing a certain amount of enemies undetected, ranged exercises or combat skirmishes, the rewards are great.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a beautiful third-person action title that has deep role-playing game elements embedded firmly into it. This is a great game in its own right, narratively disjointed but mechanically sound, made up of excellent parts pieced together in excellent ways. The savage combat and satisfying stealth are just the means to exacting your ultimate revenge.

Score: 84 / 100

Sorry for my bad english. This is my review account, because the low playtime.
Thanks for reading! If you Like my Review, give me a Thumbs up in Steam.
Your help is greatly appreciated :)

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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1,249 of 1,458 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2014
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.
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308 of 336 people (92%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2014
Play this game if you enjoy:
Killing Orcs
Stabbing Orcs
Burning Orcs
Cutting of the Heads of Orcs
Gutting Orcs
Jumping on an Orc from a 20ft high rooftop, pinning him to the ground, then ruthlessly evicerating his thrashing body with a broken sword shank, spraying Orc blood to the wind, and hearing the lamentation of his Orc friends as they flee like cowards.
Shooting Orcs in the back as they run from you.
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570 of 658 people (87%) found this review helpful
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2014
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:

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


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


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


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

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.

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293 of 323 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
47.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2014
First things first.Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will NOT evade comparisions with Ubisoft's heavyweight Assassin's Creed games and even WB's own Batman Arkham series.
After a fairly long 40hour hands-on with this game,I can say its one of the bests this year.
While the game itself draws inspiration from a handful of popular games,Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has not failed to create its own identity.

[TL;DR Version,Down below]

Starting from the protagonist(s),Talion certainly seems like a good fit for Tolkien's universe,with his stringy shoulder-length hair,his stoic manner,and his three-syllable moniker.The story bits and indentity of a particular "wraith" have been disclosed pre-release and I prefer not to discuss it here,a story that doesn’t make total sense for hardcore Tolkien scholars,but it’s brillantly-acted and paced!
In any case,the Talion/wraith dichotomy leads to some Shadow of Mordor's slickest moments.The ghostly wraith slides out of Talion's body from time to time to talk with him and then dissipates in a vaporous sigh.When the wraith's anger becomes all-consuming,Talion's face melts away to reveal the apparition underneath.
Mordor itself is an engaging open world with a vibrant and grim setting.The burnt orange-brown cliffs and pastures of Nurn are some of the best vistas you will appreciate.They say that the devil is in the details,but in Mordor,the devil is plain to see.It is in the details that you find the glimmers of light,even though you know that no happy ending is nigh.To sum the voice performance,Troy Baker and Alastair Duncan have done an exemplary job bringing Talion and the "Wraith" to life.

The reason this game stands apart from other adventure games is the Nemesis System,which works suprisingly well just as advertised!Think of it as a dynamic AI that puts you in epic encounters with orcs who have studied your behavior and will react accordingly,making each battle personal.If you flee from battling an enemy captain, you’ll hear about your cowardice the next time two of you tango.If you’re defeated by one,you’ll really get raked over the coals at a followup clash.Its a particularly phenomenal concept without which the game could be terribly boring.
Mordor’s close combat involves great,gory decapitation and stabbing animations,and outside of the scripted story missions,there are few distinctly separated stealth and combat areas.
What sets the feel of Mordor’s combat apart from the Batman games is that it’s really easy to get into trouble,especially early on.If you let the uruks raise the alarm in one of their strongholds,or just happen across a few large wandering groups on the densely populated map,you can quickly become overwhelmed by more enemies than you can hope to handle.Picking out the shield bearers and berserkers who are immune to frontal attacks and killing them first becomes tough to do when you’re completely surrounded and it goes downhill from there.


+Well-realised open world with great art style
+Great characters complete with top-notch voice acting
+Surprisingly challenging combat
+Loads of references for Tolkien scholars.
+Nemesis system
+Storyline seems intriguing,BUT...

-...the narrative just feels dull at times.
-An utterly disappointing finale.

If you've been burned by one of those big-budget massively hyped games that released recently,come to Mordor and you won't walk away disappointed.
Sure,it isn't a perfect game by all means,it has its share of flaws but it's strengths overweighs those.
A far better and impressive game than many would’ve imagined,not just in terms of its action and LotR authenticity – but in bringing a genuinely new idea to gaming.
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356 of 423 people (84%) found this review helpful
20.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 1, 2014
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.
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316 of 377 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2014
Took me 24 hours to 100% the game. I'll be brief: the gameplay is pretty solid, fast-paced and brutal, the graphcs is top-class, nemesis system is innovation in game design and I totally fell in love with it, the plot is mature and the final scenes are just masterpiece with no happy-end and no final kiss. For me Shadow of Mordor is among BEST 3rd-person action games of all times. A solid 9/10 and I strongly recommend buying it.
Keep up the good work, Monolith!
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352 of 436 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
88.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2014
If Batman - Arkham City, Assassins Creed 2 and The Witcher 2 had a hot, crazy night together, ME-SoM would be their spawn.
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180 of 211 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
38.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Orc Murder Simulator 2014 is a game that's centered around killing orcs. That's the vast majority of Orc Murder Simulator 2014, and pretty much everything revolves around the Murder of Orcs in this Simulator from 2014.

Jokes aside, this game wound up being surprisingly good. The nemesis system, despite sounding like a gimmick, wound up being an extremely impressive, and occasionally downright personal, part of gameplay. I can tell vast tales of the clashes I've had with other orcs, the battles and attacks that I've suffered and caused, but that would take time away from the review.

Let's just say it's a system that uses randomized orcs, gives them interesting characteristics and has the orcs give you lines depending on how you've interacted with them in the past, how you meet them in the present, and how they expect you in the future. I've had many orcs mock the sheer absurd number of times I've died. There was one who asked if my brains were scrambled, since, and I quote, "Every time you've fought me, you've died!" It's an incredibly deep and impressive system, and one I'd love to see in more games.

Combat-wise, this game is essentially ArkhamAslysassin's Creed, but it does that well, too. The combat is responsive, the bouncing between orcs mid-fight feels incredibly good, the animations are top-notch in quality, and the brutality of the combat lends itself a kind of weight to the fights. It's all really smooth and fun.

In terms of challenge, the game also requires the player not just rush in and fight. It's certainly possible, it's just not a very good idea, and the player WILL be overwhelmed if they don't retreat when he or she needs to. It necessitates proper planning, stealth and scouting. The player can look over the landscape, see if there's a more powerful orc in the midst, and make sure they finish their objective/grab their collectibles/do whatever without being terribly murdered.

Actually, that's something else to discuss. When you die, the game doesn't just reset your progress. The orc that murdered you, if it's a grunt, will get promoted to a captain, and the side-missions will progress without you. It's a great way to give a price to death, and an even better way to have the orcs remember you when you die. Just makes me love the game that much more.

The story is essentially "Middle Fanfiction: Shadow of Headcanon". It's not super-great. The voice-acting and production values are high, but I didn't care too much about Gruffy McGravellyvoice and his Elven Stand. I cared much more about Ratbag (Who was funny up until his face was rearranged) and Torvin, and the ending was kind of garbage. But in the end if you're playing this game for the written-story you're missing the point.

On the technical side of things, I've experienced a few slowdowns but that's probably because my CPU is getting old and needs better cooling. It will set your game to some settings that are optimal for your machine, and I had zero problems running it at 60. There shouldn't be too many issues.

Overall, the game is great. It plays great, it runs pretty damn well, and it has one of the most impressive mission-framing-mechanics I've witnessed. I want more games like this.
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435 of 557 people (78%) found this review helpful
29.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2014
Only just started, will be updating the review as i go along but so far this is an amazing game, the mechanics are easy to use, the graphics take my breath away and the voice syncing is superb which is something that seems really hard to accomplish for many other games

+ Great Soundtrack
+ Amazing Storyline (So far)
+ Good Keyboard/Mouse Controls
+ Great Voice acting and Voice Syncing

So Far rating is: 9.5/10

Edit: here is a short video on a single aspect of gameplay

Edit2: (spoilers ahead)

Completed review below. Enjoy

Shadow of Mordor puts you in the shoes of Talion, a former ranger of Gondor who watches his family murdered in an unexplained ritual before being murdered himself. Revived and bound to an amnetic ghost, Talion embarks on his quest for knowledge and vengeance.

Shadow of Mordor takes elements from the Assassins Creed and Batman Arkham games along with a unique setting, excellent soundtrack, brutal combat, memorable characters and with a breathtaking story creates a game that pulls you in, and you cant pull yourself out until you finish it.

Shadow of Mordor gameplay mechanics were well done, since i use a keyboard/ mouse setup that is all i can tell you. The controls on the keyboard was organised well, you easily switch between wiping out opponents without anyone knowing you were there, but if that isnt your way of doing things you can just as easily run up to an Uruk and kill him to his face. It really doesnt matter how you do it, taking Uruks out from above and below, poisoning grog, freeing caged beasts and exploding barrels seeding discord, becoming the unseen shadow that they fear. But if that isnt your style become the other half, the unstoppable ranger, that enters a fully manned Uruk fortress through the front gate, and leaves soon after covered in Uruk blood from head to toe with none left alive, becoming the clearly seen monster that they fear. In the eyes of Talion it doesn't matter, as long as no Uruk remains alive and you aspire ever closer to your vengeance.

Now onto what makes Shadow of Mordor a real experience, the Nemesis System. A system that makes Sauron's army not a programmed force with its directives fully controlled from start to finish, but a real army filled with unique opposition each with their own strengths, fears, personalities and weaknesses. The system is shaped by your actions, making your experience unique,for every Uruk you kill another will take its place and each will have their own story. A particular Uruk i had problems with was Shaka the Sickly, i first met Shaka by decapitating him and i thought that was the end of him, how wrong i was. Our second meeting was a surprise for he still had his head! so i decided to see if two times the charm, but it wasn't to be Shaka was prepared, the Nemesis system granted him an immunity to combat finishers and i was already very low health, so i died and Shaka became a Captain, becoming stronger and my revenge target. I encountered Shaka four more times throughout the earlier parts of Shadow of Mordor until i unlocked my new favorite ability, brand, the ability to control any Uruk and when i next encountered Shaka, head now covered in cloth that if i cant kill him lets make him my slave and then i took it a step further, for Shaka was the strongest Uruk around due to his multiple encounters with me and Shaka the captain became Shaka the war-chief.

Shadow of Mordor is a game that makes your actions matter, if you choose to blitz though the campaign without considering the other aspects, you will enjoy the game but you will cheat yourself into missing out all of what Shadow of Mordor has to offer. I died three times in Shadow of Mordor and every time i did Saurons army changed from what it was promotions, treachery, feasts, recruitment, hunting, initiations, executions and more happened while i was gone. Shadow of Mordor was a game that the longer i played, the more i enjoyed it and it was done i felt a combination of satisfaction and sadness. Satisfaction because i saw the climax of what was one of the greatest games i have ever played,and sadness because the main campaign was over. But i didn't despair for long, for much was left to be done Uruks to kill, Catagors to ride, Graugs to kill, Artifacts to find, Challenges to be completed and weapons of legends to be made.

Overall Rating 9/10 - An amazing game that cant wait for any DLC to be made.
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718 of 946 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 30, 2014
Took 15 hours to download. Still not sure if it was worth the wait.
EDIT: was worth the wait
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98 of 102 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
43.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
A no-nonsense fantasy action game where you play a dead man possessed by a dead elf and on a mission to create as many dead orcs as is inhumanly possible.

See my full review here:
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402 of 526 people (76%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2014
About The Game:
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a open world action adventure game set in a timeframe between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings storylines. The game is like Assasin's Creed mixed with Batman combat with the LOTR setting / story, and it turns out to be a great mix.

If you are a fan of Middle Earth and like Assasin's Creed style games, this is a must have.

I can't comment much on this yet as I am only a couple hours into the game, but the story seems decent so far, and there are quite a bit of story missions and cut scenes to help move the story along. The main characters seem interesting, not boring and the dialogue is well written.

The combat is like a mix between Assasin's Creed and the Batman Arkham games.

There are three weapons: Sword, Dagger, and Bow.

The bow is great for taking out enemies from a far and slow motion is enabled while using the bow to take time and aim.

The sword is used for hacking and slashing enemies and is the primary weapon to use when you are fighting against large groups.

Lastly, the dagger is used for stealth kills while sneaking up on enemies or leaping from the sky to take them out.

There are other skills used in combat called "Wraith powers" which are unlocked as you play the game and gain experience points. Examples are: stun enemies and unleash a fury of attacks, blow up fire pits to destroy large groups of enemies, shoot an arrow to teleport to your enemy, and many more.

Overall the combat is very fluid and fun to play, especially as you unlock more powers. It seems like it will get repetitive over time, but why hack and slash game doesn't?

Open World:
The game is an open world sandbox of Mordor in which you are running around trying to kill off Orcs and their Captains. There are story missions marked on the map that help progress you through the story, and side missions as well that you can do whenever you want. You can also just run around killing orcs and looking for captains to fight to increase your character's power.

The game features the nemesis system which is a hiearchy of the Orcs' military essentially. You can gather intel from orcs to find more information about the captains and warchiefs in the world and find their locations. If you die in the game, you don't restart from a check point, instead the orc that kills you increases and power and moves up the ranks and will remember you next time you try to fight. Killing stronger captains rewards better rune drops which increase the power of your weapons.

If you are a LOTR fan and like similar mechanics to the Assasin's Creed games, then I would highly recommend this game. It has decent graphics, very fun combat, and some great game mechanics that let it stand out from other open world action games.

I would highly recommend purchasing this game if you enjoy open world action adventure games.

How it Runs:
Game is running on all High settings with High Textures at an average 60+ FPS (1920 X 1080 resolution).

Benchmark: Max FPS: 250, Min FPS: 42, Average FPS: 65.

Computer Specs:
GPU: Geforce GTX 760
CPU: Intel i5-3570K 3.40GHZ
Memory: 8.00 GB RAM
Resolution: 1920 x 1080, 60Hz
OS: Windows 7
PSU: Corsair 750W

Note: Game is running great so far and I am having a blast playing it. Will continue to update this review.
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131 of 154 people (85%) found this review helpful
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
Monolith’s first adventure in Middle-earth, Guardians of Middle-earth, was less than stellar, but the developer has rediscovered its mojo. Shadow of Mordor is an excellent game, and it shows.

You take the role of Talion, a Ranger that’s soon thrust into the harsh reality that Mordor and Sauron’s forces aren’t quite as dormant and broken as Gondor has been led to believe all these years. After witnessing the deaths of his son and wife, Talion himself is then slain...only to reawaken later to discover that he is for the most part immortal, and now bound to a particular Elven wraith. The opening moments of the game are, as you’d expect, a tutorial in the guise of introducing you to the Shadow of Mordor. We get a crash course in sneaking, basic combat and are then thrown into the open world of this pre-Lord of the Rings slice of Middle-Earth.

The fairly basic set-up is elevated immensely by some superb performances. Talion’s mission for revenge never feels forced, and the slow revelation of his elven companion's identity and past is genuinely engaging. Even the addition of Gollum fits neatly within the narrative, and gives Shadow of Mordor a solid link to the film adaptations without forcing it and smacking players like they were a fish on a rock.

Never before I have played an open world third-person action game that involved so much running away, but Shadow of Mordor is full of ‘tactical retreat’ moments you’ll be facing, otherwise you’ll just be whisked back up one of the few towers spread throughout the game world for fast travel. Combat itself is inspired by the close-up brawls and acrobatics from the likes of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series, and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed. That’s not exactly a problem although Shadow of Mordor can at times become a little unwieldy with enough foes and obstacles surrounding you. Counters to enemy attacks are generally easy to do with a single button, but dodging can run into trouble and those sharp pikes hurt – a lot.

As you keep slaying orcs and uruks in your travels you’ll be accumulating experience which you can eventually spend on new abilities, or some that unlock during specific story missions, so you can begin to see some unique flavours emerge. One of the Wraith abilities will let you use our bow to teleport to a target for instance, helping you get out of a tight spot. Then there’s always covering ground riding a Caragor, or even a mighty Rancor-like Gruag. Talion has multiple upgrade paths available to him. Not only can he upgrade his martial skills, and his ranged and stealth based wraith abilities, he also can modify each of three weapons with runes, which alter their effects when used. Coupled with unlockable skills and combat moves, Shadow of Mordor provides more depth in combat alone than practically any game on the market, and it's all in service of the wholesale slaughter of orcs.

But where Shadow of Mordor really the Nemesis System. Enemies are for the most part a generic horde you’ll be swinging a blade through or firing an arrow at, but that’s where Monolith’s Nemesis system plays its part. Sure you’ll be wading through the grunts of Mordor but very quickly you’ll find yourself being introduced to the higher echelons of orc and uruk society. Captains aren’t your average grunt as they’re much tougher with greater strengths, and early on they’ll have some debilitating weaknesses to exploit like a crippling fear of being burned.

Each of the captains – all the way to warchief – have their own name and ‘motivations’ to give a sense of what they’re thinking. The more interesting part about this system is how easily the deck can be reshuffled. As you start picking them off lesser uruks and orcs will rise to take their place. This means there’ll always be a command structure for Sauron’s army but it also provides an endless array of more challenging foes, as Monolith attempt to make them ‘unique’. It’s a façade to be sure as they end up spouting the same insults eventually, and the models are recycled with variations, but it’s a neat little trick that does try to keep things appearing fresh. To help the Nemesis feature more is the ‘memory’ these captains will have of previous encounters with Talion, so much so that they could be all bandaged up, their eyes turned milky white, or gloating you’ve yet to beat them at all and instead died by their hands many times. If you think it’s easy to take these guys out then you’ll be rudely awakened. Just because you're a Ranger doesn’t mean battles will be easy. As soon as those uruks start swarming around things get heated fast.

In the latter half of the game things switch up as you no longer have to just slice and dice your way through the uruk hierarchy, but can instead brand them as puppets that’ll do your bidding. It’s definitely a welcome change of pace, tactics and fun than just butchering a load more generated captains. It allows for some pretty interesting power struggles as you effectively ‘gain control’ to a degree.

Exploring the land of Mordor is where the game really shows its quality, and is highly recommended. Collectables, upgrades, side quests, weapon upgrade quests, artefacts, and hunting missions are littered throughout the world. They're a completionist's dream, adding more flavour and some interesting rewards.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a strong foray into the Tolkien universe, backed up by popular combat from other major action series, with its own free-running style to boot. The Nemesis system does keep things a little fresh even if after a while it’s illusion of orc and uruk society does start to break down. The fact these captains are going about their business just as we are helps it feel more chaotic. It is without a doubt the best experience set in Middle-Earth, but also stacks up against any action fantasy adventure, whether with a cape and cowl or haystack diving.

A Must Play

Be sure to check out Nerd House Gaming for more reviews!
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449 of 607 people (74%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
This new installation of Assassin's Creed really brings a new atmosphere. Ezio has gone into witness protection and changed his name to Talion. As a measure of self defense, he trained with Batman to expand his knowledge of combat and martial arts. Occasionally throughout the game, Ezio does an assortment of drugs, causing him to think that he has wraith abilities, such as jumping from extremely high heights and not dying, which in reality, is because of the wagon full of hay that he falls into. Thankfully, we don't have any of the "present day" ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ story that nobody really cares about, so the game does have some improvements on its predecessors.
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88 of 98 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
(TLDR? This review is also available in video format for your convenience below.)

Middle Earth is a world with no shortage of lore but surprisingly enough hasn't always translated well to video games. It's ironic given the number of high fantasy games that have been strongly influenced by Tolkien's world. Monolith has stepped up to the plate to give us Shadow of Mordor, combining open world action with a few original game mechanics in hopes of giving Middle Earth fans the game experience they have always wanted.

Set entirely in the dark land of Mordor and taking place between the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, it acts as a much needed bridge between the two. You play as Talion, a ranger from Gondor who's in charge of defending the black gate. He's killed along with his family in a sudden attack lead by the hand of Sauron but instead of dying, his body is possessed by an elven wraith. This wraith grants him power over death bestowing him with a plethora of different abilities to use, like the ability to fire magical arrows, lightning speed, and increased resilience among others.

The world is a typical sandbox design, feeling very similar to games like Assassin's Creed. There's a relatively small map to wander around in, along with towers that help to reveal the immediate vicinity as well as acting as checkpoints and fast travel stations. These towers are pretty much identical to those you'd find in an Ubisoft game.

Despite having a strong and interesting narrative, there aren't many story quests and there isn't as much content as you’d expect from a game of this genre. It doesn’t take very long to walk from one end of the map to the other, featuring a miniscule sized world compared to Grand Theft Auto V or Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. There are optional missions and challenges to be found though which can provide you with new runes and abilities, however these don’t add much to the gameplay experience.

The saving grace of Shadow of Mordor and the main thing that sets it apart from being just a generic mediocre sandbox game is the nemesis system. This one feature is innovative, addictive and extremely well executed. It single handedly makes the game worth playing. The basis of it is whenever Talion is killed by one of the many Uruk Hai orcs, that orc becomes your rival and is promoted in Sauron’s army. They'll gain access to new weapons and abilities making them all the more formidable when you run into them a second time. Even specific dialogue will play out between Talion and the orc as they will recognize him from last time. If you're killed by just the average orc, he will immediately be promoted to captain and can have a posse of followers the next time you see him. If you're killed by a captain, they will continue to rise in strength and influence as they'll use Talion’s death as a stepping stone on their path to warchief. Each of your nemeses will have their own unique personality along with strengths and weaknesses which can be revealed by interrogating other orcs. For example, a captain could be immune to ranged attacks or become significantly stronger if you kill one of his friends. On the other hand, he could have certain weaknesses such as being afraid of fire or certain beasts. This allows for elements of strategy and planning prior to hunting down one of Talion’s nemeses.

Events will also happen without your intervention, orcs will fight amongst themselves, often killing one another, leaving openings in the army. They will also seek to raise their strength and standing with various trials. The warchiefs can be particularly difficult to hunt since they will often have multiple captains defending them, and sometimes it’ll be better to pick them off one at a time prior. I had so much fun with the nemesis system that I found myself dying on purpose on more than one occasion just to watch an orc rise to power.

The combat in Shadow of Mordor is similar to games like Assassin's Creed and most particularly the Batman Arkham titles. It favors countering your assailants while maintaining a high hit chain with the odd special move thrown in. It's not overly challenging and the game can be completed rather easily with only the odd nemesis being difficult based on the combination of passive abilities he possesses.

The bosses aren't noteworthy, being fairly easy, with the conclusion of the game coming about rather abruptly. Shadow of Mordor could have really benefited from another ten or so hours of content. The DLC from the season pass seems to promise more but I would have definitely preferred if this was included from the get-go.

The game does have RPG elements however they're not really in-depth. There's no Bioware or Witcher style dialogue either if you were hoping for that. The game shouldn't be advertised as an RPG and should have just been marketed as a sandbox game. It has a fairly straight forward talent tree that doesn't add much of anything significant aside from passive bonuses while each of the abilities are usually unlocked as a result of completing a mission. There’s also a rune system where runes can be added to each of Talion’s weapons. These runes give different buffs and are obtained primarily from killing your nemeses, the higher their level, the better the rune generally.

The visuals are well done but I noticed some inconsistencies in the textures and between the orcs. Some orcs are highly detailed, while others appear to be ripped right out of the original xbox title; Call of Cthulhu. I also experienced quite a few bugs, primarily Talion getting stuck somewhere with fast-travel being the only option to rectify the issue. The voice acting is noteworthy with fan favorite Troy Baker voicing Talion among a host of other industry veterans for the supporting cast. The soundtrack is solid and fits the theme but it isn’t nearly as memorable as Howard Shore’s score from the motion pictures.

Ultimately Shadow of Mordor would feel like just another typical sandbox game if not for the nemesis system. This one feature is the game’s saving grace and along with the story are the main reasons to play it. The Nemesis system is most likely a sign of things to come for what we expect games of the future to have. It adds elements of re-playability and does wonders on holding one’s attention and creating an immersive environment. I’m sure it will be improved upon in future releases and that Shadow of Mordor will be remembered as its progenitor.

TLDR? This review is also available in video format:

+ Excellent Narrative
+ Innovative Nemesis System
+ Solid Soundtrack & Voice Acting

-Short Length & Small World
-Basic Combat
-Lack of in-depth RPG elements
-A bit buggy at times

If you enjoyed this review, please follow me as a Steam Curator, I'd appreciate it :)
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106 of 124 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
35.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
Despite its initial detractors, J. R. R. Tolkien's novel, The Lord of the Rings, is revered by many fans and is one of the best-selling novels of all time. It's an extraordinary story that has spawned three extraordinary movies, but managed only a few ordinary videogames. Until now.

On the surface, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor owes a lot of its gameplay to the inspiration derived from the successful Batman: Arkham and Assassin's Creed series of games. Players are given an open world setting within Mordor to explore, and innumerable Orcs and Uruk-hai to battle, and it’s these battles that set Shadow of Mordor apart from its influences.

The combat mechanism is a familiar combination of hit and counter, but with an added “last stand” mini-game that allows the character to parry a deathblow to remain in the fight. Winning the mini-game and surviving feels truly epic.

What’s more, Mordor introduces a fascinating "Nemesis" system for players to contend with. Enemy combatants stand to gain promotion (and effectively level up) from defeating you, or from the death of one of their rivals. If you flee from combat, which is a perfectly valid option when faced against a dozen enemies, you will also be taunted should you face the same foes again.

While not perfect--dead Orcs should remain dead--it can be enthralling, especially as more abilities become available.

Outside of the gameplay, there’s also something for the screenshot enthusiasts out there. The most recent update has added a Photo Mode, which is quite fun in and of itself with the options available to tweak shots. Check out the Community Hub for some great examples of the shots being produced from within the game.

It seems like the gaming industry has turned a corner with respect to licensed products. The Batman series is exceptional, and from what I understand, there’s even an Alien game that’s actually very good.

And now, at long last, we’ve got the one Lord of the RIngs game to rule them all.
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282 of 378 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
26.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 30, 2014
Best game I've played this year so far! It has a mix of combat between AC and Batman and it's gory as hell. The story, to the point I have played, seems pretty interesting and the orcs have great personality! The world is beautiful and it feels alive and very Middle-earthish. Well, SoM is an excellent game and I couldn't be happier with my pre-order!

*Review Update:

I took about 10 hours to complete the story mode with lots of side-quest and collectables unattended. The game lets you continue from where you stopped if you want to achieve 100%. I also began to do the Trials, and I have to say something... They're pretty hard! An amount of time is given and you have to face the captains and warchiefs in that time. The story of the game is well-paced and it gives you a good ending, suggesting a sequel (and gosh, I hope they make one!).

Overall, I had an amazing experience with this game, and would definitely recommend to anyone!

P.S. I met a warchief called Blob the Cooker. I throwed him in the fire and then he ran away. 2spicy4u, Cooker! 12/10 GotY
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