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 (18,494 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 (7)

March 23

Update: Build v1951.11

Stability Fixes:
  • Fixed memory leak when SLI is enabled that could lead to “out of memory” crashes.
  • Fixed crash that could occur when saving if user had >200 uncollected Runes on the map. (Game now only saves 32 best uncollected Runes left on map.)
  • Fixed crash that could occur when closing game on skin selection window.

General Fixes:
  • Fixed an edge-case where Uruks were not re-populating empty spaces in the hierarchy, leading to extremely empty hierarchies.
  • Leaderboards now navigate properly.
  • Improved detection of monitor native resolution.

ːShowdownː

44 comments Read more

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:
Stability:
  • 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.

Performance:
  • Improved rendering on domination FX to improve framerate.

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

UI:
  • Added ability to skip Splash Screens after first launch.

General:
  • 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.

ːShowdownː

163 comments Read more

Reviews

“AMAZING”
9.3/10 – IGN

“Revolutionary”
5/5 – Joystiq

“Remarkable”
4.5/5 – VideoGamer

Coming to SteamOS/Linux

Middle-earth™: Shadow of Mordor™ will be available on SteamOS and Linux in Spring 2015.

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
760 of 834 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person 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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283 of 312 people (91%) found this review helpful
7 people 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL_2Q1mmPxI
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458 of 537 people (85%) found this review helpful
3 people 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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376 of 439 people (86%) found this review helpful
40 people found this review funny
48.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
It seems one simply does walk through Mordor.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
190 of 222 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
29.0 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 shines...is 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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104 of 116 people (90%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
Positives
+ Excellent graphics
+ Combat is fluid and extremely fun, with lots of options
+ Open World
+ Interesting story in the LotR environment
+ Nemesis system is innovative and fun
+ Stealth
+ Very well optimized - I was worried about this, as my graphics card is at the very low end of the system requirements, but the game looked great and game play was extremely smooth

Negatives:
- A few of the side characters could have been fleshed out more
- Melee combat is extremely fun, but I found ranged a bit underwhelming and difficult to use
- While the combat is excellent, it gets a little repetitive after a while
- Caragors are annoying!

Overall:
An extremely fun and enjoyable game. This is my personal game of the year, and one of the best games I've played recently. Highly recommended.

Rating: 9/10
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161 of 205 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
19.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2014
It's like Batman arkham asylum and Assassin's creed had a baby.
If you are a fan of those games, and the Tolkien universe.
Then this is the game for you.

I personally feel like this game lived up to my expectations.
I was a little sceptical at first, because it looked too much like Assassin's creed.
But when you actually play the game, you forget all about it.

Pros:
+ Astonishing graphics
+ Counter Combat system
+ Stealth mode
+ Gollum... Do i need to say more?
+ Detailed environment
+ Wraith mode
+ Photo mode
+ Cape Physics
+ Nemesis system
+ Look mom, i can make a frontflip!

Cons:
- An Uruk threw his spear into a cliff and it killed me, apparently
- I insta killed a warchief with stealth
- Boss fights are way too easy

It's easy to say that this game has slowly become one of my favorite games of 2014.
Apart from the random spear kill, i really loved this game.
I give this title a 8/10 (9/10 if that spear didn't hit me)

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93 of 109 people (85%) found this review helpful
27.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
This game does not bring a lot of new things to the table, except for the Nemesis system, which makes it really stand out.
All in all, this is a really good action/adventure game and beneficiates from the LOTR Universe.
Feels like an Assassin's Creed game but not as boring in my opinion.

Unfortunately the game is a bit too short and sometimes repetitive, but it's a good game if you want to enjoy some epic action from time to time.

I do not regret buying this game in the slightest, but try to buy it for cheaper than it is right now, because the game is really too short for my tastes.
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79 of 93 people (85%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
91.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
If Batman ever decided to take up arms and kill people. He'd nickname himself Talion. I dropped poison in uruks beverages, threw knives like Batarangs, even made 4 uruks out of a group of 5 turn around and beat the hell out of the 1 remaining uruk then I walked away without looking back like a boss. 10/10
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534 of 779 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
I don't really know what to say about this game. I played for nearly 20 hours, and it certainly didn't feel like 20 hours, but I'm not sure whether that's because I was having so much fun, or because there's not actually that much to do before you find yourself rinsing, repeating, and killing killing killing your way to the end.

There's really 2 halves to the game - the half where you grasp the controls and prance around a rocky, muddy wasteland slaying anything that moves and indulging 2 or 3 types of missions; and the half where you prance around a rocky, verdant meadow slaying or brainwashing anything that moves and indulging 2 or 3 different types of missions.

To be fair, I did enjoy myself for a large part. But it was upon staring slackjawed at the screen as the woefully anticlimactic final boss fight came and went in about 15 seconds (no, I am not exaggerating) that I realised that this game introduced one interesting game mechanic, rehashed a number of established mechanics (albeit well enough to make them functional and fun) and then offered nothing else other than a sandbox with which to exercise these abilities for as long as it took you to turn yourself to the main story. Which would be FINE if the story had a satisfying conclusion, or the sandbox didn't feel so much like a literal pit within which the developers had simply thrown some enemies leaving a lot of empty space with little else filling the gaps.

I sound confused because I am. Monolith make well-designed and fun games, and Shadow of Mordor is both those things. But given that the review that convinced me to buy it stated that 'no-one could feel short-changed with the amount of content on offer', I felt remarkably short-changed. The Nemesis system is fantastic, there is no denying that, and it offers some of the most genuinely intelligent and dynamic enemies in gaming history. It truly is a gaming milestone. However, nearly everything else about the game comes from somewhere else - the parkour was better used in Assassin's Creed, the combat is straight from the Arkham series, the mission structures are ripped from nearly every open-world game in existence, the skill trees are old, the XP system is old, and on top of all that the enemies are practically deaf and blind...And it's this lack of true depth that left me feeling like the purchase wasn't worth my money. By the time I had finished playing, I felt like I had explored everything this game had to offer, and there was no reason for me to return. I didn't DISLIKE my time, but I didn't feel compelled to play again.

I suppose I have been spoiled, because I bought Alien: Isolation at around the same time, and that's a game that left me feeling like I could play again and have an entirely different experience a second time around. I paid almost the same amount of money for this as I did that, and I don't think I'll go back again, which feels like a waste - like buying an $80 meal to find that you've eaten it before elsewhere, and cheaper.

To make a comparison, I feel that Shadow of Mordor is like the first Assassin's Creed, in that it introduces a fantastic concept (in this case, the Nemesis system), but the game itself exists only as a framework for that concept, and offers little else that the player can't get elsewhere. To make another comparison, the issues I have are the same as with Infamous: Second Son, for those of you that have played: The MEAT, the things that you are actually given to do, all fall within 2 or 3 different categories, and all those categories involve killing a bunch of enemies that are fundamentally the same, and as such the environment becomes little more than a set of boundaries within which you can kill these nameless creatures, and your character becomes little more than a tool with which to kill.

There are open-world games, and there are open world games. Games like GTA IV keep me coming back because every time I play I can turn a corner and find something new. The beauty of the first two Arkham games was that the city itself had such personality that there was always something to see for those who cared to look. Unfortunately, I feel that Shadow of Mordor falls into an increasingly large pile of games that have a lot of style and little substance. Which is a shame because there is so much right about the game - the characters are great, the animations are wonderful, the voice acting is excellent, the action is gory and adult, the Nemesis system is truly a step forward, and the LOTR lore is explored in a really engaging way. However, after a short time the game feels repetitious, the environments feel big and empty, and the story ends as if the writer fell off a cliff mid-sentence and someone had to smash together what they thought the ending was supposed to be.

I'd love to recommend this game, especially as it is evident a lot of money and hard work went into its creation, and for a cheaper price I absolutely would. But for the good of the consumer, I can't recommend it for full price - if this game were a bag of chips, the product would be delicious, but the bag would be mostly air.
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59 of 69 people (86%) found this review helpful
20.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
This is not a review, but I highly recommend this action role-playing game for the following reasons.

1. A beautiful open world environment set in middle earth.
2. Very fluid and stylised combat system, with impressive stealth mechanics.
3. Dazzling and highly polished cut scenes carry the story along.
4. The main quest shows some of the events which lead to the creation of the..
5. Excellent voice acting and epic sounding music.
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51 of 61 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
Some dead elf had me climbing towers like my name was Enzo. Then I rode a supercharged tiger into a group of fugly orcs while decapitating their boss after a 30 hit combo.

No walking around with a ring for 6 hours or learning a dozen metrosexual elf names and their 40 pages backstory. Just straight up murdering the crap out of everyone.





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52 of 64 people (81%) found this review helpful
22.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
Shadow of Mordor is an open world third person action game based on the Lord of the Rings franchise. The events take place after the Hobbit but before Fellowship, and the player controls Talion, a ranger of Gondor. Talion and his family are killed by Sauron's Orcs, but instead of dying, Talion joins with the spirit of an ancient Elf, gains magical powers, and swears revenge.

The combat system is fantastic, and its very similar to the Batman Arkham series. You have normal sword attacks, counters, stuns and ground finishers, and when you get a hit streak you can perform an instant kill melee execution or a radial magic attack. You also have a bow that can instant kill with a headshot (it can be used effectively at close range because time slows down while you aim). The bow also allows you to teleport to the enemy's location instead of firing an arrow. The action is fast and fluid, and when you get into a good rhythm, chaining together all these moves feels badass. Its easily as good as, perhaps even better than, the Batman combat.

There's also a pretty good stealth system. The level design allows plenty of opportunities to sneak up close and kill with the dagger, or climb up tall buildings and use the bow. There are usually a few ways to use the environment to your advantage, such as using your bow to shoot an exploding barrel, free a Caragor (an animal similar to a Warg) from its cage to attack nearby Orcs, or drop a hornet's nest to make them swarm the Orcs. You can ride Caragors into battle, and in the second half of the game you gain the ability to "brand" Orcs which forces them to fight for you against other Orcs.

The other key gameplay mechanic is the nemesis system. There are dozens of Orc captains spread around the map, and each time you encounter them they have a couple of lines of dialogue before you fight. They'll taunt you if they killed you before, or they might call you a coward if you've used alot of stealth or ranged attacks, which gives these captains alot of personality.

As you would expect, they're tougher to kill in direct combat than regular Orcs, but if you interrogate a minion first you can learn a captain's strengths and weaknesses, which will then allow you to plan how to fight them. I especially enjoyed taking advantage of any opportunity for an instant kill. Sneaking into an Orc stronghold, locating the captain and positioning myself for a backstab or a headshot, all while remaining unseen, made me feel more like a master assassin than I ever did in Assassins Creed.

The player has alot of freedom to devise their own plans. For example - how to kill a top level warchief. These Orcs usually have one or two captains as their bodyguards. If you want, you could fight them all together. Its tough, but doable. Alternatively, you could kill the bodyguards first, then fight the warchief on his own. Or, you could brand a bodyguard and order him to attack the warchief for you. This game doesn't force you to follow a script. It gives you an objective, a range of abilities, and lets you find your own solution.

The story is okay, but I always find prequels to be less exciting, because I already know what happens next. Having said that, there are some interesting characters and very good voice acting. It took me 22 hours to finish the main storyline and all the interesting side quests, so value for money is excellent.

The graphics are great and my framerate was very smooth even with lots of enemies on screen. My PC has an i7 2600k @ 3.4Ghz, 8GB Ram and a GTX 770 with 4GB VRam, and I was able to run most settings at high in 1080p. I did have an issue with screen tearing even when Vsync was on, and the solution I found from the forums was to disable Vsync and run in borderless windowed mode. After making that change I had no problems whatsoever. I used my Xbox 360 gamepad because of the similarity to Batman/AC, and this worked perfectly.

Shadow of Mordor is one of the best games I've played in 2014 and I definitely recommend it as a full price purchase. The gameplay is so good that I don't think you need to be a fan of LOTR to enjoy it.
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40 of 50 people (80%) found this review helpful
52.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2014
One of the best games released in 2014 (in my humble opinion), I'd give this game a 8.5/10. If you like brutal action games, please do yourself a favor and get this game.

Summary:
+ Excellent, fluid combat
+ Nemesis system keeps you engaged for hours and makes killing enemies a lot more personal
+ Beautiful soundtrack
+ Free DLC gives you a couple of more hours of fun

- I didn't personally relate to the characters
- It would've been awesome if the game had done more with the monster hunter ability
- Final boss fight will literally disappoint every single gamer on the planet (seriously, how did that get approved?)

I won't go much into the story since I am not a Lord of the Rings fan, so a lot of what happened in the game either didn't interest me or confused me. But if you're like me and you like a game with good, brutal combat, this is your game. It's similar to games like the Batman Arkham games or the AC series, but this game spices it up with brutal executions and other skills. In fact, I thought the gameplay was so much fun that I would just spend hours off-mission killing random enemies.

In fact, the gameplay alone is why I'd recommend this game. I suspect LOTR fans love the whole mythology around the story, but I just wanted a solid action game and that's exactly what I got.

The only thing I'm disappointed about is that I didn't really relate to the characters all that much. The story is one about revenge, which is as we all know the most original concept ever thought of. The only memorable scene I can remember is one near the end with Lithariel, where Talion finally gets an opportunity to show some emotion.

SOM's biggest asset is definitely its nemesis system. Every player gets a different nemesis, and I got two different ones when I played it on PS4 and PC. I like how they call you out on dying that one time, or running away, this makes killing them much more satisfying. Plus, they have strengths and weaknesses to consider (weaknesses slowly fading if you fail to kill them during an attack) so it is not always wise to storm the castle, so to speak. Strategic planning by interrogating captains, for instance, is a much more sensible option.

I played this game on PS4 first, then purchased it again on PC and I have to say I prefer playing it on PS4. But I won't go into details about that since I don't have a high-end PC, I just have a laptop and a mouse that was pretty much donated to me. It's probably due to that, that the graphics don't look as good and I have difficulties properly aiming while using the bow. Other than that, this game plays perfectly fine with a keyboard + mouse (though I still prefer to hook up my 360 controller).

Oh, and a final note I want to add is that while in combat, the game seems to be a random button masher. An icon appears over an enemy's head when you can parry their attacks, which makes the combat feel easier. Once you're familiar with the game, I suggest you turn that off.
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30 of 34 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
52.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Tl;dr - If you think you want the game, buy it, it's good.

Gameplay- fun
Optimization- the game runs, had no CTDs, found no bugs.


I remember reading a review for Arkham City in Game Informer a few years back that was titled 'The Best Licensed Game Ever Made'. Big name properties like Batman and Lord of the Rings or Xmen or Star Wars etc etc have often times had horrible cash-in/no merit games released in their names. From the side scrolling Batman games in the 16bit era to the complete abominations that were Lotr games on 360 and Ps3 the licesensed game market is a mixed bag mostly full of budget bin cast-aways. The way, for me at least, to judge these types of titles is to ask "if I take away the license is it still a good game?". In the case of Shadow of Mordor not only would it still be a good game it would be a great one.

Shadow of Mordor excels in every aspect. The visuals are pleasing and the art style is spot on for Middle Earth. The combat is brutal, easy to get a grasp on but deep enough to take some time to master. The cllimbing and character movement in general is smooth and enjoyable. The story made me care about how it ended and the orcs made me hate them to the point where my slaughtering of them became a bit of an addiction. The much heralded 'nemesis system' did not dissapoint and succeeded greatly in putting a new flavor of icing on a cake we've all had a few times before. SoM takes a lot of inspiration gameplay wise from the Arkham series and the Assasin's Creed games but manages not to feel at all like a cookie cutter experience or a blatant rip off. Instead we are given the best parts of both of those popular franchises mixed together in a Tolkien setting. Add in the aforementioned nemesis to freshen things up and give us all something we have never seen before and we have the One Game to Rule Them All that Tolkien fans have been dying for ever since WB got hold of the property over a decade ago.

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38 of 49 people (78%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
+ Combat flows well with new unlockable skills
+ Interesting story that doesn't outstay it's welcome
+ Nemesis system is a fun way to hunt or mess with the enemy ranks
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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 2
Pretty much my favorite game of 2014. Best game of any LOTR games of course.

Pros:
-Smooth Combat like Batman (My favorite)
-Challenging
-Extraordinary Graphics
-Lore is good and storyline is great
-Added in a female skin for any anti-sexists out there.
-Great movement (Assassin's Creed-like climbing system)
-Addicting
-Haven't encountered any bugs yet.

Cons:
-Ending was lackluster but the DLC Bright Lord fixes that.

10/10 for me.
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41 of 59 people (69%) found this review helpful
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
Absolutely incredible game. The game play, visuals, story, artwork, atmosphere, everything! is just so immersive and well done. 10/10
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30 of 40 people (75%) found this review helpful
64.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
Having bought Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor on the strength of reviews comparing its gameplay to that of the Batman series (games which I've all enjoyed and recommend, even Batman: Origins), I can definitely say that although not on such level of quality, this game does produce enough enjoyable mechanics on its own so as to justify purchase.

You should recognize most of the traditional Batman combat features: hit streaks, counter prompts, vault over an opponent to evade, beatdown attacks and Executions instead of Batman's instant takedowns. What's new is the addition of a bow. You whip your bow out, use Focus to slow the game down, do a headshot and that's an instant kill. So why bother with fighting orcs in the first place? Because midway throughout the game, the focus becomes less about killing orcs than it is about using orcs to achieve various goals; whether it's replenishing your stock of arrows and Focus, gathering information, sending out Death Threats or even to dominate them.

Instead of the strategic approach to combat developed in the Batman series (disable guns and gunboxes, batarangs to temporarily reduce number of opponents, comedy smokebomb in dense room of foes), Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, treats enemies as a means to an end, even if that end is to kill more enemies. Strategic fighting comes from hunting the various orc Captains and Warchiefs, who have their own hidden information sheets listing strengths, weaknesses and special attacks to discover. Thinking up a plan of attack is where the funs at, and taking advantage of the orc's weaknesses is a necessary part of getting higher level weapon runes, which are special bonuses for your weapons. This game rewards proper planning, at the cost of treating random encounters as pest-clearing chores.

Sadly, a slew of randomly generated orc chieftans is no substitute for a true end-level boss. The writing is the weakest aspect as you're aimlessly wandering about an open map with a whole bunch of mission icons strewn everywhere. You're Talion; your family is dead, you're somehow undead but looking fleshy, you have an amnesiac ghost elf haunting you and you're wandering around Mordor trying to figure things out and making orcs pay. Meanwhile this game is well-padded with weapon missions, human rescue missions, sigil and artifact collection and even the odd fantasy wildlife hunt with your new found dwarven friend! It's the Assassin's Creed world map device right down to the guard tower/quick travel unlocks, but with even less story structure.

Not having level structures means you're as likely to get bum-rushed by the same 20 orcs early on as you would later but without any of the tools to help dispose of 'em properly. If the Batman series can be chided for too much hand-holding, what with Batman constantly telling you what and how to do everything, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor undeniably has too little. I didn't learn about interrogations until searching for it on the internet. The grab options, similar story. Which missions to prioritize? Hell, if an encounter was too hard I just did something else.

Sometimes you uncover some neat synergy. Brutalize is a stealth takedown variant in which you deliver five fatal blows upon an unlucky victim instead of one. Five is the magic number that unlocks special moves (at least midgame), so you can shoot a special flaming arrow into a fire for a huge explosion kill. Killed five? Use another special move: crowd stun, combat brand, takedowns on fallen foes... your pick! Talion has access to a lot of end game goodies: chain executions, twenty seconds of invisibility, multiple arrow-based teleport-executions! Ride a giant troll-like monster and assault an orc fort Godzilla style! Turn high-level orc bodyguards against their master in the middle of combat! Suffer through the early parts and you'll have no end of fun terrorizing orc chieftains!

Just because a game isn't as good as Batman doesn't mean it's bad, even if it does borrow a ton of mechanics from the Batman series. I bought this on Humble Bundle, maybe got overcharged but no regrets. Play the game, start by doing a bunch of non-essential non-story white missions and if you have any questions about anything, check the internet! You should be having fun about two to three hours in.
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18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful
119.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
Shadow of Mordor was very close ot being my game of the year.

The first thing I noticed is that the free running, climing, and combat are all very smooth and satisfying. And that's what you'll be doing for most of the time.

The meat of the game lies in the nemesis system. I spent more time hunting down orcs that killed me than I did doing the main quests. There's nothing more satisfying than getting revenge on an orc that has killed you countless times while you were in the middle of a mission. That organic style of storytelling is far more intriguing than the actual campaign story. This made Shadow of Mordor feel more innovative than any game in recent memory.

The graphics are also decently pretty. Textures and lighting look good. The character models for Talion and the orcs also look great. The geometry and level design leave something to be desired however. For a setting as interesting as Mordor, there's not a lot going on. There are no landmarks or setpieces. Just ruins scattered around a relatively featureless map. It still manages to be a fun arena for hunting orcs.

I took several high resolution screenshots of this game. You can find them on my Flickr, as well as a gallery on PC Gamer.

Flickr album

PC Gamer gallery (full resolution 8Kimages)
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