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 (12,765 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 (4)

December 15

Update: Build v1808.18

New Features:

  • Lord of the Hunt DLC Support Added
  • Note: Lord of the Hunt requires slightly higher system specs. If you’re noticing a loss in performance, please lower system settings.

PC Specific Bug Fixes:
  • Stability (Crash Fixes): Fixed a crash caused when the user has multiple video adapters, and the first adapter is not DX11 compatible but the second adapter is.
  • Performance: Fixed issue where screen tearing was noticeable when maxFPS is set to 60 and Vsync is enabled. Vsync no longer causes the framerate to cap at 30
  • UI: Added option to disable FXAA and improved associated help text. When running Shadow of Mordor on a laptop, a new battery display appears over the in-game UI.
  • SLI: Fixed flickering on Uruk skin when SLI is enabled.

Gameplay Specific Fixes:
  • Fixed game state issue where Power Struggles in Udûn were no longer spawning.
  • Fixed scenario where access to Sauron’s Army screen is lost after completing the game.
  • Prevented issued caused by loading save data that was created on the base game, after patch 1.05 is installed, causing loss of functionality.
  • Fixed issue caused by dying then restarting Lithariel’s Challenge, which caused most Audio to no longer play.
  • Fixed issue where Invert Aim Game Setting in Photo Mode inverts the mouse's Camera Offset.
  • Runes Exploits: The player can no longer receive duplicate Epic Runes if the Captains are killed using Dispatch. Canceling a GP mission will no longer duplicate all Runes on the map.


99 comments Read more

November 19

Update: Build v1636.37

New Features:

  • Lithariel Skin available.
  • Lithariel’s Trials of War “Test of Defiance” available. (Main Objective: Kill 6 Warchiefs and 15 captains. Lithariel has only one life. Death results in failure. Lithariel does more melee damage, but has less armor. You cannot save during this challenge. Quitting results in failure.)
  • New Epic rune granted to player’s inventory “Defiant to the End”. (Additional last chance given to player when equipped.)

PC Specific Features:
  • Nvidia SLI support.

Bug Fixes for all platforms:
  • Photo Mode: The controller drain/brand SFX persists when Photo Mode is up. Brand SFX no longer persist when pausing through photo mode during a drain or brand sequence.
  • Power of Shadow: The hood of the Black Hand's cloak in the front end appears covering half his face. Eye FX issue fixed for the Black Hand skin in the front end menu. Glowing eyes effect misplaced on Black Hand's face when dismissing title screen.
  • UI/VFX still show Talion as poisoned when One With Nature (Epic) Dagger Rune is equipped.
  • Player can receive duplicate Epic Runes by killing multiple captains with dispatch.
  • MOTD is not cycling after one rotation.

PC Specific Bug Fixes:
  • Improved messaging when game fails to launch.
  • Fixed issue with incorrect aspect ratio being used when changing resolution through the video options in windowed mode.
  • Added an option to expose FXAA as part of the motion blur settings.
  • Fixed issues with native resolution detection. The game will now use Windows “recommended” resolution.
  • Fixed issues with custom resolutions specified in Windows. Users no longer have to delete them.
  • Fixed in game benchmark starting too early.
  • Fixed not being able to skip benchmark load screen.
  • Improved benchmark output files located in “My Documents\WB Games\Shadow of Mordor\*.csv”.
  • In game VSync will now use NVIDIA’s adaptive sync when turned on. It will use NVIDIA’s Control Panel settings when turned off.
  • Fixed save game issue where starting new game on top of existing data didn’t clear skills purchased.
  • Fixed issue with WB Play where entering age under 18 on accident prevented player from ever accessing WB Play.


78 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
68 of 77 people (88%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
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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76 of 90 people (84%) found this review helpful
24.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 7
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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65 of 77 people (84%) found this review helpful
27.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
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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29 of 34 people (85%) found this review helpful
20.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
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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25 of 30 people (83%) found this review helpful
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
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 Nemisis 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.

10/10 - MUST PLAY - Highly Recommended!

Be sure to check out Nerd House Gaming for more reviews!
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26 of 33 people (79%) found this review helpful
52.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
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.

+ 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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22 of 28 people (79%) found this review helpful
17.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 7
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.

+ 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!

- 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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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 15
Absolutely incredible game. The game play, visuals, story, artwork, atmosphere, everything! is just so immersive and well done. 10/10
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
15.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
Great game easily best lord of the rings game ever created. Reminds me alot of the batman arkham in terms of combat. Highly Recommended this.
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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
19.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 28
Well damn... First 5 hours i was sitting in my chair from 1am to 6am... Only reason why i stopped was total exhaustion.

This is an amazingly fun game and would purchase it at full price if i had to. 9/10
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 10
A really Challenging game which contains movement like the assasins creed series and combat from the Batman Arkham Series.

It also has a very awesome Story

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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 7
Shadow of Mordor feels similar to the Assassins Creed and Batman games in the way that it plays. I enjoyed this more than both of those games however, mostly due to the excellent fluid sword combat. The Orc hierarchy system, in which Orcs who kill you rise through the ranks becoming increasingly powerful, is also unique and interesting. The world at first felt somewhat sparse, but plenty going on once you start exploring. Be warned, the game has a steep learning curve at times, but you can find a way to progress without too much difficult if you think laterally. For example, whilst I never really got stuck, I did encounter a particular Orc Captain who was practically invincible. Luckily none of the actual War Chiefs were quite so tough, so it didn't prevent me from progressing to the second greener setting in the game. Overall it's a fun experience with an okay story, pleasing graphics and presentation, that you will certainly enjoy if you are looking for an open world game of this type.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
32.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 1
This basically takes the best parts of Batman: Arkham City/Origins, Assassins Creed, and Tomb Raider, throws a Lord of the Rings skin on it, and lets you loose. I got 100% playthrough and all achievements and kept opening it just to murder more orcs.

1 ring out of 1 ring, would stealthily give flower to.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
50.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 7
Let's be honest, the storyline is a bit tedious, and the open world map isn't anything thrilling to navigate.

But, if you like Arkham series style combat and you've always dreamt of a game in which you'd be swinging and twirling a sword while zooming through dozen enemies at a time like Mad Martigan from the movie "Willow", this is definetly the game for you.

Also the Nemesis system does a great job of making these fights feel personal.
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
31.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 6
Ash nazg durbatulûk !
Ash nazg gimbatul !
Ash nazg thrakatulûk !
Agh burzum-ishi krimpatul !!
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
17.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 8
Shadow of Mordor is a 3rd person Action-Adventure game from Monolith Productions, previously known for the excellent F.E.A.R. and the underrated Tron 2.0. In Shadow of Mordor, you play as Talion, a Ranger of Gondor stationed at the Black Gate.

For those looking for comparable games, one of the easiest comparisons would be the Arkham series also published by WB. The combat sticks closely to that model, using a combination of strikes, parries and dodges to help you get the edge on your enemies. Those that have played all the Arkham games may find the combat to be too easy due to their familiarity, however there is the option to turn off button indicators which can make things a little more difficult. Another close comparison would be the Assassin's Creed games, which the overall map stucture and parkour system borrows heavily from. Shadow of Mordor manages to blend a lot of the good aspects from these two game series to create an enjoyable new adventure.

The main innovation of Shadow of Mordor, and one we will most definitely be seeing in other game series in the future, is the Nemesis system. The majority of side missions in the game involves attacks on Uruk, and the subsequest consequences on their social structure. Regular Uruk are ruled by captains, who are ruled by chiefs. Every enemy captain you encounter is unique, with their own name, strenghts and weakness. They will remember their encounters with you, will remind you of any times they have defeated you in battle, and may even return from defeat to fight you another time. These can lead to some fun conflicts with Uruks who just can't stop coming back for more, each time showing new scars from previous battles. If a Uruk manages to defeat you, they increase in power and become more difficult to defeat the next time.

The story is very enjoyable, especially for a licensed game. The developers did themselves a favor by mostly using characters and a time period not explored in previous work. They were free to thell their own story, which they did well. In addition, the events in this game tie in nicely to all of the other Lord of the Rings material. You will get more background on how certain events before the films happened, and you will also see some set up for things that you do witness in the movies and books.

The graphics in Shadow of Mordor are remarkable. While I began the game with computer hardware that was beginning to show its age, the game scaled well so I could still have a usuable framerate while enjoying some of what the graphics had to offer. Upon upgrading my computer about halfway through my time with the game, I was treated to some amazing visuals and incredibly detailed characters. The landscape of Mordor is a little more varied than I was expecting after reading the books and watching the movies, but I am grateful that it wasn't all desolate wasteland.

The controls don't stray far from the usual 3rd person action formula. I found them very responsive, and never did I feel like it was difficult to pull off a button combination. This game could use a few less QTEs, but sometimes it is the only way to show off a particular set piece.

The music and voice acting is top notch. Fantasy voice work can get corny at times, but this game never felt that way.

Overall, I completely recommend Shadow of Mordor, not only for fans of Lord of the Rings, but for everyone. While the gameplay does borrow heavily from the Arkham and Assassin's Creed franchises, it uses the best from each. Shadow of Mordor also adds a new innovation to the genre, the Nemesis system, which is sure to show up in other franchises in the future. The story is enjoyable, the combat is smooth, and the graphics are great. Play this game.

Score: A
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
26.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
Awsome Game worth getting if you like singleplayer games. You may not like it at first but when you get the hang of it it is brilliant, I would say its one of the most fun stories i have ever played.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
18.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
I can only recommend this game.

It feels like a really well-done mash-up of Assassin's Creed and the Batman Arkham series, offering an addictive combat system, many sidequests, an encouraging story and interesting gameplay twists, all presented in a solid and quite beautiful open world full of creatures, collectibles and other activities.

Additionaly if you're into the LotR-verse, you can learn quite a lot about geography, species and other Middle-Earth things. Nonetheless it isn't 100% lore-friendly.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
31.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 1
I enjoyed my time with Shadow of Mordor. The combat is "Arkham-esque" in a good way. The feeling of being powerful is a lot of fun. The nemesis system has to be experienced to be appreciated but it adds a interesting element of love/hate to the enemies who would be otherwise nameless grunts being mowed down under your sword. If you don't already know the nemesis system is the hierarchy of the Uruks (orcs) and as you defeat a higher ranking soldier, or if they defeat you, they will rise in the ranks of the army gaining power. Later in the game you obtain the ability to brand Uruks and they will join you in your fight and you will protect them as they go through challenges to become more powerfull.

I do have some criticism to the game. It is an open world game but the world feels mostly empty of everything but enemies and an occasional NPC. There was a fair amount of button prompt kills which are overplayed. The story is interesting but without giving anything away....I felt the ending was somewhat hollow. The graphics are wonderful, but the color pallate is somehat bland. Enemy AI is acceptable, if a little lackluster and although I still had fun with the sneak kills, it was perhaps overly generous with stealth detection.

All that being said, I had a lot of fun and I would certainly recomend it if you like the fast over the top combat of Arkham Asylum but with swords, gory executions, and orcs.
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13 of 23 people (57%) found this review helpful
30.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
+Better than AC Unity!
+Really good gameplay and graphics
+Well optimized
-Lame story imo
-Too easy and boss fights are a joke
+Better than AC Unity!
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