Video Games Xbox One
Review: Shadow of Mordor
I have spent the better part of 60 hours playing through Shadow of Mordor and still aching to go back to finish unresolved conflicts. The game’s real time mechanic makes the world feel alive. Any decision you make, anytime you die and anyone you kill can have profound effects on the story.
One of the most notable aspects of the game is that you don’t actually die in the traditional sense where you have to start over. The game just continues, your victor goes on to gain more power and sometimes even up their seniority. You come back into the world seeking out revenge and achieving it is that much more gratifying.
The game is set in the Lord of the Rings universe (of course) and the protagonist, Talion, just witnessed his family murdered in front of him and ultimately succumbing to his own demise. Until of course, Celebrimbor, a dead elf’s spirit becomes joined with Talion and miraculously Talion comes back to life with added powers from Celebrimbor.
Now Talion can not only hack and slash with his sword, but also slow down time and use a bow to take down enemies from afar.
The fighting mechanics are solid. At first blush I thought this game was going to be a cheap copy of Assassin’s Creed, but the more you play it, the more you wish Assassin’s Creed took note. The fighting can be fast paced, or slow and meticulous depending on your preferred play style or mission requirement.
You can sneak up on enemies and kill them from the shadows, or just jump into a full on brawl with a horde of enemies waiting to swing their swords at you. Talion can counter and dodge attacks and dispatch his super natural powers to instantly execute foes.
It would be an understatement to say the game is violent. I lost count of how many times Talion decapitated his aggressors. Not to mention all the back stabbing, throat slicing and burning.
The story takes you through two main areas where there is seemingly an endless amount of missions to pick up. Some waypoints are just side quests that bolster the story and if victories earn you points to use on your skill tree, making Talion that much more powerful. I would encourage you take on these side missions to bolster your character so that once you near the end of the game you’ll be better suited to take on The Hammer, The Tower and Black Hand.
Although fighting bosses was not much of a challenge, getting through their body guards required a bit more strategy and skill.
In addition to various combat scenarios in the game, you are also able to mount a Caragor. A four legged vicious creature used to ride across the land and swipe at enemies as you ride past them. There are also large creatures, Graugs, roaming the land that do significant damage, but can also be tamed and ridden.
I have yet to check out the expansions, but if they’re anything like the full game, I’m sure I’ll enjoy them. With its solid story and gameplay, I found it to be one of the best games I have ever played.