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Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor is a video game inspired by the Lord of the Rings Movies. Based only remotely on Tolkien’s writings, it was published by Warner Bros and developed by Monolith Productions in 2014. The game can be played on Xbox One and PlayStation 3 consoles, as well as Microsoft Windows computers. The videogame belongs to the open world action-adventure genre and includes some great role-playing elements.

Key facts about Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor

  • Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor pits players against familiar foes as well as new villains and ramps up the difficulty.
  • The game has a strong enemy progression, with solid combat elements that make each fight challenging and original.
  • The campaign set of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor consists of dozens of missions and many hours of gameplay.
  • The outcome of each mission has a significant impact on the campaign overall, amplifying the meaning of every decision.
  • Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor uses the Nemesis system, helping players track key foes across the huge open world.

The Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor games

Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor games are characterized by versatility, with players being able to solve missions in several ways. In both single player and multiplayer modes, players are confronted with opponents of different skill level. Bosses are more difficult to defeat, but just like regular grunts they have strong suits and weaknesses. Players are compelled to defeat most folks at the first try, as each subsequent failure will make opponents stronger.

This is the consequence of introducing the innovative Nemesis system, which tracks various opponents. When players defeat a leader, they unlock new runes, while weakening the army of Sauron. Conversely, when they fail, these leaders get stronger and it will be more difficult to defeat them at the second attempt. Players are invited to interact with their peers across online servers by sharing information and pooling their strength.

The Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor is not exclusively about brute force, with some of the best results being secured when using strategy. Players can infiltrate a keep, cause the orcs to fight among themselves and use stealth in most missions. It is essential to explore the weaknesses of opponents, while playing on your strengths to secure decisive fights.

What is Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor

The Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor is an open world action-adventure video game developed by Monolith Productions. Its action takes place between the events depicted in the Hobbit movie and the Lord of the Rings blockbuster. Talion is the protagonist of the saga and he returns initially as a spirit, then in flesh to avenge his death. The introduction of the Nemesis System adds a new layer of depth to the gameplay, while compelling players to treat each fight seriously.

Screenshot of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor Crushing Odds
Screenshot of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor Crushing Odds

Gameplay of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor

Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor bears many similarities to the gameplay of other third person open world video games. The camera follows the central character from a significant distance which makes it easy to see the entire battlefield. This helps when picking on powerful opponents as combat relies on dynamism rather than force. Quite often players have to dance around their enemies and strike precise and deadly blows.

It rarely happens that one can bludgeon an opponent to death, as the orcs are stronger and more resilient. The main quest will pit players against the green skins, but the side missions are just as exciting. This is where the Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor gameplay shines brightest and proves to be more flexible. Interaction with key characters such as Gollum requires players to use intelligence and stealth rather than force. Rewards are collected whenever players complete both primary and secondary quests so there is a strong incentive to explore.

The central character can engage opponents in range combat, melee or stage surprise attacks. Stealth is a very important mechanic in the gameplay of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor. Talion abilities are enhanced by Celebrimbor, making it capable of inflicting serious damage to well armed targets. The combat system also relies heavily on dodge attacks and in some missions players need to stay out of sight.

Plot of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor

Talion is the central character in the Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor plot, a former captain defending the Black Gate of Mordor. When the garrison fails, he and his family are ritually sacrificed by the orcs, what tends to someone Celebrimbor. The fallen Elf Lord now serving as a wraith resists their attempts and instead helps the hero stay alive. Together, they form an unlikely alliance and embark on an epic quest of avenging the death of Talion's family.

Screenshot of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor Orc
Screenshot of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor Orc

While on this mission, the protagonist encounters Gollum, one of the central characters in both the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Those who haven’t seen the Hollywood blockbusters, as well as the fans will learn more about the lore from these encounters. Successful missions bring the hero closer to his quest, but the strength of the opponents also increases. Down the road, Talion enlists the help of other heroes and outcasts who are either hunted down by, or hunt the green skins themselves.

Some of the key moments in the single player campaign include the fight against the Hammer of Sauron. Equally emotional is the confrontation with the Tower and the revelations that follow after his defeat. As the plot of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor progresses, players learn more about Celebrimbor and his deeds. The hero eventually seeks Black Hand at the Black Gate and the stage is set for the final confrontation. Sauron himself comes into play to crush Talion, but with the help of the Elf Lord, the hero prevails in the end.

Development of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor

The success of Lord of the Rings as well as the Hobbit movies, developers started working on the Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor videogame. Work started in 2011 and the game was scheduled for international release two years later. Some delays occurred and only the PC version came up on time, with the versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One being released one year later. The developers wanted to make sure that when the game hits the stores, it is bug free.

Where can I download Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor?

Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor can be downloaded from Warner Bros website as well as Monolith Productions. Those who enjoy top-quality first-person shooter horror video games, will find F.E.A.R. 2 Project Origin  and F.E.A.R 3 here. Mortal Kombat X was also published by Warner Bros and it would make a welcomed distraction for those who want to take a break from this otherwise exciting third person open world action-adventure game.

What are others saying about Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor?

The critics were initially upset by the fact that Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor was not released on time. The reviews however were positive for both the PC and console versions released in 2013 and 2014. This was the most important video game inspired by the Lords of the Rings universe and the best received. In the wake of its initial release, two DLC packs came out: Lord of the Hunt and The Bright Lord.

Screenshot of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor Killing Blow
Screenshot of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor Killing Blow

There was some controversy regarding the use of certain assets, by former Ubisoft employees. The players couldn’t care less about these allegations, as the game itself was rocksolid and featured great visuals. The Nemesis system was also praised by both the critics and regular players for its dynamism.

Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor tournaments

Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor has a couple of exciting modes for multiplayer, but doesn’t support tournaments. Players can find solace in interacting with their peers and working together to defeat increasingly powerful foes. Most third person video games that can be played at competitive level are actually shooters. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare and Counter Strike Global Offensive are three such examples.

My rating of Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor

I’ve watched the Lord of the Rings movies a dozen times and some more, so I’m definitely a big fan. When video game developers come up with a game, I am usually afraid that they might get it wrong. Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor was exactly what I expected it to be and I fell in love with it right away.

I’m happy they chose to weave a story that takes place after the events of the Hobbit and before the Fellowship of the Ring. The characters are convincing, the quests a pleasure to complete and the sheer difficulty of the game doesn’t have a deterring effect on me. The Nemesis system is impressive on many levels, so don’t hold it against me if I got a bit over the top with a review score of 9.5 out of 10.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Score
9.5
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