I’d heard from multiple sources that Shadow of Mordor could well be game of the year for 2014, so when it popped up on the Steam sale, I grabbed a copy.
The game is a third-person action game, similar to Assassin’s Creed or Batman. You play a warrior returning from the dead to avenge the murder of his family. At the same time, you’re linked somehow to the ghost of an elf that lived thousands of years ago.
However, the story is very thin once you get past the initial setup. After half of the story missions, I found myself not caring about the story at all and then didn’t bother completing the rest.
Where the game sings, is in the mechanics themselves. The combat is fun and varied, allowing you to take down hordes of orcs after a little practice. Just like Arkham Asylum, the combination of button presses gives you a real feeling of power in the world.
The punishment for dying is also good, as everytime you fall to the orcs, they get promoted and retake the positions you might have vacated on the tip of your sword.
The problem for me, and why I quit, was the lack of a feeling of impact. No matter how many orc captains I killed (or warchiefs), they were all easily replaced by someone else. Even when I didn’t die, orcs kept filling the gaps. So in the end, after having a lot of fun for many hours, I gave up without completing the game.
Overall, I think this was well worth the sale price as a diversion. It’s not close to game of the year, not with Dragon Age: Inquisition to compete with, but it’s a solid 4/5 star game.
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