Wednesday, 30 December 2015

First Impressions: Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor

I got this game for Christmas after having my eye on it for a while. I was really interested by the nemesis system and the general themes of Lord of the Rings and wanted to see how they were carried over to this game. Here are my thoughts but be warned, one does not simply ignore the initial story line spoilers in this First Impressions.

It opens with you training with your son so that you can learn the basics of combat. Suddenly, the game jumps into the future where you are being attacked by uruks. Now, the basics of orc/uruk fighting becomes apparent. The game keeps jumping between time zones and it ends up with something happening to you, your son and your wife. You then wake up and become a mix between a wraith and yourself and are tasked with hunting the captains of the Black Hand. The story jumps between times so much, however, that I was initially confused so reading the appendices is a great idea.

The combat (and the rest of the game for that matter) seem to borrow heavily from other games, which in a sense, isn't that bad. A mix of Arkham and Assassins Creed hack and slash is the combat and it's really fluid, especially with the added parkour. Being able to jump over enemies, jump into focus mode, then take pot-shots at people is great fun, as is the ability to grab an orc, use it as a shield and then drain its energy so that you can shoot more people with arrows. It does take some getting used to, however, and getting swamped by sheer numbers does become a thing. I suggest not going in for the kill on a band of orcs until you know that no other orcs are going to be there, at least when you start.
I didn't and had three captains and twenty orcs chasing me!

The graphics are great as is expected with this gen of course. The rain, especially is very... um, rainy and the faces are detailed with each enemy being different. Collectibles are becoming a staple in games, and this one is no different with lots of things to pick up.

The nemesis system is the main draw of this game and is very well implemented. In case you didn't know, the nemesis system allows the enemies to grow with your actions. For example, I nearly killed an orc but had to leave him because I was becoming overpowered by other orcs, the next time I met him, his face was bandaged up and was slightly more annoyed with me. Orc captains also fight between themselves, with the ranks continuously changing. There did seem to be a bug however, with a captain by the name of Hagrash the Rash becoming Hagrash the Dead by my Sword (great title) but then coming back to life again later on.

Overall I have had fun with this game so far and am slowly beginning to understand the mechanics and story (I'm about an hour in). Can't wait to see what other adventures will be in Mordor.

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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