On Shadow of Mordor

On Shadow of Mordor

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in Commentary, featured |

My October was primarily about Shadow of Mordor. I’ve read that the game is a combination of Assassin’s Creed and the Batman: Arkham series so I had to check it out. I’m just going to list down the things I like about it:

  • The combat is very well-done. It’s solid, visceral and feels right at home with its Lord of the Rings setting. The slow motion effects to emphasize kills made building up that combo worthwhile.
  • Gameplay is a mix of Assassin’s Creed’s parkour and Batman: Arkham’s combat. You get the best of both worlds.
  • I like how the Nemesis system allowed me to craft my own Orc leaders. Sure, they were puppets in the end but it was still interesting to have a say in it.

And here’s what wasn’t so hot:

  • It’s over too soon, lasting only about 20 hours or so. Give it dedicated play time and you should be able to finish it on a weekend.
  • There isn’t a lot to do outside of combat. The game also doesn’t offer much in terms of replay value.

I’m leaving the lore part out because that’s a contested topic that I don’t have much of an opinion on. For what it’s worth, I read that that’s the reason why it doesn’t have Lord of the Rings in the title, to distance itself from the main narrative. My hopes aren’t high, but it’ll be interesting to see where the story will go, considering the ending.

Playing Shadow of Mordor led me to think about the games that it borrowed from. I started with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag AKA Pirate Simulator. I’ve had it installed for a while now but never got around to actually playing it. I still haven’t finished it but I got as far as getting the Jackdaw fully upgraded. Depending on how you look at it, that game is either a completionist’s dream or a nightmare. I mean, I know that the AC games have always been collection-fests but I think Black Flag took it too far. Then again, I guess no one’s obligating me to do them. The naval battles are fun though. They made upgrading the Jackdaw my number one priority.