Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
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Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
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    4.3 out of 5 stars
     Review 1:

    This is a must-have for any Lord of the Rings fan. It can be difficult at first to get fighting down. One tip I'll give out. You are a ranger, and you have to fight like a ranger. Do not just charge a group of Orcs with a sword. U... Read More

    This is a must-have for any Lord of the Rings fan. It can be difficult at first to get fighting down. One tip I'll give out. You are a ranger, and you have to fight like a ranger. Do not just charge a group of Orcs with a sword. Use your bow to thin a groups ranks first. Do not let them overwhelm you. Stun and even throw them into campfires or off cliffs. Use all of those Ranger skills and tricks to your advantage. Read Less

     Review 2:

    Shadow of Mordor is not a perfect game, but it delivers on every promise made by the developers and has a level of polish not seen too often in today's market.The game looks beautiful even on modest settings and has a spot-on art ... Read More

    Shadow of Mordor is not a perfect game, but it delivers on every promise made by the developers and has a level of polish not seen too often in today's market.The game looks beautiful even on modest settings and has a spot-on art style and atmosphere for the setting.While it is not for the Tolkein purists (there are numerous liberties taken with the license), it has enough Quasi-Middle-Earthy-Lore to satisfy most fans, and manages to carve out its own identity within Arda and M.E. in general.The game does a great job of not overwhelming you with the combat system at first, and offers both player-optional and randomly dropped upgrades for progression. Fans of the Arkham series will take to the rhythmic combat system quickly, and yet it is deep enough and different enough that they will have about the same learning curve as new players from there on.By the end of the Story your character becomes extremely powerful, but this is actually balanced out quite well by the sheer number of foes that can surround you (no Dynasty Warriors effect here). Each Uruk is quite capable, and the captains more-so. Not to mention a few monsters like the Pack Hunting Caragor, the Swarming Ghouls and the Towering Olog-Graugs.The voice acting is top notch and the actors' little flares and set business is expertly captured in the cut scenes. The prerendered scenes have a great style and are viewable at any time after unlocking them via an in-game appendix.The game's map feels a little small at first, you never have to travel far to find something interesting going on. Such as survival challenges, mini-missions to train and improve your weapons and dynamic events that unfold randomly.A larger map actually may have miss served the game's themes. If Monolith so chose to continue this franchise or use the engine in another, I would be there on day one. Perhaps one of those games would be appropriately have a larger map.Where the game suffers is in the story. It is short and a little predictable and (strange as it may sound) the "main" character feels a little superfluous, and somewhat directs focus away from the central themes and unfolding events of the story. He feels a little like padding even within what little story there is. This however, did not take away from my enjoyment of the core game play.You can tell the bulk the effort went into developing the Nemesis System, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.Because where this game really shines is with the Uruk Captains you will encounter. Not only is each one unique, but the encounter is unique as well. Each captain has a number of strengths and weaknesses you may uncover. They may be involved in their own own business, allowing you catch them unaware, or you may bump into them randomly, or you may even use your knowledge of the current Uruk politics to get certain Captains promoted so that you can take advantage of the shifts in power.There's also a few other aspects of this I'll leave for a surprise.In all, you can breeze through the story quickly, which despite what I said, is not without value. Then go on to challenge yourself against an ever more powerful nation of Uruk. Where your personal involvement shapes their behaviors in dynamic and enjoyable (sometimes comical, sometimes intimidating) ways. Read Less