9.2/10

Kicking Ass and Tolkien Names

For years, fans of the Lord of the Rings books and films have been clamoring for a decent video game that takes them into Tolkien’s fantasy world. And now they finally have an answer in Shadow of Mordor, which takes you behind enemy lines in one of the best action games of the year.

The Good

When you’re playing Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, you feel like you should when playing a video game; an over-the-top, powerful badass. Playing as Talion, a new addition to Tolkien’s world, you utilise a sword, dagger, bow and some cool magic abilities in great, free-flowing combat to fight your way through a huge, detailed space filled with Lord of the Rings lore. But while you feel unstoppable, you can and will die, which makes way for the really interesting element; an intriguing hierarchy of enemies that gives every victory and defeat extra meaning.

Every enemy you encounter has a unique personality and will remember confrontations with you. Whether you let them escape, scar them or if they kill you, the ‘Nemesis System’ registers changes in the constant power struggle of your enemies delicate hierarchy. And with each enemy carrying their own unique strengths and weakness, every confrontation is different.

The Bad

There is so much to do in Shadow of Mordor, which unfortunately means that the main campaign missions are overshadowed and make for a pretty unexciting campaign in such a dynamic world.

The Bottom Line

Shadow of Mordor seems to satisfy almost every gamer’s desire for a unique gameplay experience; stunning graphics, fun gameplay and a meaningful gameplay experience. In a year where there have been a few disappointing titles, Shadow of Mordor is truly one of the standouts of the year.

A Little Extra

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an action-packed adventure-RPG inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Exploring an original story of vengeance and redemption, the game puts players in the role of Talion, a valiant ranger whose family is slain in front of him the night Sauron and his army return to Mordor — moments before his own life is taken. Resurrected by a Spirit of vengeance and empowered with Wraith abilities, Talion ventures into Mordor and vows to destroy those who have wronged him. Through the course of his personal vendetta, Talion uncovers the truth of the Spirit that compels him, learns the origins of the Rings of Power and ultimately confronts his true nemesis.