This weekend saw the release of Shadow of Mordor, I had conveniently booked Friday off of work, which meant I could dedicate most of the day to playing it.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor sees you take on the role of Talion, a ranger captain, who is part of a Gondor garrison stationed at the Black Gate. The garrison is attacked by Sauron’s Uruk forces. Talion, his wife, and his son are captured and ritually sacrificed by the Black Hand in an attempt to summon the wraith of the Elf Lord Celebrimbor. However, Celebrimbor instead ends up merging with Talion, saving him from death. The two of them set out to uncover Celebrimbor’s identity as well as to avenge the death of Talion’s family.
I’m not even half way through the story yet, but I am loving it. The gameplay is simple but slick. Think Assassin’s Creed and the Batman Arkham series, and you wouldn’t be far off picturing how it plays. Marry this with the lore of Middle Earth and you are on to a winner in my books.
One of the most interesting parts of Shadow of Mordor is the nemesis system whereby characters in the game are randomly generated, named, and given unique personalities with their own strengths and weaknesses. They will also remember you if you’ve previously battled with them, and either lost, or ran away. I’ve already encountered a few that have killed me, and when I’ve come across them again they’ve had some dialogue that will reflect that they remember the last battle. It really gives them a lot more personality, and makes for very interesting encounters.
Throughout the game these ‘bosses’ will either rank up and become stronger, and therefore progress in the Uruk hierarchy, or they will be defeated either by you or by an internal struggle with another Warchief, Captain or Solider. There are, in fact, multiple ways that the hierarchy can be affected, Promotions, Duels, Betrayals, Executions, Feasts to name just a few.
As I’m not all that far in to the story yet, I haven’t been able to really explore all the possibilities within the system, but I really can’t wait to delve deeper in to it and start to mess around with the Uruks. I’m hoping to dominate some and use them to my advantage like and inside man!
Along with story, there are also a good range of side missions to do, breaking free slaves, hunting challenges, and weapon legend challenges which upon completion give you the opportunity to forge legendary weapons. Below is an example of one of the challenges for the dagger.
I know some people, including Murr aren’t sure about the game because they don’t particularly like Lord of the Rings, but I don’t think you need to. Liking it helps, and probably makes it a little more interesting, but from a purely gameplay point of view, it’s just a great adventure game.
The rest of my weekend was pretty lazy really. I play some Destiny on Saturday night with a friend, taking part in all the daily strikes, and weekly heroic missions. I’ve finally got enough strange coins to start buying some exotic items. But I’m going to have to wait for the elusive Xur to come back to the tower this Friday. Let’s hope he brings some delightful trinkets.
Well as we’re into the month of Halloween I’m trying to watch more scary films and play some more scary games. So far I’ve watched Alien, with the intention to go through the rest of them. As for gaming so far it’s only been Left 4 Dead 2 and Zombie mode in Black Op’s 2. This was my Friday night. I was over a friends house with a few more friends and we did system link Left 4 Dead 2. It’s so much fun and I really missed playing it. Just makes the thirst for a 3rd even more real.
Saturday I wasn’t feeling all that great so spent the day chilling on the sofa. I watched the Japanese Grand Prix qualifying and then I made a start on a TV Series I’d heard so many good things about. Orange is the new black. One of my work friends set me up a profile on his Netflix to trial it. So I spent the Saturday afternoon and evening plowing through this. We got through 5 episodes Saturday night.
Sunday I watched the Japanese F1. The win for Lewis was great, but it was unfortunately overshadowed by the accident involving Jules Bianchi. It’s always worrying when the team say their driver didn’t respond to a radio message after a crash. When the doctors arrived to the track they confirmed he was unconscious in his car. All we know now is he had surgery on his head and is still not awake. Here’s hoping we hear some positive news soon.
After the F1 my wife and I continued with some more Orange is the new black, and then watched a classic action film “The Rock”. I’d not seen this is some years, and had enjoyed it back in the day. Today it still holds up well. From there I went back to Hyrule Warriors for a while. So my intention of watching and playing scarier things got a little side tracked.
It’ll be just Will reporting next week as I’m off on holiday this Wednesday for a week. Woo Hoo!