Middle-earth: Shadow of War Review

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
October 18th, 2017

Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

games:
Jordan
Price:
Great

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On October 18, 2017
Last modified:October 18, 2017

Summary:

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) is a fantastic sequel aside from the controversial transactions and quite terrible marketing campaign. It follows up Mordor effortlessly with the expanded nemesis system, being the best mechanics in current generation video games. It can sometimes get bogged down with confusing mission placement and skill requirements for story progression. Tolkien fans will be happy as the lore is expanded upon and newcomers are set to enjoy an insight into the famous world

games:
Jordan
Price:
Great

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On October 18, 2017
Last modified:October 18, 2017

Summary:

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) is a fantastic sequel aside from the controversial transactions and quite terrible marketing campaign. It follows up Mordor effortlessly with the expanded nemesis system, being the best mechanics in current generation video games. It can sometimes get bogged down with confusing mission placement and skill requirements for story progression. Tolkien fans will be happy as the lore is expanded upon and newcomers are set to enjoy an insight into the famous world

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J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series has stemmed a billion-dollar media franchise, both in film and book form. It also inspired countless video game developers, in creating the baseline idea for world building.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) released to a surprising critical response, with the nemesis system bringing a new connection to Tolkien’s Orc warriors. But can the sequel do the same? Jordan Samuel reviews Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Review

After the outstanding work Warner. Bros Games did on the Batman Arkham (2009) series, all eyes have been set on the next giant IP from the studio. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) brought us new stories in the fantastic Tolkien world, merging established lore with fresh coats of paint as the universe came alive in video game format.

It ended on a cliffhanger for the potential sequels, with the systems included in the original all eyes are open for a successor. Years have passed and it a long waiting game for the sequel? But does it work in 2017?

Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Story continues below

 

Sequel to the hit 2014 original Middle-earth: Shadow of War faithfully expands upon the ground-breaking Nemesis System, with a larger emphasis on the randomised enemy encounters. The action is visceral and adaptive with button press delivering impactful blows, the combat feels almost identical to Arkham Asylum with the additional swords pushing for the fantastical power play.

It fills in gaps from J.R.R. Tolkien’s original trilogy with characters and lore, set three years since we last stepped into the shoes of Gondorian Ranger Talion and his wraith counterpart Celebrimbor. After destroying Sauron the pair headed for Mount Doom but a strange event occurs after forging a new Ring of Power. Separating celebrimbor from Talion with the shape-shifting Shelob, taking the ring for her own fight against the ancient evil Sauron.

Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

The open world is larger with more content than the predecessor, sub-missions and flashback stories all add up to an immense variety: giving the player more insight into how they will play the game from the beginning. Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) sometimes can overwhelm the player with icons on the minimap getting to hectic proportion, perhaps relying on less content would have streamlined experiences for the general audience.

It limits the story progression with various missions locked behind ridiculous side missions that delve into boring loot quests, while the brilliant nemesis protects the player from being tired of the respective structure. It adds a whole other layer to the game, with the command elements of the orc army: bringing in countless hours of gameplay.

Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Each of these lieutenants, captains and war chiefs have signature personalities melding with the character progression throughout the game as each orc will have a vendetta against Talion. It’s a great addition to the series, and will hopefully bring in various arenas to push gameplay in another direction. It’s great fun to die at the hands of a low-ranking officer, and seeing them evolve into your own personal nemesis.  These individual little details push Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) in delivering Tolkien’s world into the gaming industry with simply stunning graphics on both PS4 Pro and Xbox One.

The big elephant in the room is Warner Bros. Entertainment addition of micro-transactions in the single-player portion of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, limiting a true ending behind silly paywalls. I grinned through the last portion of the game with no struggle but did find issue with the harder captains which slow down the pace of fantastic sequel: Fingers crosses that the whole idea is reversed in upcoming titles from the studio.

Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Story continues below

I grinded through the last portion of the game with no struggle but did find issue with the harder captains which slow down the pace of fantastic sequel: Fingers crosses that the whole idea is reversed in upcoming titles from the studio.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) is a fantastic sequel aside from the controversial transactions and quite terrible marketing campaign. It follows up Mordor effortlessly with the expanded nemesis system, being the best mechanics in current generation video games. It can sometimes get bogged down with confusing mission placement and skill requirements for story progression. Tolkien fans will be happy as the lore is expanded upon and newcomers are set to enjoy an insight into the famous world.

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017)

  • 4

Great

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) is a fantastic sequel aside from the controversial transactions and quite terrible marketing campaign. It follows up Mordor effortlessly with the expanded nemesis system, being the best mechanics in current generation video games. It can sometimes get bogged down with confusing mission placement and skill requirements for story progression. Tolkien fans will be happy as the lore is expanded upon and newcomers are set to enjoy an insight into the famous world

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