In Shadow Of Mordor you will be playing as the ranger Talion, who actually dies right at the start of the game. Talion is given another chance at life, as a Wraith binds to his soul which causes Talion to gain Wraith like powers along with his already impressive Ranger skills. Tailion is looking to get revenge for the killing of both his wife and son while the Wraith known as Celebrimbor suffers from amnesia and is trying to find out more about himself. Unfortunately I didn’t find the campaign to be that good, and it was much more fun messing around with the nemesis system and doing side missions and activates rather than the campaign.
If you have ever played the Batman Arkham series and/or Assassin’s Creed you will automatically feel similarities between the two or three games. The combat in Shadow Of Mordor felt very similar to the Arkham series, but added their own twist on the system. During combat if you weaken an enemy you will have the option to use one of the varied executions that are in the game. With executions expect some major brutality with heads flying off, and other brutal “finishers”.
Along with the graphic executions, there is also an option to grab the enemy which opens up an array of combat scenarios. You have the option of using the enemy as a shield against other enemies attacks, instantly kill them, or you can use them to your advantage by getting important intel from them. When you grab enemies to get intel they can reveal where certain captains are or reveal information about the captains.
What also impressed me in Shadow Of Mordor was the range of different gameplay features they implemented into the game. As mentioned previously you have the brutal combat that has its Arkham similarties, but also there are options to use stealth so that no one can ring a warning bell that causes a mass attack on Talion unless stealth is not your thing, and you like going against a whole army of enemies. Shadow Of Mordor also features wall climbing and wall running elements seen in Assassin’s Creed games… and even a leap of faith without the hay!
So obviously you want to become the ultimate ranger in Shadow Of Mordor which is possible by levelling up, and using the points to gain new abilities for the ranger. These abilities include upgrades to strikes, stealth, and even being able to send death threats to captains. It doesn’t end there though as there is a second skill tree for the Wraith too. Wraith abilities include being able to mount Caragors and improvements to the bow.
By far the most intriguing feature in Shadow Of Mordor has to be the nemesis system. Basically the nemesis system expands on dying in a video game, in other games when you die you just go back to a checkpoint. In Shadow Of Mordor if you are killed, it will actually have ramifications in the game world. If you are killed by an enemy they will be promoted up the ranks which means they will become even more powerful and dangerous the next time you confront them. Next time you come face to face with the enemy that killed you they will actually remember that battle, and will taunt you for being defeated.
Enemies also have the option of running away from a battle to live another day. If they are successful in retreating they will mention the previous battle, similar to when you die. The enemy will also have gained knowledge about the way you fought in the last encounter, and will have certain immunities against you. As I said previously, the nemesis system is the stand out feature for this surprisingly great game.
The Final Verdict
Shadow Of Mordor might end up being the surprise hit of the year due to its fantastic combat system, intriguing and original nemesis system, and a whole lot of things to keep you entertained in this amazing open world game. While it does have its similarities to other successful games like Assassin’s Creed and Batman Arkham series, it doesn’t just copy and paste everything, they put their own special sauce on it and make it even better. One of the only real problems I had with the game was the story wasn’t really that good, but everything else is done well making this a must own game!
+The game has a little bit of everything/feels varied