Return to Middle Earth; Why should you experience Shadow of Mordor?

These days, Amazon's The Rings of Power series has returned fantasy fans to the wonders of Middle Earth. For the first time, this series presents the legends and heroes of the second era of the history of Middle-earth, and it actually takes place thousands of years before works such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. With that in mind, maybe it's time to take a look at one of the only games based on Tolkien's work that isn't directly related to the films or the Lord of the Rings strategy game.

BingMag.com Return to Middle Earth; Why should you experience Shadow of Mordor?

These days, Amazon's The Rings of Power series has returned fantasy fans to the wonders of Middle Earth. For the first time, this series presents the legends and heroes of the second era of the history of Middle-earth, and it actually takes place thousands of years before works such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. With that in mind, maybe it's time to take a look at one of the only games based on Tolkien's work that isn't directly related to the films or the Lord of the Rings strategy game.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an open-world action-adventure game from Monolith Productions. Released in 2014 for consoles and PC, the game still holds up remarkably well. The story of the game is completely original and takes place before the events of the books or movies. Monolith did a fantastic job of recreating Peter Jackson's cinematic vision by treating the main characters and events of its source material with enough leeway, as well as staying remarkably close to Tolkien's work and the rules of his world. The developers even consulted with the Peter Jackson Group and the Weta Workshop special effects team to recreate what Middle-earth would look like as we know it.

BingMag.com Return to Middle Earth; Why should you experience Shadow of Mordor?

Like The Rings of Power series, Shadow of Mordor leans into what fans know and love about The Lord of the Rings and makes some changes along the way. Considering the more action-oriented aspect of Middle-earth, this game is a great work for both old and new fans.

The Return of Sauron

The story of a ranger named Talion Narrated by Troy Baker. At the start of the game, Talion is tasked with defending the Black Gate of Mordor. This actually takes place before the books or movies and it seems that after Sauron's defeat, the Black Gate is guarded by the men of Gondor. However, it doesn't take long for this gate to be attacked by the three leaders of Sauron, the Hammer of Sauron, the Tower of Sauron, and the worst of them, the Black Hand of Sauron, voiced by Nolan North. The attack ends tragically, and Talion's men, his family, and even Talion himself taste the edge of the sword. This opening works well in creating the tone and atmosphere of the game and stimulating the desire for revenge in the player.

BingMag.com Return to Middle Earth; Why should you experience Shadow of Mordor?

Fortunately for the player, the game does not end at this point. These murders are not just to show the wickedness of the villains, but are considered sacrifices that were needed to bring out the spirit (wrath) of Celebrimbor. Fans of the Lord of the Rings series know this name as the elf that Elrond helps build a huge structure in the series, and fans of the books know him as the elf who made the original rings. Instead of dying with his family, Talion is actually bound by the wrath of Celebrimbor. Even if Talion is mortally wounded, this prevents both of them from dying, something that fits perfectly with the game's Nemesis system.

Then Talion and Celebrimbor must work together to find out. What happens in the land of Mordor and the three captains destroy Sauron before they can cause further destruction. Unfortunately, this is where the game's story starts to slip. After such a great and impressive opening, the rest of the story is relatively simple and forgettable. Talion also meets a number of secondary characters on his journey. From Hyrgon, another ranger who needs help, to Lytharil, a warrior elf who wants to help Celebrimbor, and many others meet Talion in between, but none of them add much to the game's story.

BingMag.com Return to Middle Earth; Why should you experience Shadow of Mordor?

Talion, Celebrimbor and Galum in one frame!

While the characters themselves are well paid, the subplots aren't that important, and more importantly, their boring missions don't help them. For example, one of the characters is a cowardly orc named Ratbag, who is known as an eccentric character. Since the game's story is relatively dark, her character adds a nice variety to the game and can be fun, however, Talion's encounters with her for the rest of the game fall flat. The ending of his storyline is also disappointing.

Beyond the Gate of Mordor

So if the story really isn't worth paying much attention to, what makes this game so well-remembered? Why should fans of The Rings of Power experience it? The answer to this question is the world and gameplay of the game. The game, as the title suggests, takes place in Mordor, but specifically, in two key regions in Mordor, Udun and Nurn. has it. Udon is what most people imagine when they think of Mordor: a desolate, rocky, red and gray region dominated by orcs and rarely inhabited by other creatures. On the other hand, Noren is a green land and is even located on the edge of the sea. Although the area is by no means healthy, it appears to be used to grow crops to feed Sauron's army, and as such provides a nice contrast to Udon's horrific devastation.

Neither of these areas is huge, but both offer enough variety in terms of structure and things to do in them, making so that the player never gets bored. In fact, the game does not fall into the trap that many open world games fall into, i.e. leaving large repetitive areas or filling them with a large number of repetitive missions. Also, considering that the game was released in 2014, these areas still look beautiful.

Of course, Mordor contains items that can be discovered by preserving the memories of those who already had them. It has been enjoyable. Listening to these memories through Celebrimbor's powers will provide new information to players who wish to uncover more details about the story. Players can roam around the map through an exciting combination of parkour and riding moves. Karagors are warg-like beasts that can be tamed and quickly moved between different areas by riding them.

BingMag.com Return to Middle Earth; Why should you experience Shadow of Mordor?

Warrior of Gondor

However, it is the gameplay of Shadow of Mordor that sets it apart. The battles in the game are smooth, flashy, fast and bloody. Slitting the throats of wandering orcs in Mordor is a sight that never gets old. The gameplay is based on the fantastic combat system of the Arkham series of games, and because of this, Talion can string together a combination of consecutive attacks. On the other hand, if he has the right timing, Talion can deal with enemy attacks and implement interesting counter attacks. There's also a certain amount of fun to performing Talion's gruesome finishing moves, which often result in the loss of a limb or even the head of weak orcs. Overall the combat is interesting but has its own challenges.

Killing orcs and completing quests will give the player experience (XP) and skill points which will eventually allow him to upgrade Talion's powers. Using these skills to kill orcs or move faster around the map makes you feel like you are in the form of a fantasy character. Stealth is another important aspect of the gameplay. The game is actually a cross between the stealth of the Arkham series and Assassin's Creed, and allows skilled players to roam the battlefield like a real ghost and eliminate orcs one by one without making a sound.

BingMag.com Return to Middle Earth; Why should you experience Shadow of Mordor?

However, despite using all this power, players still need to watch out for enemies. Talion is surprisingly vulnerable and orcs can take him down with a few hits. This not only creates a feeling of fear in the player when fighting against large groups of enemies, but also affects the prominent element of this game, the Nemesis System.

Nemesis System

This system is what made the game so different and made everyone's experience in the game different from the other. The Nemesis system is a mechanic that hasn't shown any weakness so far, and it's a shame that it's only found in Shadow of Mordor and its sequel, Shadow of War. This is because Warner Bros., as the publisher of the series, has trademarked this system and over the years has ensured that no other studio uses it in their game. This may seem like a smart and profitable move, but since Nemesis has only been seen in games twice in the eight years since its inception, Warner's decision is undoubtedly not in the best interest of gamers.

Nemesis Actions Checks the player. In fact, this system observes the interaction of players with certain orcs and finds out which ones have been killed and which of them have killed the players. The system also gives orcs unique personalities and places them in a hierarchy where the lowest orcs at the bottom are always looking for ways to rise to become powerful warlords. In fact, these characters and ranks are not fixed. Being killed by an orc will automatically promote him up the chain of command, and he may have gained a new ability the next time he encounters the player. It may mock the player for losing the first encounter easily.

BingMag.com Return to Middle Earth; Why should you experience Shadow of Mordor?

On the other hand, killing an orc may permanently eliminate him. Of course, if the player doesn't decapitate him, he shouldn't be surprised if he returns for revenge. Orcs that broke before eaten, they may look completely different upon their return, with new scars and perhaps even replacements for their amputated limbs. Some orcs may even flee before being killed, ensuring another encounter in the near future. While others may work together to ambush. It's interesting to know that orcs even fight and kill each other to outdo others.

All of the above are unique to each player. It's actually giving the player complete freedom to mess with this system and create different events that shows Nemesis' true potential. Shadow of Mordor could have even ditched Talion's story and left the player alone in the game and still managed to succeed.

BingMag.com Return to Middle Earth; Why should you experience Shadow of Mordor?

The sequel, Shadow of War, is also based on Nemesis, adding more detail to the system and developing the character of each orc. In any case, Nemesis is a mechanic that we need to see more of, and it depends on the game publisher. It may disappoint fans of Tolkien's works, however, it allows the player to enjoy themselves in the land of Mordor. Finally, for anyone who grew up with the Lord of the Rings series or is new to Middle-earth, the opportunity to explore Mordor and create their own unique story is all they could wish for.

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