Age of Gaming E06 - Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor First Impressions

Today I’ll give my first impressions of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Action role-playing video game set in off-canon Middle-Earth. You control a ranger named Talion with supernatural abilities. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil the story.

The story in the beginning really hooks you into the character. I wish it was more interactive with some real choices to make, but it draws you in well.

I’ve just started the game, and so far seems very sand-boxy, with all the good & bad that entails.

Graphics are very good. Animations are good as well.

The movement’s a little off for me, in that you walk rather slowly, and when you sprint, it’s kind of a mad dash without a great feeling of control. The stealth movement is nice, though, and you can run while stealthing, which is what I usually do.

Combat’s pretty nice, very reminiscent of Batman Arkham city (with a sword). Shooting your bow is very similar to The Last of Us Remastered or Tomb Raider Ultimate Edition. You also get a time dilation effect like with some of the neon powers in inFAMOUS Second Son.

Combat’s a bit twitchy, but there’s some tactics too. You can also take on a lot of orcs singlehandedly if you fight smart, which is cool. Gotta hit your blocks though!

I also like the slow-mo last ditch effort you get to save yourself when you’re about to die.

The world seems large & open so far (I’m only an hour or two in). It’s nice that you can take the route you want, attacking specific orc captains to further the story, doing side missions, or just killing whomever you come across.

However, after the strong, spectator story in the beginning, the story seems rather lacking at this point. However, I’ve only completed two of the story missions, so it’s completely possible it will pick back up later.

The nemesis mechanic is really cool. There’s one orc who’s beat me twice now, a dude with a large crossbow, who always seems to show up when I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and takes me out at range. He’s becoming quite the bad-ass, and I’m looking forward to finally going after him at some point.

Your supernatural powers are pretty cool, and I really like how you get them. Again, no spoilers!

I haven’t played nearly enough of this game to give a real judgment on it yet, but so far I’m loving what I see. The gameplay is a lot of fun, and the fighting mechanics are nice. The nemesis mechanic is awesome, and is the number one thing that pulls me back in the game. Already, in a few hours of play, this game has grabbed me in a way Dragon Age Inquisition hasn’t in close to 30 hours of play.

I have to confess I’m not near the Tolkien fan that a lot of geeks are. Despite this being a game in Middle Earth, I really enjoy it, and I find the setting engaging me in a way it hasn’t since I first read The Hobbit in fifth grade.

Nikki got this game, and I decided to try it after seeing a very favorable IGN review. Despite me thinking Tolkien is a bit over-rated, I’m enjoying this game and definitely prefer it to Dragon Age Inquisition (which I think is quite a bit over-rated).

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