Ben McLean
Ben McLean   Kansas City, Missouri, United States
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Main Shadow of Mordor game is awesome Arkham fun times but The Bright Lord DLC is like a bad RTS.

When I first saw trailers for Shadow of Mordor I assumed it was a hastily licensed Skyrim clone that tied in with the Hobbit films. And I ain't got time for the complexity of Skyrim. Westrrn RPGs bore me with their gritty realism and their brown color palette and their over engineered user interfaces and their general lack of being classic Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger.

So glad I was mostly wrong about Shadow of Mordor though. It is a "butt staring" (3rd person action) open world game licensed with LOTR but that's where my assumptions stopped being right. It's not a hastily thrown together Skyrim clone: it's a competently executed Arkham clone! And the Arkham games rule. Hell, even Arkham Origins is fun now that they've fixed most of the bugs. (Although even I am not fanboy enough to defend Arkham Origins Blackgate. There are some limits to my goodwill)

The main game starts out awesome and just keeps on being awesome. The Nemesis system was especially cool, and Arkham Knight felt like it was missing an important feature without it.

But The Bright Lord DLC has multiple issues.

At first, I thought Calibrimbor needs more health. He's super weak. Had to keep running away from battle to find herbs.

Turns out I was playing it wrong. Unlike in the main campaign, you are supposed to let your minions do all the actual fighting instead of ... actually playing the game, but not in a StarCraft way. More in a "Let's take all the downsides to the mechanics of Brutal Legend and Overlord and combine them so that you are best advised to simply hang back and do nothing to win during any given fight" way. Once I figured that out, and the tendency of your minions to disappear if you stray too far, and the fact that all the missions are balanced for heavy ring usage, it became easy to win. But not in a fun challenging Arkham City way like the main campaign. More in a, "I wish I was playing an RTS so I'd feel more involved and could see what's going on" kind of way.

So The Bright Lord DLC is cool story but lame combat. Finishing the main campaign was fun but finishing The Bright Lord DLC was a chore.

Lord of the Hunt DLC is kind of buggy and unbalanced, but sneaking up on dudes while mounted is pretty awesome.

The Shadow of Mordor story focuses alot on the most fantastical aspects of Tolkien lore, but completely lacks any of Tolkien's philosophical themes. That's OK -- it's not overtly offensive to Tolkien's themes -- it just doesn't actually benefit much from the setting. It would make just as much sense licensed to the Christopher Paulini books or even D&D. (On second thought, Paulini's universe might have been an even better fit since his "Urguls" are actually shown to be convertible) So Tolkien lovers who aren't into video games can skip this one.

Still, if you are totally into video games like me and you want more Arkham stealth and combat but can't afford a PC that will play Arkham Knight yet, then Shadow of Mordor is for you.

Recent Activity

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last played on Oct 21
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dragonfly59 Dec 22, 2016 @ 1:59am 
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+rep good trader
mac420 Nov 12, 2016 @ 9:24am 
+REP: Fast, fair and friendly trader! Reliable and recommended!
Skarxing Nov 9, 2016 @ 3:17pm 
+Rep, great and fast trader!
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+ Rep, thanks for the trade
chakilgan Nov 6, 2016 @ 6:55pm 
+Rep, good trader