Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
I’m not a big fan of Tolkien, I don’t not like him, but I could never get into his books. I loved the Peter Jackson films, but still hated the Hobbit films. I just have no real connection to Middle Earth. And it’s important that you know this, because now you know that I dont give a rats arse if Middle-earth lore gets mangled to high heaven in Shadow of War, I just have nothing invested. What I do care about is fighting and killing Orcs in a setting akin to Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth.
So if you’re a Tolkien fan, I guess you should tread warily into this game, it may just offend you. However, if you loved what the first game delivered, then the second will be right up your street.
Whilst Shadow of War presents to you an Assassin’s Creed style open-world with plenty of stealth and parkour the focus of the game is in introducing Middle-earth’s orc population to the sharp end of what ever weapons you can get your hands on. And being an RPG, your weapons will only increase in deadly pointynees and your progress through the hack and slash fun.
Of course what makes Shadow of War so much fun isn’t necessarily the story line and missions, but the revamped Nemesis system which makes the conflicts personal, very personal. Orcs who kill you will remember you and sneer and taunt you. You’ll be eager for revenge, but be careful, cause every time an Orc kills you he becomes better, more notorious and other orcs will fight with him.
Of course killing an orc that previously killed you gives better rewards.
At some point in the game you’ll probably find yourself forgoing the main mission to hunt down and kill an orc captain that killed you in battle and who you just need to take revenge on, no matter the cost. Whilst this may seem like a distraction from the main point of the game, it just makes everything so personal and more fun.
Either that or I’m just mentally unbalanced.
And that’s just the first part of the game, just wait till you can you drain an orc of his free will so that he can serve you, and then you start to build your own army to take control of Middle Earth.
Shadow of War is certainly a game that will draw you in and keep you occupied for hours on end, and it nicely builds on the original game giving you something familiar yet new.
Rating: R13 Violence & horror scenes.