Game Review: Middle Earth: Shadow of War
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Rating

Graphics: 9/10 - Good graphics, not the best, but still above average. What you would expect from a triple A game.
Audio: 8/10 - Nostalgic LOTR music that brings back the feels. At times the music feels misplaced or just not quite right.
Story: 8/10 - Continuation of the story from Shadow of Mordor. Very good story that 
Controls: 7/10 - Controls are similar to Shadow of Mordor, and you are able to customize them how you want them. Drake's controls didn't feel smooth.
Originality: 9/10 - LOTR game, and it approaches a more in-depth view of Mordor.
Replayability: 7/10 - The game has a lot of repetition, that if you don't love, you probably won't feel the need to play the game again after completing it.

Overall: 50/60 - 83%

Review

 

Shadow of War is the sequel to the Shadow of Mordor game. It features many improvements over its predecessor. Some of the improvement are the larger map, different biomes, the improved nemesis system, additional characters, more abilities, ability to control Drakes, summoning, sieges, and a level system.

On the larger map, I really liked having the different biomes and terrain that came with each area. I would have preferred it all being open world instead of having to load each region. While the new terrain was nice to look at visually, it made it a pain to move around, as they introduced vertical mountains and slopes that you cannot actually climb over, so you have to go around. Mordor is full of these and it made it more of a pain than a desire for me. The fast travelling around was nice, but I would like to just start missions instead of having to travel to each one, especially if I already control that region... It makes it where the repetition of killing orcs is intensified. 

The nemesis system got a major boost with levels and titles and how the orcs interact. Each orc seems to have a different voice actor and a different interaction with Talion. These interactions create an even deeper connection into the game and helps with defining Talion's character. With shaming the orcs as an option when you beat them they can go insane, and their titles can change depending on that. The titles of the orcs will also change if they beat you as well. Expect to get some surprise ambushes from some of them, along with new things I want to leave for you to experience yourself. Added into the game is an arena that you can use to upgrade your orc captains, but you need to be careful, because the arena can actually kill your orc captains, although this will allow you to then go fight and capture that orc (if you are a high enough level).

Drakes. Drakes are a wonderful addition to the game, and I wish I was better at controlling them and that they felt smoother. The drakes movement can be a little haphazard and hard to control. Every drake has a breath attack, as well as a projectile breath attack. I myself have not quite gotten to the point where I can just summon a drake and ride it, but that might help a bit with moving around the map. They do feel really strong to use, and don't seem to easily be killed.

Summoning is a nice addition into the game with the ability to summon a caragor, graug, or drake, depending on what you have unlocked. You also have the ability to summon in some friendly orcs, upgraded orcs, or summon a captain orc as a bodyguard. These summoning abilities allow for some neat interaction when you summon them. They also allow for some good turning tides of battle and strategy in the game, especially for sieges.

Sieges are probably the best improvement to this game. In each region is a castle that you siege and take control of. Once you take control of a castle, and subsequently that region, you are able to set your orc captains as the warchiefs and warlord of the castle. The higher the level you are the more you are able to set to defend your castle. Each captain can also have special abilities to use to defend their region in the castle as well. These upgrades cost Mirian which you get from completing missions and from killing certain enemies that drop Mirian. You can also siege other players' castles (without actually affecting them). This allows you to test out your army against another players castle and gain/lose rank depending on how you fared. You can lose your orc captains in these sieges if you aren't careful.

Overall, if you were a fan of the Shadow of Mordor, then you will probably like this game, and I can recommend getting it. I do find it to be more of a filler game to play when you are bored than to play it as a main source of entertainment, as I think it is a game that you can easily get burnt out on with all of the repetition and grindyness. 

 

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