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First Impressions: Shadows of Mordor

It has been a little under a week but the role of insurgent in Mordor leaves little time to rest. The constant need to find new Captains to kill, slaves to liberate and general terror to spread among the forces of Mordor, makes me so tired I skip second breakfast. While many a gamer are spending time on Destiny looking for the perfect accessory to complement their new exotic armor, I decided to take a little walk into Mordor, and see what the love child of Batman: Arkham City and Assassin’s Creed would be like and live the life of a Ranger with a score to settle.

Look into my eyes

“He may not have a hidden blade or Bat-a-rang but he gets the job done.”

The Novels, “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings Trilogy” are well known: An obsession with a piece of jewelry forged with ill intentions, and the good guys who seek to end the threat posed by a simple ring. What Shadows of Mordor explores is how “Sauron the Necromancer” rises back from ugly rumor to incredibly powerful despot. Shadows of Mordor takes place between the events of “The Hobbit” and “The Fellowship of the Ring”, in a setting you never see a whole lot of in either series. Mordor, the land ruled by Sauron is a sparse and rather barren landscape filled to the brim with things that want nothing more then to kill and eat you. Not necessarily in that order.

Why can I not hit them with my sword...serious question

“What do you mean just step on it? Its bigger then my boot!”

After a quick and to the point tutorial on basic controls and intro into who you are and why you have a vendetta against all who serve the Dark Lord of Mordor, you are free to explore, fight and wander to your hearts content. With a fight system remnant of other WB Games (Batman primarily) with an emphasis on timing hits and picking your fights wisely, I found that I was most effective when I embraced the role of the wraith, hitting small groups of enemies quickly and fading into the darkness. But you are not on a random murder spree in the countryside. You have a list of names, and violence is never more personal then when you have a name to go with the monster who stands before you.

A face only a mother could love

“All of these Orcs are on Santa’s Naughty list, good for them they will not live that long.”

The main thing that drew me to Shadows of Mordor was the Vendetta system. An evolving list of enemies who are your path to some righteous vengeance. These are not some petty goblins, oh no these are Captains of Sauron’s army whose approach to upper management is equal parts brutality to those above and paranoia of those below. Even the weakest of Captains make fights interesting by possessing qualities like immunity to stealth kills,making the use of Intel to find weaknesses key before confrontations. This allows for greater investment and payoff when you down a particularly troubling enemy. Although he is not known as Sauron the Necromancer for nothing, behold the surprise on my face when a Captain I had faced earlier and dispatched with a well placed decapitation decided that death was not something to lose his head over. Sporting a new look and his own vengeance, it made the second fight all more enjoyable when I ended him again.

So should i be worried about the brain part falling out? Is that sanitary?

“How I feel waking up on a Monday before coffee.”

So all in all, I am thoroughly enjoying my time with Shadows of Mordor, I recommend it to people who enjoy the planning and execution of the Assassins Creed series, the fighting of Batman, the freedom of most sandbox action games and those who really like to know the names of those who wronged them and want to hold them to account.

That is all for now but as soon as my giant eagle shows up I plan on moving on towards more pleasant scenery, so until we meet again.

>Duke of Deception<


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