Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor is a third-person open-world action game set in the world of J.R.R Tolkien's books 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The story takes place in between these two books, and you play as Talion, a ranger killed, along with his wife and child, by the Black Hand of Sauron(I don't know the lore of these books, so if you don't understand what is going on, then that's ok.) But you soon find an elf ghost named Celebrimbor, who states that the Black Hand has put a curse on you and him and that you cannot die. You then spend the rest of the game fighting your way to Sauron, trying to defeat him just to die and see your family once more. The way I write the story makes it seem stupid, but I did find the story to be engaging throughout, with its twists and you learning the truth of what really happened to the land. Along the way, you meet people who all are fighting for their own reasons. You also find these sort of artifacts to learn about you're right hand man Celebrimbor, and how he plays a role in your life.
Let's get into it. For the most part, this game is fantastic. I didn't think this game would keep me sucked into it for so long, but it did. Their was even a point when I had to just straight shot through the main missions, just to get out my review(no, I didn't spend 2 years playing, I just got the game recently.) One of the biggest aspects of this game, and one of the coolest things I have seen in a video game in awhile, was Sauron's Army, or the Nemesis system. In the game, you can go to this menu, and see the army that the uruks(the common enemy) has. The page shows the different uruk in charge:from the basic captain, all the way up to the war chiefs. I won't go into all of the details of the nemesis system(I do believe some of it should be experienced yourself), but I do love the way you can change the army by your actions, and how killing the uruk isn't the only option. It's also pretty cool going into a sort of search ghost mode and finding these Army captains throughout the map. but what I found coolest was how even though the system would generate new captains all the time, that all the uruk in the army list would still be unique in their own ways, with their own unique features, strengths, and weaknesses. Next, I found the combat to be simple, yet effective. The controls were simple:attack, parry, dodge. But I felt that it being simple made it easier to fight through(kid you not) 50 to 100 uruk at a time. You could use the bow and arrow(which is when Celebrimbor comes in) or use the daggers(which basically does no damage). Their is also stealth in the game, which I found to be pretty easy to sneak around. But it's in what you can do before and after the fighting is what keeps the combat from feeling receptive. In fighting, when you reach a high enough hit streak, you have many options as to what you want to do with your power. The same is in stealth, as for you can do more than just kill. I feel that overall, the combat was good. I also found that the characters I meet(although few, as for most everyone in this world are slaves) are very unique in their own way, and even some of them are important figures to the LOTR world. the collectibles in the map are in a perfect balance, as for their are not too many of them, and the two different collectibles do different things(one paints pieces of a picture on a wall, and one has you find specific points on the collectible, which will show a piece of dialog from random conversations.) Another strong point to this games are the missions. The main missions, although not many, still allow you to go in any order you want to a certain degree. The side missions are where the game gets interesting though. Some of the side missions include killing uruk who have killed people on your friend list, resolving conflict between captains and something else, and many other interesting things.
Their are many things that make this game fantastic, but their are some downsides. The map itself, even though pretty and big, still felt repetitive, as for it mostly felt like uruk walking around everywhere with slaves in muddy areas and broken down buildings. I won't spoil the ending, but I felt that even though there were some cool parts to the lead up to the bosses, the last two boss fight themselves felt incredibly weak. The weapon system was that instead of getting new weapons, you get runes for your three weapons, which the runes are stats for your weapon. I felt that was also a little weak, and that having different weapons would have been a little better.
There thing that I know (or I think I know) I missed, but this is how I feel about the game. This is only my 2nd review, and I know that critics don't write stuff like this, but I don't care. In the end, Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor is a fantastic game with a few small flaws that doesn't weigh the game down too much. It is definitely a game worth playing, and to me personally, is one of my favorite open world game so far.