What is it?
The follow-up to Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor which sees you taking on the role of Talion, once a ranger of the Black Gate. Having bonded with the legendary ring maker Celebrimbor, together you must fight the forces of darkness that plague Mordor.
Is it any good?
I’m a huge fan of Lord of the Rings and the first iteration, Shadow of Mordor, was a great game that put you right in the heart of Mordor. Shadow of War takes everything I loved about that game and really builds upon it. The combat is slick and satisfying, playing stealthily takes planning and thought out tactics. Furthermore, you can now customise your character which wasn’t an option in the previous game. Each new piece of equipment you acquire will change how you character looks; whether that be a new chest plate or a better cloak. The skill tree has been greatly improved to allow players to upgrade each skill further. For example, the skill Elven Agility allows you to sprint and mantle objects much faster than any human, you can upgrade this so that your sprinting is silent to enemies. This new skill tree enables you to really tweak the abilities to your playstyle.
Anything bad to report?
Whilst the skill tree has been improved, this also comes as a drawback. Each skill has 2-3 extra upgrades, I found that having this many options gets to be a bit much and almost a little confusing. The story is certainly more interesting than Shadow of Mordor and whilst I find any story revolving around Middle-earth gripping, I started to get a little tired of it near the end. The quests started to feel repetitive and unrewarding. Lastly, loot boxes have been introduced to the game which I don’t think are necessary in the slightest. Everything you receive from loot boxes can be earned in game with very little effort. It seems like a poor money grabbing scheme that really isn’t needed in this game.
Should you buy it?
If you love Lord of the Rings like myself then yes, buy it. You’ll be running around Mordor slaying orcs left, right and centre having a great time. It’s satisfying to pull off amazing combos or silently kill a band of orcs. But if Lord of the Rings isn’t your thing then you may get a bit tired of the game after a short while.
Since finishing the main story campaign, I can say that the end game is much better than anticipated. Without giving too much away, you gain access to more abilities and the end of the story is amazing! If you do pick this game up, I highly recommend that you fully complete story missions.