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Kaz32

Middle-earth: Shadow of War review. More of the first game. Like it or not, depends on you.

4 posts in this topic

Now then. Before I go through how the gameplay of this game is, I'm going to address 2 things that I heard so much about regarding this game:

1) The loot boxes. Are they required, or are they just there?

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Don't worry about this thing. These loot + war chests are not important at all. All of the chests just give you random items + followers, who for most of the time are less powerful than the ones you get in the game and for most of the time in the case of followers, can be converted into gears, and for the items you can just convert them into silver coins, which are actually the currency you use to unlock gem slots for your weapons, upgrade your followers and upgrade your strongholds in the main game. Just by playing the game and fucking around, you can get a lot of silvers and gears.

 

You don't need to pay real money to get the gold currency required to buy them. You can actually get gold by doing challenges which change each day, like "kill captains using execution moves" or "kill a vendetta target" that sort of thing. 

 

As for the stories that people say about how the final Act 4 requires you to buy the loot crate? Not true at all. You know what the last act of the game is? It's a 10 stage "defend your fort" missions that consists of 20+ fort defense missions. If you actually have a strong defense and a lot of high leveled orcs guarding the fort, there is no need to actually buy any of the crate. You can just play the missions normally. Well.... except when you got killed by an orc with a "no chance" perk on them, which means if you get attacked by these guys, you'll automatically lose the mission and you have to take over the fort back. But luckily taking over the fort is easy since there's only 1 orcs guarding each defense posts, and you can sabotage the defense by completing a mission before the takeover.

 

2) What of the game's ending? Is it going to turn people away?

I did say this back when the gameplay trailer was announced

On 3/11/2017 at 3:55 PM, Kaz32 said:

Now I'm having third thought on whether I want to buy this game or not. I want to buy it at first, but then because the game will most likely end up with Sauron winning anyway, I rather not buy it. BUT I want to play the game solo without controlling an army and just kill everyone Goro Majima style

If you are familiar with the Lord of the Rings lore, you pretty much will know that as long as the One Ring exists, Sauron will always return in the end. Plus having a Ring of Power with you will fuck you up in many form and corrupt you. As demonstrated by the many2 people that got consumed by the ring

Not to mention, it's officially confirmed that this game is a prequel to the original Lord of the Rings trilogy films, so you know what that means. I heard that people hated the ending. And since I completed the game, I have one thing to say:

 

Why?? The ending is perfect! It's very lore accurate and it's not a cliffhanger ending like the previous game. Hell, by the end of the game I actually felt satisfied with how everything ends and ties up to the LOTR trilogy films. I even watched the Return of the King again after playing the game and it flows perfectly. This is bold for me to say I know, but this game is a much better prequel than MGSV Phantom Pain, because that game tries to have a twist that may look cool, but just leaves a lot of questions afterward. This game on the other hand is a good prequel that ties to the film really well. And I am dead. Fucking. Serious.

 

Now that those 2 things are out of the way, let's get straight to what this game is about. It's a straight sequel to the first game and begins after Talion + Celebrimbor created a new ring of power to counter Sauron's own ring (BAD IDEA). Basically they both met Shelob, you know, this spider in the film

For some reason she can turn herself into a hot chick here. She took the new ring to herself, and then after 8+ hours of gameplay, you finally get the ring back and you're able to create your own personal orc army. 

 

Like I said, this game has more of what's in the first game. Which if you're not familiar with the first game, it's a game that's quite like a mixture of Assassin's Creed with the Batman Arkham games. You can parkour around the environment to do stealth kills, you can fight many orcs at once with your close combat prowess, and best of all, you can mind control enemy captains to work with you and you can order them to do many things, like infiltrate the enemy ranks and backstab high ranked orcs, pick a fight with other orcs, or just straight up blow their brains out. It's all up to you!

 

In this game there's more combat moves to unlock, more areas to conquer, more collectibles to collect, more enemy types and more orc varieties to destroy or mind control, each with their own delicious characterizations. One time, I even fought an orc named Dûsh, and true to his name, he trash talks a lot, and when I am close to finishing him off, he ran away like a chicken. What a prick!

And I found Kumail Nanjiani in the game.

And I even made him commander of a fort. He has a couple of funny lines in the game, but a lot of the other orcs also have funny ass lines that makes me chuckle. You'll never know what sort of orcs you will encounter in the game.


The gear system has been changed compared to the first. It uses Diablo/ Nioh loot system where you get gears that has different rarities, purple is the best since it gives a lot of buffs, and increases in levels each time you progress through the game. Each gear outside of the common ones have different challenges to them, so if you complete that particular challenge, you can level the gear up further. It also has a gem system which lets you insert 3 gem types to each gear to give them different benefits. Red is all about attack power, green is about health and white is XP related. You can put different gems to each gears and see which combination you like best.

 

A couple of the collectibles in the game have neat minigames. There's a "cleanse a Sauron Tower" which lets you do a "spot these hidden objects in the world map" minigame, a "collect Shelob's past memories" minigame which lets you do an optical illusion puzzle, and there's ones that requires you to do this.... weird poem minigames. You have to collect 6 words scattered around the map. Once you collect them all, you're able to go into a door, and you have to assemble those 6 words into the poems.

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It's a neat brain teaser, and once you solve it, you're given a legendary gear for yourself. Of course the gears themselves will most likely be under leveled compared to the gear that you have after playing the game for hours already, but it's a nice collectible nonetheless. 

 

Oh yes, about the army creator + stronghold attack section. Is it like the trailer?

Of course not! You can't just press a button to execute an enemy that easily. :D

 

But for the other cool shit that happens? Yes. Most of them at least. You take over forts by going to different capture points and stay there until it's taken over. That gate thing at the start is not in the game, though maybe that's because the forts I took over isn't the one in the trailer. I took over forts that has ballista graugs instead. Enemies that you killed will come back from the dead. That drake thing is awesome when you use it for yourself. And thankfully that fire drake machine death can be avoided if you play espionage and cripple the enemy defenses by eliminating the warlords.

 

All things considered, the game does get repetitive once you put 30+ hours into the game. It's the same thing as the first game in that you will be repeating a lot of missions and replace a lot of orc officers to get a better army. If you're fine with that, then that's cool. You'll enjoy this game a lot. Until the last act of the game since it's just a string of 20+ fort defense missions. They should just reduce it to only 10 so it doesn't overstay its welcome. Luckily like I said, it ends satisfyingly in that it directly ties to the LOTR trilogy film in the end,

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and it ends happily. With a pretty sweet end credits song to top it all off. 

And a pretty sweet remembrance to that Michael David Forgey guy who unfortunately passed away but got remembered through an in game character based on him.

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Do I recommend this game? Oh yes. If you love the first game and want more of it that is. But the end game will get repetitive, so beware of that. It's like eating at a 5 star buffet. You'll have so many to eat and it'll make you full if you eat too much. If you hate or don't like the first game, unfortunately this game isn't for you. Better skip this game if that's the case.

 

I give this game the rating of "take over Mordor with your army and conquer everything again and again, but beware that it'll get annoying during the last act of the game. Though in the end, you'll leave the game satisfied."

Arreyanne, Crazycrab and Doctor like this

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Great review as always!  I'm not going to lie part of me does want to try this... but NONE of me is prepared to pay the full price and be conned like I did the last time.  Of the reviews I've seen and read few of them really seem to address the aspects that I had issues with the last time like the lack of challenge, laughably forgivable stealth, repetitive combat, the bland characters, the boring story or that god awful ending!  Once again all the focus is on the nemesis system and the few that do touch upon that other stuff seem to hint that they haven't improved much if at all.

 

Thanks for your input, now I know just to back away from this one.

 

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Nice read again Kaz32, well done.

 

10 hours ago, Kaz32 said:

Do I recommend this game? Oh HELL yes. If you love the first game and want more of it that is. I've been playing this game for 19+ hours and I am still going forward. If you hate the first game, unfortunately this game isn't for you. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to send spies to destroy the enemy warchiefs from within. 

Well, I don't hate the first game but I didn't find it very good either. I played it through but unfortunately it started to feel quite boring after two hours or so. It just felt there wasn't interesting enough things to do in the game world.

Nemesis-system is nice addition but somehow it just reminded me how much more interesting a bit similar system is in Crusader Kings 2 but just much more versatile, interesting and complex.

Still, if Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is going to be released for Linux then I will support the developer and the company who ported it - with full price.

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On 10/13/2017 at 1:16 AM, Crazycrab said:

Great review as always!  I'm not going to lie part of me does want to try this... but NONE of me is prepared to pay the full price and be conned like I did the last time.  Of the reviews I've seen and read few of them really seem to address the aspects that I had issues with the last time like the lack of challenge, laughably forgivable stealth, repetitive combat, the bland characters, the boring story or that god awful ending!  Once again all the focus is on the nemesis system and the few that do touch upon that other stuff seem to hint that they haven't improved much if at all.

 

Thanks for your input, now I know just to back away from this one.

 

Well, I haven't finish the game yet, so it's an impression, but thanks!

 

I've played further into the game now, and I gotta say.... the story's actually pretty damn good. There's cool set pieces, and even a few twists that I didn't even see coming. Aside from a few things that are added in for this game and not the original LOTR lore, I can totally buy that this game is the untold story prequel to the LOTR trilogy. And even though I know how the game is most likely going to end, I still am curious to see how it all wraps up. I want to know how the hell Sauron isn't as powerful in the film as he is here. In the film he's just a glowing flame eye on a tower, while here he's his armored self. 

On 10/13/2017 at 4:55 AM, Doctor said:

Nice read again Kaz32, well done.

 

Well, I don't hate the first game but I didn't find it very good either. I played it through but unfortunately it started to feel quite boring after two hours or so. It just felt there wasn't interesting enough things to do in the game world.

Nemesis-system is nice addition but somehow it just reminded me how much more interesting a bit similar system is in Crusader Kings 2 but just much more versatile, interesting and complex.

Still, if Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is going to be released for Linux then I will support the developer and the company who ported it - with full price.

Thanks!

 

I definitely recommend that you both buy it when the game is heavily discounted, like $10 - 20. Especially since you're both not a fan of the first game since this game is more of the first game. Me though, I give zero fucks about buying a game full price for everything that's $60, since in Australia every price is jacked up crazy high, so new games are $80-100. Jeezus!

So I ended up buying this game for only $49. :D

 

Oh, and I actually notice something about the game: this game is actually very similar to Horizon Zero Dawn. Like, surprisingly similar, aside from the combat since that game doesn't have the Arkham fight system, though it does have the bow and arrow, and of course since in Horizon you fought giant mechs, but overall my Horizon Zero Dawn reflex kicks in while I'm playing this game for some de ja vu unexplained reasons. Maybe it's because I played that game till I got 100% completion and found there's a lot of stuff here that's familiar, or maybe because of the added looting system, but there ya go. 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, since I actually finished the game, I recommend that you two not buy this game. It gets samey once you play the game for 20+ hours, and the last act of the game is pretty unnecessarily long and drawn out since it's a 20+ "defend the fort" missions over and over again, albeit with increasingly difficult orcs to fight. If you are curious on the game's story though, youtube it. It's a good story and a good prequel to the LOTR trilogy film.

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