Games like Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor offer action-packed adventure in a vast open world. Much like Far Cry, it offers numerous side missions and quests for the player to develop their skills, go hunting, craft items, gather materials, and explore. Players can develop their skills in melee, ranged combat, and stealth, as well as improving their wraith abilities and runes.
Taking charge of Talion, a ranger, players wage a private war in the land of Mordor. His possession by a wraith grants him unique powers and resurrects him every time he is slain.
The star of the game is the Nemesis system. Talion in his campaign has to take on warbands of orcs led by their chieftains. Orcs that kill, or even survive an encounter with, Talion receive experience and rise in rank, becoming captains and warchiefs. Each nemesis has distinct traits and personality with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Talion can even brand warchiefs to convert them to his side, causing rifts and infighting within Sauron’s forces.
This system adds to the cinematic feel of the game with different playthroughs having their own highlights outside the main storyline. Orcs that survive numerous encounters with Talion will remember and learn from the experience, developing into fully fledged adversaries.
The storyline also explores an aspect of Tolkien’s universe that is very rarely seen, the land of Mordor. It’s a new take on a well-known world, one appropriate for those new to Tolkien and diehard fans.