Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor Game Of The Year Edition Incoming

One of last year’s best games will be getting a game of the year edition packed with all of the game’s DLC.

As is the case with just about every big game these days, last year’s fantastic Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is getting a game of the year edition.

Warner Bros. made the announcement today, revealing that it will launch on May 5th for $50. The game will be available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with no mentions of last-gen consoles being made.

Along with the main game, this game of the year edition will come with all previously-released DLC. That includes the following:

Story Packs: The Lord of The Hunt and The Bright Lord

Skins: The Dark Ranger, Captain of the Watch, Lord of the Hunt, The Bright Lord, Power of Shadow, and Lithariel Skins

Runes: Hidden Blade, Deadly Archer, Flame of Anor, Rising Storm, Orc Slayer, Defiant to the End, Elven Grace, Ascendant, One with Nature

Missions: Guardians of the Flaming Eye, The Berserks, and The Skull Crushers Warband Missions

Challenge Modes: Test of Power, Test of Speed, Test of Wisdom, Endless Challenge, Test of the Wild, Test of the Ring, Test of Defiance Challenge Modes

Additional Features: Photo Mode

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is developed by Monolith Productions for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

An Indie Studio Could Continue The Condemned Series

Jace Hall wants to hand off the series to an indie development team, but who should he provide it to?

The man who owns the Condemned video games series, Monolith Productions founder Jace Hall, posted a message on his Facebook page a few days ago. He mentioned that he is committed to other things and will be for some time, but he is consistently asked if a 3rd installment in the Condemned series will ever be made.

This is where Hall is contemplating something interesting, as he is considering “providing” the series to a proven indie development team so they can move the franchise forward. It is not specified whether or not he means to take back the series at some point down the line, but he definitely wants something new for the series to happen within the foreseeable future.

I personally love both of the Condemned games that released on the Xbox 360 many years ago and would love to see the series continue in some way. The games are credited with paving the way for many current horror hits like Outlast and Amnesia, and it would just be awesome to have it back in the fray again along with those it influenced.

Hall concludes the message by asking, “Should I explore this idea further? What say you all?” You can find the message right here and let him know yourself!

Condemn O.R. Condone – Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor (PlayStation 4)

A surprisingly unique tale of adventure in revenge set in the land of Middle-earth.

All things considered, the world of Tolkien’s Middle-earth has had a pretty solid level of quality in the gaming world. Back when The Lord of the Rings debuted in theaters, movie-licensed games were released for both The Two Towers and Return of the King, which were both surprisingly solid action games. Rather than just being a quick cash in that vaguely references the movies with lackluster gameplay and graphics, you felt like you were actually a part of the movies and the depth to the combat was immense and a heck of a lot of fun to pull off. However, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is not a retelling of any Tolkien story previously released, but a brand new one that is set in the same world that features familiar and brand new characters. The game is all the better for that reason, as it sets its own rules and contains interesting mechanics to create one of the most memorable Lord of the Rings experiences yet.

The game begins with a very shocking and brutal cutscene where a ranger named Talion and his family are ritually executed by servants of the dark lord Sauron. However, Talion’s spirit is bound to a mysterious elven ghost and returned to life to exact vengeance against the armies of Sauron. The twist is that Celebrimbor can’t remember who is and he must travel with Talion in attempt to reclaim his memories. This is all set somewhere in between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as Gollum shows up occasionally and you learn that he has already lost the ring that fans will know was found by Bilbo. Although it doesn’t necessarily add add a whole lot to the actual overall narrative of the Lord of the Rings or compare to the source material in overall quality, this is the one time where we really get to see a lot more of Sauron and I appreciated that.

Many people have been comparing Shadow of Mordor to both Assassin’s Creed and the Batman: Arkham games, and I would say that its a fair comparison to make when getting to the game’s core mechanics. The way you traverse obstacles and use stealth vision to pin-point enemies and items is very much reminiscent of the Assassin’s Creed series, while the free-flowing and counter-based combat reminds me a lot of the Batman: Arkham games. Where Shadow of Mordor shakes things up is in offering a much darker and brutal version of both stealthy exploration and brutal combat. Seeing as this is set in Middle-earth you are often running through barren lands and scaling medieval forts and villages filled with viscous Orcs, Uruks and other cruel enemies to make your life a living hell. The difficulty of the combat mixed with the sheer amount of enemies that you can potentially end up facing at once makes this one feel more challenging and unforgiving than its contemporaries.

When sneaking into an area filled with orcs that you have to take out, it’s always a good idea to utilize the game’s stealth mechanic (Wraith Mode) to pick off some people with the bow before anyone’s aware of your presence. You have a focus meter while in stealth that slows down time briefly when using the bow to line up a couple easy head shots, but once that runs out you’re back in real time and suddenly the swarms of enemies are aware of your presence. You’ll find yourself quickly surrounded by swarms of Orcs, and as you swing your sword violently at any one of them you will have at least a few to the side or behind you trying to get a cheap shot in. You have to constantly be aware of your surroundings and be ready to counter any incoming attacks that aren’t directly in your line of fire, making each combat scenario absolutely frantic. This can occasionally feel a bit repetitive as sometimes enemies never seem to stop coming, but I found that once I got a better feel for the combat and learned how to deal with certain situations that the kinks got ironed out pretty quickly.

The game does give you many environmental options to help deal with the armies of Sauron, should you find that one particular scenario is simply too difficult due to the amount of enemies at hand. In most locations you will find a nest containing Morgai flies or a cage containing a viscous Caragor, and if you tamper with one of these while a swarm of enemies are nearby you will find that their numbers dwindle very quickly. There are also explosive barrels that cause some serious damage to anyone in the general area, either resulting in the death of the enemies or causing them to flee. However, there are certain types of enemies that these environmental hazards often won’t effect too much, and they are where the true meat of the game comes into play.

Each swarm of Orcs is always being lead by one or several Orc captains that are much more powerful than regular enemies. They each have unique strengths and weaknesses that can be revealed by gathering intel on them from other Orcs, which will greatly assist you in taking them down. Some of these captains will be invulnerable to ranged attacks and others will be susceptible to burning, and it’s up to you to learn these strengths and weaknesses beforehand so that you have an advantage when the showdown comes. The captains are formidable opponents on their own, but when they have a swarm of Orc soldiers with them they are incredibly difficult. Often times I ended up backing off and hiding just to try and sneak up on the Orc captain to get a few quick shots in before scampering off again. These encounters are always very tense and exciting, with defeat happening just about as often as victory does.

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However, all of this is made infinitely better by the game’s incredibly-unique Nemesis system. If you fall in battle to one of the Orc captains you will be taken to the Sauron’s Army screen where you will see the captain who just killed you rise in rank. This makes the captain more powerful and have less weaknesses for you to exploit the next time you face him, forcing you to take each and every encounter very seriously. This is all made even better by the fact that a 5-10 second dialogue clip is played each time you encounter any Orc captain, and if they’ve killed you once or several times before they will proceed to rub it in your face. They will often even reference the type of encounter that happened previously, noting that you burnt them or ran away last time. This system makes the game so much more dynamic as the captains add stories of their own to the world and make you want to get revenge on them for humiliating you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for the Nemesis system, though. As captains move up in rank they will get more and more devastating and will also have body guards with them that are fairly powerful in their own right. However, due to the fact that Orcs are pure evil, they are also constantly battling amongst themselves for power. You will often see that one Orc will challenge another that is higher up in rank for a shot at his position, with victory resulting in that Orc taking the spot on the totem pole. There will also be power struggles that you can partake in, in which two Orc captains and their followers will battle it out for leadership. If you want one particular side to win for any reason at all, just hop in or shoot from a distance to give one of them the advantage. The amount of different kinds of scenarios that are possible with the Nemesis system is truly impressive, as it not only works extremely well but is also a concept that is entirely original.

Shadow of Mordor is very big and is absolutely overflowing with things to do. Each section of the world map is initially vacant, but when you unlock the section’s Forge Tower it not only grants you the ability to fast travel to that location, but also reveals all of the area’s spots of interests. There will be hidden items to collect, missions to take part in, power struggles to decide the fate of or Orc captains that must be dealt with at any given time. The game is constantly offering the player multiple things to do, making the world feel very expansive and brimming with life. Although the main story lasts a pretty solid 15-ish hours, if you also regularly partake in side missions you can easily double the amount of time spent with the game.

Character progression is a vital aspect of the game, as you will need every new move and ability to make it to the end. The game features both an ability and attribute skill tree, requiring you to accumulate both experience points, power points and Mirian to unlock new skills and skill tiers. Abilities provide new moves for both Ranger mode and Wraith mode, which ultimately boils down to more hand-to-hand combat moves and stealth and ranged combat moves. Attributes are there to improve your actual stats; such as max health, ammo, and focus. You can also get more rune slots for your weapons, which allows you to equip runes to your sword, bow or dagger to imbue them with various stat bonuses. Each weapon can hold up to 5 runes at a time, so with the right combination of runes you can create a truly devastating arsenal.

As the game progresses you will constantly be unlocking new things from the Appendices, which is a menu that contains vasts amount of information on the game’s people, monsters, artifacts, locations and more. While you get a general idea about each location as a result of direct gameplay, it’s great to have all of these files that really help flesh out the world if your seeking more information. The amount of content on hand here is extensive, so you could easily spend a hefty amount of time just reading about all of the lore contained within the game. The appendices also helps flesh out some of the game’s less prominent characters, giving you a better understanding that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a surprisingly unique tale of adventure in revenge that takes place in Tolkien’s famous land, offering lots of content to sink your teeth into. While the combat itself is solid enough in its own right with challenging and brutal enemies, it’s the Nemesis system that makes this game truly shine. The sense of actual consequence that you feel for failing to take down an Orc captain and then witnessing him rise in power is a crushing blow to the ego, but gathering your composure and coming back to defeat him with all odds against you leads to a sense of victory that very few games manage to illicit. Talion and Celebrimbor’s tale of revenge against Sauron may not be as good as the source material, but the fact that it’s set around game mechanics that are this good and in a world this vast truly enhances the experience. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is, without a doubt, one of the finest games to ever be set in the land of Middle-earth.


New ‘Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor’ Trailer Flaunts Season Pass Content

More Mordor.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has just been released to very favorable reviews this week, ushering in yet another wave of Tolkien-inspired gaming. While the main game has plenty of content for gamers to sink their teeth into, the devs have plenty more content stashed away that they’re hoping everyone will buy in the form of DLC.

The contents of the Season Pass contains a lot of really interesting content; including new runes, skills and even the opportunity to battle Sauron himself. All of this brings up the question of whether or not this content is being held back to suck more money out of consumers, but we’ll just put that issue aside for the moment and have a look at the trailer. 

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is developed Monolith Productions for the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Last-gen Versions Of ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’ Delayed

Me thinks they want you to buy the next-gen version.

The delays keep on coming, as it has now been revealed that the last-gen versions of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor have been delayed. Those versions of the game are now set be released on November 18th, which is nearly two months after their next-gen counterparts.

The next-gen versions of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor are still set to be released on September 30th, which is after they got a slight bump up in release recently.

Condemn O.R. Condone:

To me, this sounds more like the publishers want more sales for the next-gen versions. By pushing back the last-gen versions, that guarantees that a heck of a lot more people will jump over to next-gen rather than waiting two months. It’s true that their could be *some* sprucing up that needs to be done on last-gen considering that it is being handled by different developers, but almost two months? I don’t think so.

Video Judgment… Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor Story Trailer

Monolith Productions, who are responsible for the awesome F.E.A.R. and Condemned series, has revealed the story trailer for their upcoming action RPG Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor you control a character named Talion, who is a ranger that has wraith-like abilities. Check out the trailer below. 

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is releasing for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.

My Judgment:

Though the game doesn’t look all that impressive from a graphical standpoint, the fact that Monolith is making a game set in the Tolkien universe is enough to get me frickin’ pumped. I really liked the tone that this trailer conveyed, and i’m interested in seeing just what you’ll be able to do with those wraith-like abilities.