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Reviews VideoGame / Middle Earth Shadow Of War

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11/15/2017 17:26:54 •••

Very, very flawed, but ultimately entertaining [spoilers]


-Orcs are still a lot of fun. The Nemesis system is as organic and engaging as it was in the original, and to me, getting attached to allied orcs and forming rivalries is the main appeal of the game. You can have all sorts of cool moments, such as when I was saved from a "no chance" captain by a shot from a friendly archer captain.

-Combat is basically satisfying, though it can be a bit of a clusterfuck with too many enemies on the screen.

-Bodyguards are cool (though I wish you could transfer your bodyguard across regions). Shaming is also sadistic fun, especially once you get the ability to derange orcs.

-Fortress conquests are engaging spectacles, if not particularly deep.

Bad (and there is a LOT of bad)

-Fuck lootboxes. They have no place in a AAA release, and it just goes to show how contemptuous AAA publishers are of their audience.

-Story is absolute shite. The Gondorian NP Cs bored me to tears (especially in contrast to the colourful personalities of the orcs). Shelob is pointless. The true ending is half-assed; Talion doesn't even get a line! The downright stupidest moment is when Eltariel, after spending the entire game decrying Celebrimbor and the new Ring, inexplicably does a 180 with no transition whatsoever and uses the Ring with Cerebrimbor to try and dominate Sauron. It's awful writing, and the story feels padded and intrusive when compared to the organic Nemesis gameplay. I found myself resenting story missions, and speeding through them as fast as possible to unlock all the powers before moving on to the fortresses.

-Fortress conquests, while entertaining, don't live up to the hype. There is no strategy to be had; your army will just surge forward and do its own thing. I was hoping for some tactical options, like being able to approach from different directions or being able to issue orders to you captains. I wasn't expecting an RTS, but I would have liked to have SOME influence on events.

-It is absolutely infuriating that you cannot level up your warchiefs and overlords without demoting them and tearing down your entire command structure. This becomes especially pronounced in act 4; if, like me, you have some favourite orcs that you want to keep around, then be prepared to spend a lot of time messing with your organization.

-You can't command orcs engaged in a mission. You have to either wait for it to resolve or resolve it yourself, both of which take time, before you can command them. This is exacerbated in Act 4.

-Act 4 in general can fuck off. As mentioned above, if you have some favourite orcs that you want to use as warchiefs, then be prepared to spend a long-ass time in the fighting pits grinding. Even without that, Act 4 takes a ridiculously long time for very little payoff. This also undermined the fun of the Nemesis system for me; with so many orcs to kill/dominate, you start to see repeats, and they all start to blend together.

11/15/2017 00:00:00

I wouldn\'t recommend doing the Good/Bad dichotomy if it\'s this lopsided.

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