Review Round-Up – Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor

It’s time again for a review round-up, with Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor up next from Monolith Productions.The game bridges the gap between The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings but does it live up to Tolkien’s legacy or does it fall foul of the licensed game curse?

We’ll have our review as soon as we can, but in the mean time, check out some other scores from elsewhere on the Internet. You may be pleasantly surprised.


Based on its scores it looks like Monolith have cracked it, with mostly high scores across the board bar a blip from Destructoid.

IGN – 9.3/10 “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor stands out from other open-world action games by putting a great new layer on top of the trail that Batman blazed. I was surprised at how well it integrates its excellent combat with rewarding feedback and progression not just for me, but also for my enemies. I’ve had many more memorable and unpredictable battles with its randomized Warchiefs and captains than I did in the scripted campaign missions, and I expect those to keep on coming.”

Eurogamer – 8/10 “At the start of the game you’re not much more than a lowly Ranger, sneaking through camps and silently slitting Orcish throats in the night. By the end of the game you’re boldly strolling through those same camps, as terrified uruks whisper tales of the Ranger-turned-Gravewalker over fortifying gulps of grog. There’s plenty to see and do in Mordor when you’re dead; all that’s left, in the words of a wise old wandering wizard, is to decide what to do with the time that is given to you.

Gamespot – 8/10  “this is a great game in its own right, narratively disjointed but mechanically sound, made up of excellent parts pieced together in excellent ways. I already knew what future lay in store for Middle-earth as I played Shadow of Mordor; I’m hoping that my own future might one day bring another Lord of the Rings adventure as stirring as this one.”

Kotaku – Yes  “To compare Mordor to the Arkham series one more time, Lord of the Rings offers this game a familiar setting and a strong undercurrent of emotional urgency. But the game gracefully manages to keep the fiction of its own universe at arm’s length throughout. This gives Mordor welcome space to breath and have fun with itself. And even as a Lord of the Rings fan, I’ve gotta say: I’m glad that they did that ”

Polygon – 9.5/10 “The gameplay foundation of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is very strong, which makes it all the more incredible that it’s also the least exciting thing about the game. Most video games choose to either tell you a story or give you a world in which you can create your own stories; very rarely are these two paths mixed, and even more rarely with any success.”

Destructoid – 6/10 “Ultimately, like many ambitious projects, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor doesn’t deliver on everything it sets out to do. Although Monolith’s heart is in the right place and the studio honors the lore, it doesn’t really add anything that’s worth seeing outside of some solid open world gameplay. It isn’t a bad game, it just feels far too repetitive for its own good.”

Joystiq – 5/5 “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a well-paced sandbox game with a revolutionary new game mechanic in the Nemesis System, which I imagine we’ll see iterated on in the years to come. The Nemesis System creates the opportunity for two players to have wildly different experiences fighting the Uruk-hai, while Talion collects trinkets and upgrades…What would have otherwise been a competent sandbox game with solid combat mechanics and an interesting twist on a known fantasy world is elevated by the Nemesis System. Shadow of Mordor is the strategic person’s action game.”



  1. Sounds good. Not a game I’ve been following but I feel like I need to check this now.

  2. Such a brilliant feature this guys, a big fat serious well done to whomever conceived the idea.
    I’ve been following this game, I’ve liked the look of it for a while. I’m so pleased it’s scored well, on the whole. I’m looking forward to the tsa review but this is definitely on my list.

  3. My mate has been going on about this for ages, and I haven’t taken much interest in it, looks like he was right. There’s something to be said about the days when nearly every release had a game demo….

  4. Don’t have to cancel my pre-order, yay!

    • I was thinking the exact same thing. When I saw the sub header “Hobbit-esque scores?” I was anticipating small numbers. Phew. I know a review score is just one persons opinion but a universal panning is hard to ignore. I’m glad that’s not the case here.

  5. Sounds like it could be worth checking out. I’ve barely paid any attention to this game all along but i’m looking for something new to get into now i’m done with Destiny.

    • Hmm, not sure after watching some gameplay footage, seems like a cross between Assassins Creed and Batman.

      • It may borrow elements but it improves upon them. It’s not the same experience. Far more brutal and satisfying. Trust me.

  6. Have been following this with quiet hope but the scores let me know it’s a winner. I will definitely be getting this soon. Cheers for the round-up. :-)

  7. This isn’t normally the kind of game that grabs my attention but I may have to have a look at this now. Haven’t got time to watch the video and haven’t even seen a screen shot. In fact I have no idea what the hell it looks like or how it plays. I’ll have a look in a bit when I grab some lunch.

  8. Definetly get this at some point. I like the LotR lore and if there is a stellar game out there that does the lore justice and is fun to play…I want it.

    PS what went wrong at Destructoid with their review ?

    • Male menopause?

      • That happened at Destructoid ? :)) Pretty bad cause I didn’t hear about hormone substitution for males at old age :))

  9. Huh. Didn’t give a fig about this game this morning. Knew about it, didn’t care for it.

    Now am thinking that it actually sounds right up my street! :S

  10. Is it wrong that a part of me hoped it would be shite so I could save some money? I mean, there’s only been three good LoTR games: Return of The King, Battle for Middle Earth 2 and Lego LoTR. Guess this makes it four.

    • While looking for a game to play in october I was going through a list, and I watched a gameplay video of this game to cross it off my list. I’ve never had an interest in previous lord of the rings games as didnt seem quite for me. But I ended up watching gameplay for about 40 minutes and was quite impressed. It’s between this and alien:isolation. Decisions

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