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.”