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Middle Earth: Shadow of War


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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a heads up - this has just gone on sale on PSN for £15.99 for the standard edition and £19.99 for the game and all DLC. I've been keeping an eye on this for a while and far as I know it's the cheapest it's been - at least on PSN.

 

One question, is the DLC worth picking up?

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I also picked this up recently and it's fantastic.

 

It's an even more absurd power fantasy than the first, but they've also increased the depths of the simulation so you have a whole bunch of new strategies and ways you can fuck with the Nemesis system and ways it can fuck with you back. It feels like the game they originally wanted to make, it has like five times as much variety as the previous game, and like actual epic pitched battles between armies that you build and lead, cities falling, unique bossfights, all of that sort of thing. It's also genuinely funny, particularly the hypemen for some of Orcs Captains.

 

I don't know, everytime I load it up I end up playing for ages and come away smiling.

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1 hour ago, carlospie said:

It’s good fun, but I found it gets repetitive. There’s not actually a great deal of ways to do stuff, just end up flipping over bosses, stunning them then back stabbing. I got the ending but screw grinding the ‘true’ ending 

Same complaint I had with the original.

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  • 6 months later...

Playing this again on Gamepass and it's testing my memory somewhat. Were the controls always this bad? Don't get me wrong, the combat is still brilliant - simple and fun yet very tactical and with some utterly badass and hilariously brutal moves - but the non-combat movement controls are sluggish AF. Really terribly slow with godawful jump precision that would embarrass Ezio.

 

Still worth it though for the fighting and the nemesis stuff.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 7 months later...

Finished this the other day, really enjoyed myself and would definitely recommend it. I agree with most of the previous compliments and criticisms but the loot box thing didn't affect me at all, maybe because of a previous patch? 

 

They haven't patched out the loot boxes completely but they certainly don't force them on you. They must've heavily edited the epilogue called Shadow Wars, it's now basically 4 rounds of defend your base instead of 10 as far as I can gather so it's easily possible.

 

I got the true ending and still had about 40,000 Mirian left. I was about level 50 and had completed every other available activity, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

 

In short, if you enjoyed the first one or are a fan of any of the Creed or Batman games definitely give this a try and ignore any of the warnings about loot boxes or a secret ending hidden behind a grind as they're just not true :hat:

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  • 8 months later...

I'm really enjoying this but it is also daft in quite a few ways.

 

I'm speaking as someone who never played the original game, so a lot of this may not apply if you have.

 

Problem no 1. The developers have made no provision for new players. Plotwise there's a spider woman (who I know as Shelob from the books), a ghost guy and the main character who seems to be half ghost/half human. Absolutely no idea what's going on or what led to this. Surely a resume of what happened in the first game would have been easy, and useful to remind players of the first game how they got here. I had to wikipedia the plot.

 

Additionally the developer assumes you know all the systems. There is a *little* explanation of some of it but they definitely assume you've played the first game. The ghost powers are not explained at all.

 

Problem no 2. You are thrown into a world of icons and missions but given no instruction as to what it all means. The gameplay is so good I'm not too bothered but I ended up fannying around Minas Ithil for four and a half hours until I realised I was supposed to move on to the next area much earlier to progress the game. So in the next area the 'tutorial' begins. Madness.

 

Problem no 3. The movement feels very sluggish and sticky but I can put up with it.

 

Despite all this, I'm loving it. I've heard talk of this legendary Nemesis system but after 6 hours haven't even had a sniff of it.

 

Very much looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.

 

 

 

 

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So after playing this for a few days and overthrowing the first stronghold I have mixed feelings. The combat and stomping around killing everything is very satisfying. It can gobble up time like nobody's business.

 

However, I'm still not feeling this Nemesis system... I'm not sure if this is because I haven't fully unlocked it and explored it or because it's confused, and perhaps overly ambitious. My take on it is that it's supposed to generate a unique narrative through rivalries, possessions and vendattas etc. But what I'm finding is that there are so many orc captains that I don't really care about any of them individually.

 

There have been a couple of moments when a captain has taunted me because of a previous encounter hours before, but as so many other captains have been introduced since then I neither care nor remember anything about that encounter. Added to this is that the captains, by and large, are pretty easy to take out.

 

I wonder if this system worked better in the first game?

 

Or, have I merely uncovered the tip of the iceberg and it will all start to fall into place? I was rather wanting it to feel like the relationships I built up with characters in Xcom, but alas no.

 

I don't want to be negative because I'm enjoying it. Perhaps starting with the first game would have been wiser.

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I enjoyed the first game more. Whilst lengthy, it felt like a tighter and more focused game. The sequel is great, and has some wonderful set pieces. But to my recollection the first felt like it was throwing new things at me right to the end, whereas after a point Shadow of War just dropped me into areas with a bunch of new castles to capture.

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Something in the air, I started this the other day too on gamepass, someone I know did as well. 

 

It's quite a difficult/rough beginning isn't it? Died a load of times trying to unlock the first fast travel point until I realised you're meant to just run away a lot at that stage.

 

Seems more varied than the first game. 

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I loved the first game, and while this still captures some of that it does get old quickly. It just feels like too much of a mish mash of storylines, all intended to add variety but ultimately make it lack any sort of cohesion.

 

Also, the freedom of movement on the first game was almost unrivaled (at least based on what i'd played previously). But post BOTW, not being able to move over terrain inside the levels is really jarring now.

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I'm still playing this. It certainly has some addicting qualities but now I've opened up the map (and can see several more fortresses) I've got that 'Ubi' feeling of imminent burnout. I've done about 20 odd hours now and it's repeating a lot plus the Nemesis system just hasn't blossomed into anything really meaningful and awe-inspiring. It's clever but undercooked and I'm not feeling any sort of loyalty or relationship with my captains in the way I think I'm supposed to.

 

My favourite bits of this game are actually more basic: slaughtering hordes of orcs and finding those memory and artifact items.

 

The traversal/movement in this is so hit and miss. It's like you can jump up a massive cliff wall in one giant leap then get repeatedly snagged on a 1 ft wooden ledge.

 

Reading between the lines I get the distinct impression this second game threw too many extra Post-it Note features into the mix while forgetting to refine the core elements that made the original great.

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I started doing all the missions, about halfway through I just thought fuck this and focused on the story, which was pretty decent tbh. The dlc is crap.

 

I think it was this game where you had to pay real money to open chests initially and to be able to get strong enough to even finish it. It had a few total rework patches

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Ok, so I've now 'completed' this and overall I've had a fantastic time with it. At some point this year I'll pick up Shadow of Mordor and see how it compares.

 

I still think the first 5 hours were a bit of a mess but once it hit its stride it delivered a couple of unforgettable gaming moments and hats off to Monolith for doing something genuinely innovative. Let's hope these ideas will be fully realised and built upon in future games (even if they're not LotR related). Though I don't think the Nemesis system quite delivered the depth I was hoping for - largely because the captains started to merge into each other - it's still miles ahead of any mass battle/warfare game I've played before.

 

The siege battles were excellent, a real sense of panic and confusion. Balancing saving your captains (from bleeding out) while taking down the enemy was really well done. The sense of scale, with carragors, drakes and all the troop types piling in was fabulous.

 

I also loved the way many sound effects got fed through the PS4 pad - the sibilant Shelob echoing in caves was particularly well done. Her memories being peiced together into one narrative at the conclusion of her story was another highlight.

 

Spoiler

I'm sure most players will have at least one unique story to tell, but mine was a pretty bog standard orc called Mug the Elusive that kept defeating me because he had a wicked combination of both Iron Will and No Chance. By the time I was level 30 he'd shot up to level 45 and was becoming a real thorn in my side. Eventually I beat him during a siege and shamed the fucker several times until he was practically a grunt again.

 

ACT IV though, what a load of old bilge.

 

Spoiler

To make the player go back and defend fortresses already defended by artificially increasing boss levels is just a cheap, dirty trick.

 

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  • 2 months later...

I’ve been playing this recently and after skim reading through this thread a bit I’d start by echoing what a few other people are saying, and that’s that the game does throw you in at the deep end to begin with, there are just too many systems and skills, gear, objectives, map icons, clutter. Too much all at once. 
 

But once I stop being concerned with what half the stuff means or does and just followed the story quests, I started enjoying myself. The stealth and the combat is brilliant, I’ve got a skill now that allows you attract enemies whilst hiding and then leave a wraith where you were crouching and as the enemy comes over to investigate, the wraith kills them - the amount of times I’ve done that walking towards the camera with the wraith stabbing to death an orc behind me is quite a lot, because it’s just so damn cool. In fact I spent most of the my last session for about three hours just roaming about the first area of the map getting in fights because the combat and the skills are so, so satisfying. I played Shadow of Mordor but I’d forgotten just how strong the combat in this series is, the countering and executions, the bow, it’s all so smooth and seamless and really gives you this sense of power and awe. The skill upgrades are really good too. 
 

And of course the nemesis system, which I’ve not got overly involved with yet but then you don’t have to of course, the game does it all - but I look forward to building my own orc armies whenever that gets unlocked, I can’t really do much now other than interrogate worms. 
 

I still think there’s too much going on when you start, but as it begins to settle it matures into something quite special and really well made. Looks awesome too with the huge towers and structures. 

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