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Radar List? Middle Earth - Shadows of Mordor

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I just noticed this game, as they have a dev preview on Twitch.TV, it looks really good, as it is based on the combat action engine used for Batman Arkam game.

 

Is this something that should be on the radar list?

 

https://www.shadowofmordor.com/announcing-middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-season-pass/

 

Middle-earth_Shadow_of_Mordor_logo_2.png

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an upcoming third-person action role-playing video game developed byMonolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Games which takes place in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien'sLegendarium, the world in which The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are set. The game is due on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on 7 October 2014.

General Information Title: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Publisher: Warner Bros. Games. Description: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an upcoming third-person action role-playing video game set in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium, the world in which The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are set. The game is an open world video game, and the player can roam around the world freely and complete side quests in Mordor. The game features a combat system where the player character often fights several enemies at the same time from a third person point of view, using a combo system which allows the player to accumulate experience points as the player's combo meter increases. Outside of combat the player is able to specialize in two distinct skill trees, and the player can spend their experience points on specific skills. The game features a unique Nemesis system: every enemy players' face is a unique individual, differentiated by their personality, strengths and weaknesses. These enemies are shaped by their encounters with the player to create personal arch-enemies who are unique to every gameplay session. Similar Games: Batman Arkham seriesAssassin's Creed series. Genre(s): Action role-playing game. Playthrough Length: Unknown. Difficulty: Unknown. Security Concerns: None. Multiplayer Information Online Multiplayer: None. Local Multiplayer: None. Voice Chat: None. Connectivity Structure: Unknown. The game may use the Warner Bros. ID (WBID) system. Age of Community: 18+. Community Attitude: Not applicable. Gameplay Information ESRB Rating: Rating pending. PEGI Rating: Rating pending. ACB Rating: Rating pending. Content Labels: To be announced. Cost Information Subscription: None. In-game Purchases: None. Gambling Elements: None.

 

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I read a good write up today, its good combat and lore, no end game really, read on!

 

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-a-shadow-of-its-own-ambition/

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: A shadow of its own ambition Decent action and engaging encounters lack the context to form a great story.

by Scott Nichols Sept 30 2014, 7:30am EDT

mordor2-640x360.jpg GAME DETAILS Developer: Monolith
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PS4 (reviewed), PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Price: $60 (PC: $50)
Links: Steam | Official Website

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's style, and its very existence, owe a lot to Warner Bros. and its other big licensed gaming series of the past few years: the Batman: Arkham games. Rather than push a license through excessive crunch time to coincide with a new movie, theArkham model let Warner Bros. put the time into developing a game with an original story that would stand the test of time. The game draws both the evergreen franchise fanatics and those not automatically drawn to the license's source material.

So rather than trying to retell the now well-worn tales of Bilbo or Frodo's journeys, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordorswitches gears entirely, telling a story that takes place between the end of The Hobbit and the start ofThe Lord of the Rings trilogy. The game isn't designed to fully bridge the gap between those stories, though. As the title says, this is less a Lord of the Rings game and more a "Middle-earth" game, focused on expanding the continent's mythos, starting with Sauron's domain in Mordor.

Revenge of the Ranger

 

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Players take on the role of Talion, a ranger of Gondor tasked with guarding the Black Gate that separates the orcs of Mordor from the human kingdoms. Within minutes of starting the game, however, Talion's tenure as Black Gate guard comes to an abrupt end. He, along with his wife and son, are murdered by uruks under Sauron's influence.

 

A slit throat can't keep a good ranger down, and Talion quickly finds himself resurrected and fused with the soul of an ancient elven blacksmith. From that point the plot vanishes for hours on end while Talion occupies himself by brooding across the Mordor countryside, murdering anything he sees with even vaguely green skin.

As a ranger, Talion is well-versed in ways to kill Mordor's indigenous uruk population. Talion's murderous skills draw a great deal of inspiration from those Arkham games. In melee brawls, Talion fluidly swings his sword in a dance of slashes, counters, dodges, and stuns, with an emphasis on finesse and timing rather than complex button combinations. Stealth plays a key role too; holding the right trigger lets Talion sneak up on foes or climb ramparts to pounce silent death from above. There is even a wraith vision mode (Middle-earth's version of Batman's detective vision), allowing you to see enemies through walls and distinguish how well armed they are to plan your attack.

That isn't to say Talion is without his own unique skills. A bow and arrow makes ranged combat equally viable, and it creates a fantastic interplay with the stealth and swordplay. Later in the game you gain the ability to brand enemies, turning them into allied sleeper cells that activate at the press of a button. Branding can also be applied to the local wildlife, allowing you to ride the monstrous caragors (read: saber-toothed tigers) and graugs (read: Star Wars rancors) into battle.

Its own worst Nemesis

 


All of these combat options function on top of the heavily promoted Nemesis system that lies at the heart of Shadow of Mordor, which serves as a fascinating, unique way to incorporate a more dynamic form of storytelling into the game. The idea is that leaders in the uruk army, the captains and warchiefs, each have distinct names and personalities. These orcish military leaders can develop personal rivalries with each other and with Talion that evolve as each new encounter unfolds.

 

At first, the Nemesis system seems to work in satisfying ways. You might hunt down and interrogate an uruk informant, who'd then tell you under duress that one of the other captains is afraid of fire or has charisma that boosts the strength of his minions. Knowing these personality traits become essential to planning your attack, as you try to stalk and isolate captains in situations where you will have the upper hand.

If you fail in an attack on a captain, on the other hand, that captain will taunt you relentlessly in future meetings, possibly even going out of its way to hunt you down with increased strength later on. If a random uruk happens to kill you in battle, they'll likely earn a promotion to captain for their performance, with a new name and cockier personality to match.

Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for the Nemesis system to begin falling apart. Captains pop up rather randomly all over the map, so there is never any sense that a specific captain is ruling over a particular region. This makes it particularly odd when missions ask you to take advantage of rival captains fighting over border disputes that aren't reflected on the map.

Moreover, the lack of cohesion between the disorderly uruk ranks undermines the game's attempt to portray captains as significant leaders. Captains regularly get promoted to fill the empty spots in the uruk hierarchy that Talion leaves behind, but no individual captain spot has any significance over any other. Eliminating a captain has absolutely no larger impact on Mordor's landscape or uruk population, removing any context for why Talion should care about the captains and warchiefs aside from personal grudges.

Sure, captains will align with and protect certain warchiefs, but once you defeat that warchief there is no sense of a power vacuum to be filled. Mordor remains static regardless of your actions, which largely prevents any meaningful dynamic storytelling from taking place.

Eventually you can use Talion's branding ability to gain influence over specific captains, giving them the strength to assassinate or betray other captains and warchiefs. It is a fun mechanic to further your inexorable carnage, but it becomes little more than a gimmick without any greater established context for why the uruk army's power struggles matter.

Even the individual uruk personalities begin to blend together. This is partly because you will encounter the same names again and again, even after killing uruk with those names multiple times—"Humgrat the Vile" must be part cat, as he's already used up four of his nine lives in my playthrough. Furthermore, the uruk personalities are not all that distinct, frequently reciting the same dialog before each encounter. Sometimes, three captains joining the same fight will all introduce themselves with the same exact line about their followers taking bets on how you'll get killed.

Failing to come together mordor3-640x360.jpg

Unfortunately, Shadow of Mordor seems to be counting on its Nemesis system to keep players invested, because the central character story certainly doesn't fill that role. Talion is a walking one-note revenge story, complete with a disgruntled lone-wolf complex that makes him insufferably bland in nearly every cutscene. His spectral elven companion fares a bit better, and this sidekick comes with the benefit of a quest line that delves deeper into Middle-earth's history.

For the Middle-earth superfans out there, Shadow of Mordor is packed with lore to discover and nods to details Tolkien only ever hinted at in The Silmarillion. While Shadow of Mordor doesn't really distinguish itself as a standalone story, this supplemental history makes exploring every corner of Mordor worth the trip.

Speaking of little details that Shadow of Mordor gets right, the PlayStation 4 version in particular makes the best use of the controller's speaker yet to date. Clanging swords, rustling grass, and whooshing winds come through the controller to immerse you in a layer of aural depth by bringing sounds that are closer to Talion closer to your own ear as well.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor excels in its moment to moment action, but it stumbles over itself when trying to provide context for that action. In the end it is the Nemesis system, which was supposed to make the game world feel more organic, that highlights how static and mechanical this virtual Middle-earth actually is. The game lays solid groundwork for future adventures exploring Middle-earth's regions and lore, though.

Perhaps, like the Assassin's Creed series before it, this rote but mechanically sound first entry will lead to more fully satisfying future installments. For now, though, Shadow of Mordor is a decent action game that is merely a shadow of its own ambition.

The Good:
  • Satisfying and fluid combat whether using arrows, stealth, or swordplay.
  • Tons of hidden lore for Middle-earth fans to dig into.
  • The Nemesis system can lead to genuinely interesting individual encounters.
The Bad:
  • Talion is a boring, one-note protagonist.
  • The Nemesis system repeats itself too often.
  • Your actions have no impact on the game world, rendering the Nemesis system somewhat unsatisfying.
The Ugly:
  • The faces of the uruk.

Verdict: Try it to get a taste for the combat and the Nemesis rivalries, but bow out before the systems start to unravel.

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Is it a multiplayer game?  It looks like a RPG to me.

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It's an action rpg-lite, Assassin's Creed meets Midle Earth.

 

You get experience and "power" and collect runes. The Experience points and "Power" are all used to buy up all avaialble skills/powers/abilities. You can decide what to "buy" first. But eventually it looks like you'll be able to buy everything. 

 

The runes that drop off orc captiains seem to be randomized a little bit. You can swap them out of your weapons as often as you like. They grant certian bonuses or special abilities.

 

It's very action and stealth heavy. A lot of fun. It's single player. Although you can go on alternate missions to defeat Orc Captians that have defeated real players. So some game information is shared.

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Yeah, "Single-Player" is the reason why it's not on the Radar List.  The idea behind the Radar List is to keep track of upcoming MMORPG's that COTP may want to establish a chapter in.  Without a guild function or multiplayer options, it wouldn't really apply.

 

However, that being said - for SP it does look like an awesome game! :drinks:

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