Shadow of War was developed by Monolith Productions it is a follow up to 2014’s Shadow of Mordor which was met with a lot of praise for its interesting take on open-world action game with the Nemesis system and interesting interactions with the enemy Orcs.
Shadow of War is an Action RPG with a loot system and leveling and gear rank and that was one of the things that really excited me about the game but it is ultimately done poorly, you only have Sword, Dagger and ranged weapon for weapon class and the more powerful gear is only more powerful by few points, then there is the Legendary gear which adds interesting perks but still nothing that interesting, the enemy Orcs also have that ranging from Normal to Epic and Legendary orcs with their uniqite and interesting perks which I found to be better than the gears, adding a legendary orc to your ranks was one of the things that I enjoyed about the game.
Mobility is another matter, the game the same feeling I got from playing Saint’s Row 4, a lot of powers to play with and at the same time a little Batman Arkham movement too with the stealth movements, it is all good and gets the job done but I just wish it wasn’t so overpowering, furthermore the locations are varied from region to region from the snowy mountains to swamps and jungles and urban areas which I really liked more than Shadow of Mordor’s locations, the open map is huge and it is well-designed alowing you to move around however you want.
Combat is very fun while feeling a bit worn off, the whole Assassin’s Creed/Batman Arkham combat is not that fun anymore despite the later fight providing a bit of challenge which makes countering and using some of your skills fun and satisfying, but it doesn’t help that the auto-targeting system sometimes targets your allies and you end up beating them up too, I really hope this is the last we see of this combat style and we move toward the Souls like combat which is proving to be much more fun and rewarding with games like Assassin’s Creed Origins embracing it, Stealth is fun and skills like chain takedowns is useful and makes attacking a pack of Orcs rewarding and fun, The Nemisis system has elevated the combat and the gameplay significantly, you actually care about your enemies and the Orcs you are fighting or when they are fighting beside you it is a very smart system and very well designed.
The worst part in my opinion is the story, I couldn’t care less about any of the characters or what was happening or anything for that matter, Talion is a character that I couldn’t care less about, he might as well be a nameless mute that you make at the beginning of the game seriously it is really terrible and I think that is the worst part of Shadow of War and Shadow of Mordor, the fact that they are set in the Lord of the Rings universe I wish it was based in an original fantasy universe that was made from ground up for these games.
Verdict : I spend over a 100 hours playing Shadow of War and I really enjoyed it, while the uninspired loot and god awful story didn’t make me fall in love with it as much as I thought I would I still had a really good time with it and I always look forward to the next game from Monolith. (8.5/10.0)