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    TwylaFox's Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)

    [February 15, 2018 10:59:12 AM]
    Spent another two hours or so playing last night and I have become totally disillusioned of my earlier fangirlism. I don't seem to be making any tangible progress apart from picking up a few runes, talents, and so forth - merely retracing my former progress ad nauseum. I openly admit to being an altoholic in World of Warcraft but, at the very least, that involves over two hundred distinct combinations of races, classes, and specializations.

    Here, there's only Talion...

    ...dealing with the same uruk bosses time and again...

    ...who become significantly more powerful, win or lose...

    ...again.

    And again.

    I feel I have a sense for what the designers and developers meant to accomplish, but the execution leaves much to be desired. The longer I play, the greater my sense of frustration and futility. Death is meaningless, for both hero and enemy, and 'freed' prisoners are simply recaptured or replaced with new prisoners. What tiny scraps of advancement and improvement are gathered along the way feel insignificant in the face of such rote monotony.

    Maybe I'm just overlooking some key detail which would make everything else fall into place, like those magic pictures which suddenly appear when you squint your eyes just the right way. But, as things stand, this is likely going to be among the rare titles that I actually trade for some other game.
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    [February 13, 2018 11:09:07 PM]
    Got in another two hours of game time today, and the shine has quickly worn off from this game. Despite playing Story Mode (thereby expecting a somewhat linear progress), it behaves more like a single-player MMORPG. The novelty of the Nemesis system grows tiresome when you now engage one of the bosses only to have them joined by at least one additional boss and an increasing throng of minions - leading, of course, to multiple promotions which thereby ensures that they will gang up on you even more.

    What's more is that these same bosses seem to be on extremely short respawn timers, not staying dead for long if at all. My lack of familiarity with the mechanics and environment might be twisting my perception in this regard. Though inadvertently stabbing myself in the hand earlier tonight may play a significant role as well.

    One new experience, however, as I encountered my first troll tonight. Sniping (even when plugging the galoot smack in the eye) seems to do no appreciable damage and melee appears to be out of the question as well - despite some fairly artful footwork, avoiding his attacks for the most part, he eventually got the better of me while I was unable to do any noticeable damage to him.

    Also still at something of a loss for what I am meant to glean from this title. Killing uruks to free the human slaves/prisoners seems something of a no-brainer, unless there is something to be argued in regards to killing many uruks to free a handful of humans.
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    [February 12, 2018 08:57:36 PM]
    Stupid POS ate my entry and I'm too frikkin tired to type it up again!

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    Caught halfway through a cross-town move, I almost forgot about this second series of game logs and spent most of the day (now yesterday) tearing through both places trying to find both the game and the console to get them set up. Managed about an hour and a half of gameplay which - given the overall scope of this title - was barely enough to get my feet wet.

    The game opens with a series of vignettes from the perspective of the game's protagonist - a wraith-like Gondorian ranger named Talion - as he 'relives' the deaths of his son, his wife, and himself. The backstory's similarities to the tales of Beren and Lúthien, accompanied by the eerily-familiar wraith effects, prompted me to check online and, sure enough, Peter Jackson and Weta Workshop were both involved in this game, working from Tolkien's own writings. As a huge Lord of the Rings fan (Jackson's trilogy in particular), these immediately altered my early apprehensions about the game. Atrocious bastardizations of Tolkien's work is fairly ubiquitous so I came into this title with low expectations - the earmarks of Jackson's influence were apparent enough to turn my thoughts hopeful.

    (The elf-wraith Celebrimbor reforging the broken sword - highly reminiscent of when Narsil was reforged into Andúril - was bonus joygasm!)

    Beyond this, most time was spent familiarizing myself with the game's controls. Inexperienced with the PS4 control scheme in general, I often found myself somersaulting over enemies I meant to attack and missing opportunities to parry. Likely far less an issue for more experienced PS4 gamers, but an additional layer of awkward when playing a swift-paced action/adventure title. Setting out, the gameplay was generally straightforward hack-and-slash.

    A clever ruse, it turned out.

    Having escaped after failing to take down the first uruk leader I challenged, I was startled when he seemed to recall my previous attempt when I took a second crack at him. This spurred me to check online again to discover the Nemesis System; essentially a simple 'learning AI'. I've been a stickler fangirl most of my gaming career and it often irked me how enemy NPCs would just casually stroll past their dead comrades and, if you go beyond the reach of their chain, they simply return to "first positions" and act as if the encounter never happened.

    With the joy of this discovery still settling in, I caught glimpse of a certain former Stoor (an early Hobbit tribe that flourished along rivers) named Sméagol (aka Gollum). Bonus @joygasm!

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    It was getting late and I was beyond tired; encounters were running together in a blur and I began losing fights to mere minions, so I decided to call it a night. Most of this was originally written and submitted February 12, 2018 (8:55 PM host time / 7:55 PM local time) but this stupid piece-of-crap 'blog' ate it and the entry was nowhere to be found! I suspect my original entry was superior to this one but, finding it had vanished into the ether, I was in no fit condition to attempt to reconstruct it last night.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 13th, 2018 at 09:39:59.


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    Status

    TwylaFox's Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 12 February, 2018

    Opinion
    TwylaFox's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See TwylaFox's page

    See info on Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

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