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    Mar 29th, 2018 at 09:30:10     -    Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)

    In my third session, no real new mechanics are introduced. Instead I find myself climbing towers to open up new areas, which always merks different kinds of quest, collectibles, or challenges on the map. Most quest involve killing a specific orc, and finding a specific item, which more often than not, is found inside a orc camp.The story is told my well-made cut scenes, yet I find the story a bit confusing. Different groups exist around the map which individually are fighting the orcs. We can join them and fight the orcs together - yet for some reason the story leaves me rather cold. I do not feel invested in the characters or the main story line.
    The gameplay, however, does keep me still invested. It does feel good to get better at fighting, which mostly depends on good timing. Once good at the fighting mechanic, a player can easily defeat very large groups all alone.
    As mentioned in my previous session, I believe that the nemesis system probably is the most interesting aspect of this game. Without it, this game seems a bit boring and repetitive. Yet the system of having randomly created enemies which benefit from the players actions, is a truly interesting game mechanic. What I found interesting is that a player can die to a certain orc multiple times, which will make that specific orc more powerful and raise in mordors ranking system. Once that specific Orc is high in power and ranking, I can kill him and get a powerful reward, or I can “dominate” hime and gain a powerful supporter. I am nor sure if this is intended, because I probably should not be of the players benefit to die multiple times to create a powerful Orc. I wonder, would this be considered cheating, or just using the games’ provided mechanic...?

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    Mar 28th, 2018 at 20:27:07     -    Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)

    In the second gaming session of Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, the gameplay loop developes and stays pretty much the same. I run around on the map, find large groups of Orcs and kill them, while getting better at fighting them and using the special attacks. What makes this ganmeplay loop interesting is the mechanic which creates random “boss-orgs” which spawn randomly in camps and attack. They seem to have specific strenghs and weaknesses, which I should adapt to, if I want to beat them. Interestingly it seem as though if I die by their sword (or boe, or knive, or whatever else) the become stronger. This creates a sort or relationship with my enemy, and keeps the fighting interesting. It is unfortunate however, that more often while I fight a group of orcs, not only one names Boss appears, but multiple. The difficulty then is quite harsh, and I regulary die. This system however, I found that it is calles “nemesis system” has it strenghs and weaknesses. One Orc has become very strong now that he has beaten me multiple times, which he has always suceeded at by bow shooting me while I was fighting others.
    Again, I am a bit surpised by the mechanic of “Mindcontrolling” the enemies to gather intel. While doing it, I did not feel inherintly bad for doing it, yet I was wondering what Kant would say to this. This seems to be the purest form of using someone as means, yet the fact ofthem not being human, and maybe not even having a soul - would this change Kants assumption?

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    Mar 27th, 2018 at 09:04:17     -    Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)

    The game begins, similar to the movies, with a dark screen and a female speaker describing the story background. The atmosphere instantly is very similar as well... very well captured. We are then introduced to our character, who seems to have died somehow. It appears to go back in time and here starts the tutorial where we learn basic fighting mechanics.The animations seem very smooth. The intro switches between two different timelines- now suddenly we find ourselves fighting orcs. I am a bit confused what is happening during these first minutes. Nonetheless, I fight and beat all enemies. We are then told that we are "banished from death" from a mysterious voice. I wonder what that means... The introduction continues to jump between different timelines. I guess we as players are experiencing the past when all was good, what we as player have lost? We are then forced to watch out family and ourselves being executed by Uruks and a mysterious guy talking in some language- this seems to setup a story of revenge. We are then transported in some "ghost dimension" inside Mordor. It is explained that we are banished, and to relieve the curse we need to kill the "black hand of sauron".
    I must say, even if a bit confusing, the introduction does set up quite an interesting story.
    We are now, finally, thrown into the world. Instantly we are in battle. The fighting feels very smooth and organic. We are being introduced to some more game machines. Especially interesting is that we are taught to torture? We are able to torture enemies to get information about our goals. That is quite a interesting mechanic considering that torture is normally considered to not yield in good intel and is generally frowned upon, even in games. I guess here in this game, the setting in Mordor and the enemies being non-human, allows torture to be morally alright? l wonder how the game will continue using this mechanic... Am I able to use this on human enemies - if they exist?
    The world opens up, and I spend the next hour or so running around and killing Orks, dying quite a few times, and having fun encounter with some "special" named orcs. It seems fun, yet I am not sure if this gameplay will keep being interesting after several hours... We will see.

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    Feb 15th, 2018 at 08:40:39     -    Yakuza 0 (PS4)

    Part 3
    So, I called my bosses and take a taxi to get to the Dojima Family headquarter. I wonder what awaits me there? Once I arrive the "lieutenants" of the clan await me. In another long sequence we learn the real issue behind the person who got killed. It seems that there is a plot of land in the middle of a popular area which the Yakuza want to get their hands on. However, because a person died there, it has become significantly more difficult for them now. And they are blaming me? They do not believe that I did not kill that man, even after I clarify that I only "ruffed him up". I am beginning to understand the issue here; the story seems to be more deep and complicated as I would have expected after the first part of the game which seemed like a fun "beat 'em up" game. One thing, which again is interesting to note, is that a gun seems to have been in play, which seems to be bigger deal than we would expect coming from the U.S. It seems that guns are very rare, and hard to get your hands on. After I learn that the person who took me in as an orphan (a higher ranked Yakuza I believe) will be made responsible for my "failure" my character decides to leave the Clan. After the plan is hashed out, I make my way to the boss of the Clan to tell him personally. On the way to him I fight numerous bad guys, where at its end I meet the Boss. I am allowed to leave the family, and one of the other bosses also leaves for a reason which is not entirely clear to me. As a sign of leaving Yakuza he cuts of his little finger, which I for some reason am not asked to do. I have the feeling I will meet that guy again, probably not in a peaceful manner though. This game is setting up quite the interesting story. What I find interesting is that until now I was not able to choose any specific path, so the game is making me play a specific way. There is no way to resolve a conflict through talking or without beating anyone up for example. This is interesting because that means the creators of the game are in full control setting the game up under their ideas of what is right and wrong. Then - because I will fulfill the actions I have to, I will then experience the reactions to it, which the creators have invented, which should in some way reflect their own moral compass. An interesting game, yet it appears to take quite some time to really start.

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    KevinJRoeder has been with GameLog for 2 years, 4 months, and 11 days
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    1Firewatch (PS4)Finished playing
    2Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)Playing
    3Yakuza 0 (PS4)Finished playing


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