Please sign in or sign up!
  • Forget your password?
  • Want to sign up?
  •       ...blogs for gamers

    Find a GameLog
    ... by game ... by platform
    advanced search  advanced search ]
    GameLog Entries

    dkirschner's Middle-earth: Shadow of War (PC)

    [December 7, 2021 09:29:49 PM]
    “Beat” this last night. By that I mean that I completed the main story but neglected to complete the Epilogue (which I gather used to be called Act IV). The Epilogue basically requires you to 100% the game and play the “Shadow Wars,” a series of siege missions that the internet tells me runs several hours long (and used to be much longer before patches) and results in a brief cut scene at the end showing the true ending. I watched the ending on YouTube. Neat connection to the classic trilogy. But I actually like the normal ending!

    So, this is the sequel to a game I really enjoyed a couple years ago. Overall impression of this one: more of the same. In fact, too much more of the same! This took me nearly twice as long as the first game and it had no business being so long. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun and engaging the whole time, but you can see how WB went for “endless play” here. You can continue hunting captains and leveling up your fortresses as you see fit. Then you can do the same thing online forever.

    I’m not entirely sure what is different about this game than the first one (I could go back and remember, but meh). There are a lot more skill points to spend, but you’ll unlock all the main skills by halfway through your play time. The rest (of the tons and tons of skill points) just unlock tweaks to the main skills. Combat flows as I remember. It’s hectic, orcs everywhere, and you feel like a badass. You have so many moves; it’s a bit overwhelming! And there are endless map icons to resolve.

    The gist of the gameplay is this (there is a story, and it is interesting, but you’re not here for that): You, ultimately, will capture Sauron’s fortress in each zone. Each zone’s fortress is defended by an overlord and several warchiefs. Each zone also has roughly 15 other chiefs. You can hunt these chiefs at your leisure or take on quests to ambush them while they’re attacking one another, going through a trial, or whatever. You want to kill these chiefs, or better yet, dominate them. When you dominate chiefs, you can then command them to do your bidding. Assign them as your bodyguard, force them to fight other chiefs (and gain levels if they win), send them to spy on warchiefs. The latter is particularly useful because your dominated chief spy will betray their warchief when you attack the warchief. Some warchiefs and overlords have like 5 subordinates, and if you task them all with spying, well, the boss is fucked.

    This is all part of how the nemesis system works in this series. Chiefs all have strengths and weaknesses. You can strategically pit one (say, with fire weapons) against another (say, with a mortal weakness to fire). Find a chief you like, with a good set of strengths and few weaknesses, and level him up through commanding him to fight other chiefs, taking him into battle and having him kill chiefs, or spending resources to level him up. At the end of the game, when you’re trying to take out a legendary level 45 overlord (and beyond in the Shadow Wars), you’ll appreciate having strong chiefs on your side.

    Of course, if your chief loses, he’s gone and your enemy levels up and often gains more brutal traits. It’s especially demoralizing when a chief kills you. Your penalty for death is that the orc that killed you becomes stronger (and gloats). If it was already a tough fight, then this may make it borderline impossible. One time when I was in the high-20s, I attacked a captain in the mid-30s. He had some crazy bow-and-arrow tracking shot that I couldn’t dodge. One of his straights was to be super strong, so he basically one-shot me and I couldn’t help it. Well, he leveled up close to 40 and became “legendary” (i.e., even super stronger with bonus traits). I didn’t tackle him until when I was nearly done with the game. I had forgotten about that bow-and-arrow tracking shot! When he hit me with it (-50% health, ouch), I quickly realized the trick was to close in and not let him get a shot off. I had to kill him before any of the other orcs around, avoiding like 10 regular orcs and another couple captains while chipping away at him, not letting him fire. Easier said than done, but I managed it!

    The game entices you with tense risk/reward calculations constantly. Battles become so hectic and high-stakes, with orcs everywhere, knowing that if you die, some orc becomes especially deadly (and you can use even this to your advantage, as higher level orcs drop higher level gear, so you can purposefully make them stronger to get loot or to level up your followers more quickly). By the end of the game, I was in battles with 5 captains simultaneously. 5 powerful orcs running around using special moves, me trying my best to keep an eye on them all, exploit their weaknesses, and not let them level up. Like I said, it’s certainly fun. But ultimately, that’s the game. Killing orcs. You’ll kill thousands of them, and a hundred captains. Eventually, it gets repetitive. At that point, you might choose to avoid the Shadow Wars, like I did. But that’s okay. The nemesis system is worth experimenting with no matter how far you decide to go.
    add a comment Add comment

    dkirschner's Middle-earth: Shadow of War (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 16 November, 2021

    GameLog closed on: Friday 3 December, 2021

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Really looking forward to the next iteration of the Nemesis system ----------- Cool, hectic, but gets repetitive. Skipped the Shadow Wars.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on Middle-earth: Shadow of War

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game

    This is the only GameLog for Middle-earth: Shadow of War.


    games - logs - members - about - help - recent updates

    Copyright 2004-2014