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Ten Reasons To Play Shadow of Mordor

Ten Reasons To Play Shadow of Mordor
  • On November 7, 2014

I know Dragon Age is coming. It’s ALMOST HERE. You must need some kind of distraction, right? If you haven’t picked up Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor yet, this is the game you’ve been needing in your life.

1. It’s light on story. You don’t want to get involved with something that’s going to take you eighty hours to get through in these short weeks before DA:I. Near as I can tell, the story element in SoM is about three┬áhours, tops. It’s easy peasy, and you don’t even have to play it to enjoy the game.

2. It’s light on gear management and mechanics. Want a fancy move? Push TWO buttons. You make your weapons more powerful via runes but you don’t change outfits once (ew). There’s not a lot to memorize or obsess over. Just point and kill.

3. The revenge thing. There is nothing more satisfying on this planet than going after an orc who killed you and taking the fucker out. Nothing.

4. Parkour. Talion has near-limitless ability to climb towers, walk across ropes and fancy jump off of tall buildings. Even better–he can fancy jump off a tall building on top of an orc, dagger first.

5. This guy


Comic relief AND a weirdly muscly/tattooed/kinda hot dwarf.

6. Vendetta quests. Every once in a while a quest will pop up for you to hunt down the orc that slayed your friend or fellow player. It’s seriously personal when I go after a buddy’s killer. I also once avenged the death of someone named Banana_Hammock. You’re welcome.

7. Finishing moves. I can squeeze a guy’s neck until his head explodes. I can shank him in the kidneys until he’s very dead. I can throw him off a cliff. I can behead him. I can stab him in the eye. I can make a monster bite his guts out. Some days, I need these things.

(note: we’ve decided in my house that orcs are probably agendered, because they are grown rather than born. They all present as male, but they don’t seem to have any interest in sex or reproduction.They’re pretty much killing machines.)

8. Orc taunts. The orcs will remember you, and taunt you accordingly. Many have complained about me and my mysterious return from the dead. I did run into the same giggling orc Kotaku did, and it was seriously fucking weird. The orc taunts match their personalities, and they are hilarious.

9. Gollum

10. Open world. There are a few side quests to collect various collectible things and rescue slaves, a few story missions and otherwise the world is a wide open sandbox to play in. The environment is ripe for wandering around, exploring and getting overrun by eighty orcs while trying to pick a flower. If you unlock all the forge towers you can fast travel from spot to spot, but you can also catch a ride from a caragor and let your ranger hair flow in the breeze behind you as you traverse the landscape.

Light on story but full of engaging and fun gameplay, I think Shadow of Mordor is well worth your pre-Dragon Age time. Go forth and kill orcs.

(images from Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor by Monolith and believed to fall under “fair use.”)

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