I have been anticipating this game for a very long time, and now, it’s finally here! It’s been a little while since I bought a game that has kept me so engaged that I stayed up far too late playing it. I think it’s the open world nature of the game mixed with the premise, and most certainly the Nemesis System.
If you are unfamiliar with the Nemesis System, it is insane. The best way I can think to describe it, is that say you are playing the game, and you get mobbed by a mass of orcs and one happens to deal the killing blow. You will suddenly find your screen zooming in on him; hes got a name, and as all orcs have, aspirations to move up in the hierarchy. This orc will then move up to the rank of Captain if there is an open spot or, challenge a Captain in combat which could result in them moving up, or being struck down. Now it doesn’t stop here, even though it’s very cool that any orc in the game world can become stronger from killing you. If, say, a Captain kills you, they will then become stronger, and might become brave enough to challenge a Veteran Captain.
Within orc society, it is a constant seething mass of betrayal and challenges in which the ultimate goal for them is to rule. It’s understandable, the peons get treated like shit. There are constantly power struggles that you can take advantage of, or just let them play out by themselves where sometimes people will die before you even meet them, sometimes soldiers will just get stronger and harder for you to defeat, and sometimes something in between.
Point being, this game is awesome and I have barely moved anywhere in the story. There are a lot of little side things to catch your interest and the added dynamic of the wraith that has joined with Talion really is quite supplemental. I can’t say much for the story yet because I got so distracted with the Nemesis system and barely touched the story. What I have seen so far, though, the story will be decent and will do the LoTR name justice. I have ran into Gollum already, and he seems to know something about the wraith that even he doesn’t know. I am a huge fan of stories that get really complicated and connected, and that seems to be how this universe is knitting together that 50 year gap between The Hobbit and Fellowship.
The combat system and the general feel of the game is like I have read many places before the game came out. It feels like you are playing an Arkham game mixed with an Assassin’s Creed game. Kills are brutal beyond reason, even when they are stealth kills. You can very clearly see the blade pierce through the skull of your enemy and their mouth hangs open with the realization that they are dead.
As an added bonus, if you happen to have a PS4 and an Xbox One, you want it for the PS4. The speaker in the PS4 controller is highly utilized in this game; more than in any game I have played so far. It’s not essential, but the little whispers and sounds that come from your controller really adds to the game.
In short, this game is awesome and I give it the highest of recommendations even if you don’t like or know anything about LoTR.
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