I recently got the urge to pop Shadow of Mordor back into my PS4 and slay some Uruks when I noticed that there was a new(to me) DLC available to download for $10 called “The Bright Lord”. I loved the original game and finally had some cash to spare so, I went ahead and got it. I finished it in one sitting…
That’s not even a bad thing, I just couldn’t stop. You play as Celebrimbor, your wraith companion and the Elven maker of the Rings of Power. The DLC takes place shortly after Celebrimbor’s family is captured by Sauron, he steals the One Ring, and begins his uprising to destroy Mordor and rebuild his home, Eregion(some of this isn’t mentioned in game, don’t worry, you didn’t miss something in game!).
I loved this DLC so much because it really gives you a more full look at Celebrimbor’s past and his motivations. You have control of the One Ring from the very start and can activate it to slow down time and give yourself unlimited executions, much like Talion’s Storm of Urfael ability. The Bright Lord really has you focus a lot more on taking control of Uruks through branding rather than standing in a pool of their blood. You gain a few new neat abilities unique to Celebrimbor and, something I never quite caught in the main game is that the sword and dagger that you have after completing all the side quests for your weapons are actually Celebrimbor’s from the past; you have that version of them throughout the whole of The Bright Lord.
You see a lot of cool things that lead into Shadow of Mordor, including the building of all the towers that are reforged by Talion and used as respawns and fast travel points. These towers were built in defiance of Sauron and were a testament to the light that Celebrimbor sought to bring to Mordor to cleanse it of the darkness.
Throughout the game, most notably when you respawn after a death, you hear Galadriel speaking in your head about how the One Ring is corrupting you; honestly it gives you reason to die once or twice because it shows his fall into corruption. Galadriel is eventually unable to see what lies ahead for Celebrimbor when she previously could see the path of all Elves.
The most amazing part of the DLC in my opinion was the story itself because, at the end, you know it isn’t going to go well for Celebrimbor, considering we watched Sauron kill him in a flashback. Your ultimate showdown with Sauron sees him retake control of all the warchiefs you have worked so hard to brand as your own, and even bring one (or more) back from the dead. When you go to strike the final blow, the One Ring slips from your finger and seeks out the hand of Sauron, the true Lord of the Rings. After the cutscene where Celebrimbor is mercilessly beaten to death with his own hammer, we hear Galadriel telling Celebrimbor that because he was corrupted by the ring, he cannot go to the Undying Lands(Valinor) until the One Ring is unmade. We are then brought back to Talion’s death scene. Just before Talion is killed, Celebrimbor says “All shall fear me and rejoice.”
Apparently I’m dumb and sort of missed the evil intent in Celebrimbor and the meaning to the end of the main game. Celebrimbor is using Talion to get his revenge on Sauron and effectively trapped Sauron as the Eye after taking gown the Tower, the Hand, and The Hammer, which I think are meant to be extensions of Sauron himself. Celebrimbor has noble intent in that he wants to rid the world of Sauron but, he is an extremist at best and an outright villain at worst. The ending of The Bright Lord suggests that Celebrimbor faked his amnesia the whole time and perhaps tricked Talion into regaining his possessions in order to restore him to power. Talion is really just looking to break the curse and rejoin his family but, by the end of the game he is having trouble remembering them and even convinced Celebrimbor to stick around do thay can forge a new ring to take down Sauron once and for all. Of course, we know something must go wrong since Sauron is ultimately vanquished by 2 Hobbits. In any case, it seems that Celebrimbor has influenced Talion enough to align to his own goals.
I highly suggest the DLC because the gameplay is awesome and the story is even better; I love a good backstory.
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