Best Xbox One Games #6 – Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Developer: Monolith Productions
Synopsis: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor approaches the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnum opus from a different perspective. Instead of offering a deeper look into The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, it focuses on the life of ranger Talion, a Gondor guard of the Black Gate of Mordor. After the grim events of one fateful evening, Talion is imbued with wraith-like abilities and exacts revenge on the foul creatures that tried to silence him forever.
He uses the Nemesis system to tackle small numbers of tagged Uruk leaders throughout Sauron’s army, allowing the player to track and kill targets for upgrade bonuses. Defeating a leader affects the power structure of the enemy, creating a vacuum of crumbling efforts to retain control of the opposing force to humanity. It continues the trend of low-magic fantasy in a grim world where all hope is lost.
Why it’s one of the 50 best Xbox One games: The core of the Tolkien adventure, alongside all the trappings of Middle-earth, makes for an excellent story simply by existing. The Nemesis feature not only makes for a really engaging gameplay option, but ties the player to an expanded mythos that the developers created themselves. It instills the sense of man’s conquering of nature, taking any risk necessary to seek vengeance.
All that’s really left for the developers is to share a gameplay experience worth mentioning and everything else will take care of itself. Paired with the combat, stealth, equipment optimization, skill usage and exploration of an established piece of novel history, you have a game that will serve as among the best in the series.
Next: #5 - Shovel Knight