Home Gaming E3 2014 – Shadow of Mordor hands on preview

E3 2014 – Shadow of Mordor hands on preview

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Shadow of mordor

I was really not excited for Shadow of Mordor. It seemed like a bad Batman and Assassin’s Creed clone, and it really didn’t do anything for me. Up until I got my hands on it, that is.

Shadow of Mordor takes place in the period between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. You, the player, are inhabited by a wraith, making you immortal and giving you all sorts of extra powers. During my hands on, I got to go up against the war chiefs in a strange side mission-cum-extra gameplay mode.

Each player will have a unique experience in this regard: Sauron’s Army hates you (of course) and the war chiefs want to hunt you down. In one of the main menus you can access Sauron’s Army and see all the different characters – each one has individual names, traits and characteristics. These will be unique to each player, requiring different strategies to take them down.

When I played initially, I went straight for the one war chief, despite him having two body guards. However, I didn’t realised that one of his traits was being averse to combat. As a result, once I engaged in combat with him, he called in a bunch of minions (and his body guards came running) and he actually escaped. This changed the entire mission structure – two of his body guards actually ended up started duels with other mini-bosses which I could interrupt to take them out or brand them, or leave them to the duel to leave one less mini-boss to battle.

The gameplay is incredibly fluid, following some similar patterns to Batman. However, even in the middle of battle, it was possible to climb and interact with the environment. At points, I made the enemies lose track of me and even released a giant animal into the midst of battle. It feels like the battles are taking place in a real world, not just some sort of instanced open world battle.

Strategy is a key point in this part of the game. You can choose to take out body guards, to brand them to help you in later battles. Even their minions/subjects will be on your side after the branding. Alternatively, you can kill them. Then there is the War Chief himself – each one has specific strengths and weaknesses. I encountered one that was susceptible to stealth; after gaining the high ground I was able to drop down from above and brand him, making him an ally. Others are incredibly difficult, immune to frontal and even rear attacks – one was even immune to being dodged or jumped over, adding a whole extra dimension to gameplay.

The world is massive. During the demo, I was able to make use of fast travel to speed up the process, but it was still an enormous world, filled with wandering droves of enemies, and plenty of resources to use for crafting.

The levelling up system is extensive, showing off a wide variety of skills that can be added or augmented according to the player’s preferred style. Over and above that, there are runes that major enemies drop, adding specific buffs and skills such as regenerating life after defeating enemies or improved attack speeds.

The parkour is excellent in the game – your character can climb almost anything, use stealth or go for a full-frontal assault. The world you traverse with that parkour is so detailed and specific, it goes way beyond what you’d expect from an open-world fantasy game. Each aspect of the environment is rendered beautifully and I didn’t see a single graphical glitch.

Shadow of Mordor was the biggest surprise of E3 for me. It’s now one of my most anticipated games. I’m excited to run around the countryside, branding the opposition and gaining a massive following of minions all my own. I want to parkour and explore, take on my nemeses and see what else the game has to offer. I know that I just played a small piece of the game – even if that were the whole thing it would be intriguing.

Lazygamernominee

Last Updated: June 13, 2014

40 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

    June 13, 2014 at 10:01

    Ek moet sê, hierdie een gaan beslis op my “moet-gou-speel” lys wees

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 13, 2014 at 10:02

      • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

        June 13, 2014 at 10:04

        Genugtig daai ou is op wille goeters

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 13, 2014 at 10:05

          Ietsie sterker as brandewyn as ek moet raai. Of hy het van Genis se snuif in die hande gekry.

          Reply

          • Spathi

            June 13, 2014 at 10:21

            Genugtig, ek het al vergeet van Oom Genis en sy Koperasie Stories!

            Dis moerse vreemd, ek is Afrikaans maar alles wat mense hier in Afrikaans se, lees ek met n Engelse aksent.

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 13, 2014 at 10:22

            Hiehiehie

          • Hammersteyn

            June 13, 2014 at 10:23

            XD

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 13, 2014 at 10:25

            Jy’t vergeet? Oom Jan Spies draai seker in sy graf.

    • Hammersteyn

      June 13, 2014 at 10:04

      Hierdie kom ook donners wil Oktober uit. Ek sal my beursie soos ‘n nat handoek moet uidraai vir al die goed wat ek wil koop.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

        June 13, 2014 at 10:07

        Stoom afslag winskopie vir my

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 13, 2014 at 10:08

          Oor ‘n jaar ja, jyt meer geduld as ‘n boer gedurende ‘n droogte

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 13, 2014 at 10:10

            Eks getroud en het ‘n 5jarige kind. Geduld is my middel naam. Net nie in die donnerse verkeer nie

          • Hammersteyn

            June 13, 2014 at 10:11

            Dis hoekom jy nou ‘n twee wiel gaan ry. Lekker lag vir die mense hou maar net ‘n oog uit vir die donnerse taxis

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 13, 2014 at 10:12

            Nou pra jy, nie almal bly so naby aan hulle werk soos jy nie meneer Steyn

          • Hammersteyn

            June 13, 2014 at 10:13

            Ek het verer weg gebly, maar toe skuif die werk nader. Nie my skuld nie

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 13, 2014 at 10:14

            *verder

  2. Rince&exhale

    June 13, 2014 at 10:07

    cum extra gameplay mode Wowza Zoe, what you up to there? 0-O

    Reply

  3. Rince&exhale

    June 13, 2014 at 10:10

    I too had dismissed the game, but after reading this I think I’ll keep an eye open.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 13, 2014 at 10:10

      HAI!

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

        June 13, 2014 at 10:10

        HAAI

        Reply

        • Rince&exhale

          June 13, 2014 at 10:11

          Is that Afrikaans Japanese for Hai? 😛

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 13, 2014 at 10:11

            Inderdaad

      • Rince&exhale

        June 13, 2014 at 10:12

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          June 13, 2014 at 10:18

          No more strong curry is all I’m saying.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 13, 2014 at 10:18

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Rince&exhale

            June 13, 2014 at 10:19

            But I likes my curry 🙁

          • Hammersteyn

            June 13, 2014 at 10:23

            Red curry?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 13, 2014 at 10:26

            Ja, en almal rondom jou betaal die prys daarvoor.

          • Rince&exhale

            June 13, 2014 at 10:34

            ?????

          • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

            June 13, 2014 at 10:37

            HAI

  4. Rags

    June 13, 2014 at 10:12

    Zoe, did it stick to the lore of the world? Or are we getting Blizzard inspired soft fantasy nonsense?

    Reply

    • Rince&exhale

      June 13, 2014 at 10:13

      Not sure if it was you that made a similar comment a while ago to Geoff, but he also was worried that this would be some generic soft fantasy hybrid.

      Reply

      • Rags

        June 13, 2014 at 10:14

        Yeah it was me, its my main worry after seeing that preview a few weeks ago.

        Reply

        • Rince&exhale

          June 13, 2014 at 10:15

          Mine too. There are so many of these out on the market (to a good and bad lesser degree). Would be so nice to have a real Lord of the Rings feeling game. Need to get Peter Jackson involved.

          Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 13, 2014 at 10:16

        It’s obviously soft fantasy as compared to LotR. Zoe said you could fast travel instead of WALKING. tee hee

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

          June 13, 2014 at 10:18

          WAT?

          Reply

        • Rince&exhale

          June 13, 2014 at 10:19

          true dat!

          Reply

        • AceZero911

          June 13, 2014 at 13:36

          And half way through the movie/game/book you end up using the eagles…

          Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 13, 2014 at 10:15

      I prefer my fantasy hardcore too. Wait… what are we talking about?

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

        June 13, 2014 at 10:18

        O_O

        Reply

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