SOM bright lord

Shadow of Mordor redefined emergent gameplay. Thanks to a unique experience for each player as they progress through the story, brand captains and develop a nemesis, Shadow of Mordor made this particular open-world sandbox feel dynamic and intriguing to explore. The Bright Lord is meant to expand upon this experience while giving us greater insight into Celebrimbor’s backstory.

The Bright Lord takes place far in the past, way before the events of Shadow of Mordor. Celebrimbor has stolen the One Ring from Sauron and is on a mission to overthrow him and avenge his murdered wife. Taking place solely in the Udum valley, the player must gain control over various areas of the map in order to build his towers – these are the same towers that are in ruins in the base game and used as fast travel points. Once all the towers are built and all the Warchiefs have been branded, the game concludes with a final battle with Sauron himself.

SOM bright lord 3

Unlike Talion, Celebrimbor is something of a glass cannon in The Bright Lord. He packs a mean punch with his elf shot and doesn’t require a fully charged arrow to take out an opponent. However, going into ranged mode doesn’t slow down time anymore, so you’ll need to fire off your shots quickly before the enemies are upon you – just a few hits and you’ll find your health bar depleted.

It isn’t just that Celebrimbor is weaker than his human host from the core game – the enemies are also stronger with Captains easily surpassing level 20 this time. It adds quite some difficulty to the tasks at hand, especially as the body guards for the Warcheifs can’t be sought out and branded in advance this time around. It seems that issues about the ease of the game and lack of challenge (especially once you gain the branding ability) were addressed in the DLC as it can be quite tricky at first.

Unfortunately, after completing the first mission or two, the DLC does become rather easy again. The few extra collectibles (War Stories) are easy to find and the toughest part becomes the One Ring challenges that are designed to extend your One Right powers.

SOM bright lord 2

The One Ring grants Celebrimbor the ability to slow down time, as well as use finishers regardless of current combat streak. Unfortunately, it also negates any unique strengths that the various captains may have. This means that I could easily shift into One Ring mode, snipe at the captains until half health and then finish them off with a finisher move. So, while certain Warcheifs came with a pack of backup, it was far too easy to slice through them all and finish off with a branded army of my own.

The story itself is beyond predictable. Celebrimbor seeks to convert the Uruks to become his own army, take down Sauron and rule Mordor himself. Of course, from the start, it is apparent that the One Ring will corrupt him and he won’t be any better than Sauron himself. As he gains power and becomes more corrupted, it makes sense why his soul was so damaged in the core game. He was always a manipulator, always corrupted.

At least the final battle is much more climactic this time around. The battle with Sauron is tense, especially as he can turn your Uruks against you – it was quite strategic for me to finally finish him off with a fun and compelling last battle; no more QTEs, it was all about slashing, shooting and dodging – how it was meant to be.

SOM bright lord 4

Unfortunately, I just didn’t find the DLC as compelling as the base game. It was great to jump back into the branding of all the captains, but the One Ring made it feels a lot less challenging, even with them being higher level. It ended up feeling like I wasn’t as likely to bump into a random captain who could easily kill me while running around in the open world. Plus, those initial encounters weren’t as menacing – they still have something to say to Celebrimbor, but it isn’t quite as terrifying as that initial shout of “Man Flesh”! Plus, knowing that you can overcome any of their strengths simply by using the One Ring power if necessary takes away from some of the anxiety of dying in combat. I did still fail a few missions and die a couple times, but not to the degree as happened in the core game.

Progression also feels undermined in The Bright Lord. Sure, you can get some excellent runes again, but they aren’t totally necessary. All the skills in the tree are already unlocked, making it feel like Celebrimbor is stagnant – neither his character nor his abilities seem to change during the DLC.

We have a DLC code for the PS4  to give away to a lucky winner. All you need to do is explain Celebrimbor’s relationship with the rings of power and your comment will enter you with a chance to win. Winners will be drawn tomorrow, so comment quickly!


Last Updated: March 2, 2015

Shadow of Mordor: The Bright Lord
While it's great to have a climactic final battle with Sauron, the rest of the game feels like a watered down version of the original. Add to that some weak storytelling and lack of character development and it ends up feeling like an ill conceived DLC prequel.
Shadow of Mordor: The Bright Lord was reviewed on PlayStation 4
68 / 100


  1. Admiral Chief

    March 2, 2015 at 15:35

    He is the maker of the rings of power


    • Pariah

      March 2, 2015 at 15:57

      And we all know how that turned out…


      • Admiral Chief

        March 2, 2015 at 15:59

        Yeah, I commented first and subsequently won the competition, even though I don’t have the base game :/


  2. Uberutang

    March 2, 2015 at 15:36

    I am enjoying it, but not to the same degree as the main story. The lack of upgrades is kinda boring, imho.
    Then again it was $7 for the season pass, so totally worth that.


  3. Pariah

    March 2, 2015 at 15:56

    “The Blackest Night falls from the skies,
    The darkness grows as all light dies.
    We crave your hearts and your demise,
    By my black hand, the dead shall rise!”


    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      March 2, 2015 at 16:06

      In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might beware my power – Green Lantern’s light!


  4. Naouta

    March 2, 2015 at 16:04

    I felt the same about the DLC when I started it, seemed like I was just “Killing more orcs” when I started. And I had been just running around killing stuff for a while before that in the main game.


  5. FreddyBear

    March 2, 2015 at 16:26

    He’s the smith of the rings of power.


    • Soren

      March 2, 2015 at 16:54

      You are sure he was not the jones of the rings of power?


  6. Stavey

    March 2, 2015 at 16:30

    Celebrimbor forged the Rings of Power


  7. I_am_Duffman!

    March 2, 2015 at 17:09

    Celebrimbor in the game is different from the one in the books. He didn’t create all the Rings of Power in the books (only the elvish rings) and Sauron created The One Ring secretly on his own. In the game however, he created all of the Rings of Power and helped Sauron with creating The One Ring to rule them all.


  8. Jarryd

    March 2, 2015 at 17:50

    Celebrimbor was one of the most skilled smiths of Middle Earth. He forged the Elves’ Three Rings of power, and these were never touched by Sauron and thus were uncorrupted by him, although they were still subject to the One Ring.


  9. Ngoc Anh

    March 2, 2015 at 21:02

    Relax with the entertainment you here okay.

    Thank you. Wish you a very effective working days.

    Friv 4 School

    Didi Games Online


  10. Xcalibersa

    March 3, 2015 at 07:03

    Lucky I traded my game in once I was done


  11. Rock789

    March 3, 2015 at 07:57

    Pick me! PICK ME!!!! 🙂

    I’m quite keen to try this out – who doesn’t want to kick Sauron in his all-seeing-nethers?!


  12. Donovan Janse Van Rensburg

    March 3, 2015 at 08:05

    He made the ring of power


  13. Barry

    March 5, 2015 at 00:21

    He is the maker of the rings of power.


  14. Arc Odyssey

    March 1, 2017 at 11:40

    Celembrimbor forged the rings of power so he probably understands them more than anyone else, even Sauron! However, he does not know the corrupting influence of the rings.


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