Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: Lord of the Hunt - Xbox One

Release Date:

16 December 2014

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
7.1

Summary:

'Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor - Lord of the Hunt' is an open world action video game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. When 'Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor' was released for the Xbox One it arrived with a slew of fanfare and reviews that were almost apoplectic with joy. The game was a different take on the 'Lord of the Rings' franchise and it gave gamers something unique and enjoyable. 'Shadow of Mordor' is an open world sandbox game that allows you to take control of a damned Ranger as he tries to save his soul while helping an ancient wraith by the name of Lord Celebrimbor.

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by Warner Bros. Interactive
Release Date: 21/11/2014

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Posted:
2015-03-12

Den_Merry

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Xbox One

6.8

'Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor - Lord of the Hunt' is an open world action video game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

When 'Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor' was released for the Xbox One it arrived with a slew of fanfare and reviews that were almost apoplectic with joy. The game was a different take on the 'Lord of the Rings' franchise and it gave gamers something unique and enjoyable. 'Shadow of Mordor' is an open world sandbox game that allows you to take control of a damned Ranger as he tries to save his soul while helping an ancient wraith by the name of Lord Celebrimbor. Along the way players run into various events that coincide with the War of the Ring. Now this instant classic has its first taste of premium DLC: 'Lord of the Hunt'.

Mordor comes with a twist..

Anybody who has spent more than a few minutes with the vanilla release of 'Shadow of Mordor' knows exactly what the game is all about. You travel the darkened world as Talion, a damned Ranger, who is hell bent on bringing Mordor to its knees for what it did to his family. You engage in missions to play the politics of the Uruks as you seek to turn them against one another. Once you become strong enough you can even brand the creatures and bring them to your side, insomuch as they can be swayed.

The game features fluid fighting mechanics, a fleshed out and customizable skill tree, and even mount capable opponents. Mostly revered for its dark and cinematic take on the 'Lord of the Rings' universe, 'The Lord of the Hunt' should be celebrated for delving deeper into that decision. 'Hunt' is an extension of the initial experience that sends you, along with Torvin, onto new missions that expand the lore of the game while enhancing your own powers and abilities.

Some of the new concepts in this expansion pack include the introduction of the deadly BeastMaster Warchiefs.Beastmaster Warchiefs are amped up Uruks who enjoy the ability to ride giant monsters in order to fight you in mounted combat. There are only five Warchiefs and they all have their own very specific skills and personalities.

Along with the Warchiefs, who provide welcome challenge in a game that sways from mildly irritating to irritatingly easy, we are also introduced to a new pair of monsters by the name of Caragath and the Wretched Graug. The Caragath is a quiet predator that stalks its enemies from the shadows before attacking, and routinely killing, with one final blow. The Wretched Graug is a giant beast that you can mount. It has the special ability to throw up deadly toxin all over your enemies. Regular Uruks will never be able to mount these creatures so you are given a leg up over the regular meat bags.

Along with these gameplay elements we are also introduced to a slew of side quests and stories. We get to learn more about Torvin, the powerful Dwarven Hunter, and the way that he has been resisting the work of Sauron and Mordor. Celebrimbor, who is so prevalent in the vanilla release of the game, has no presence in this expansion. So for fans of the Elf Wraith this probably isn't nearly as big of a 'must add' as you might think.

Players are also introduced to a few new technical elements that will increase the depth of game play and add some time to replayability. Ghuls are now able to be branded, as they were not before. You will also be able to win new trophies by utilizing the Beastmaster settings. Along these same lines there are now new rune slots for your mountable creatures. You customize up to five different slots to turn your ride into one of the deadliest creatures in all of Middle Earth.

The 'Shadow of Mordor' released to fanfare thanks to how easy it was to get into and how unique it was in comparison to some of the older titles. The graphics of the game were spectacular and the open world was a joy to travel throughout. There were some minor issues with funky animations and minor glitches but they never detracted too much from the game.

The unique branding and nemesis system has revolutionized the way that players will partake in sandbox games and we wouldn't be surprised to see that this style is emulated in every release coming out in the next few years. It truly is a concept that adds a unique twist to what could have become a dull game.

Still 'Mordor' itself can only take players so far as the core concept of the game devolves into mindless violence over time. Once players have branded their way through the nemesis system, completed the quests, and sweated out all of the achievements there really is nothing left to do. That is where 'Lord of the Hunt' and the rest of the ensuing DLC will come into play.

For gamers that love the world that has been built, there is no better way to keep it alive than by partaking in the DLC. Between new monsters, trophies, and character skins there has to be an extra handful of hours to add to the pantheon of gaming that was already there. While it is not a necessary download for those that want the basic experience that 'Shadow of Mordor' has to offer, it is a must have for fans of what the series is trying to do.

As we move farther away from the release of Peter Jackson's storied cinematic franchise, games like 'Mordor' and DLC like 'Lord of the Hunt' will take on center stage. They are fun ways to flesh out a world that is already brimming with both personality and danger. The added Beastmaster settings are truly worth the price of admission and the rest of the game is improved from the addition. That is what we truly want out of DLC going forward: something that adds to the entire core element of the original game. We are eagerly looking forward to the next DLC to be released.

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Mar 12, 2015
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Release Date:

16/12/2014

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