Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - The Bright Lord - Xbox One

Release Date:

23 February 2015

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
6.9

Summary:

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - The Bright Lord was, perhaps, our favorite surprise in video game releases in the past couple of years. Games that have tried to capitalize on the legendary Tolkien IP have been notably bad, especially when it comes to doing stuff in the action/RPG world. Sure, Battle for Middle Earth was alright, but we want a 3D adventure with engaging RPG elements. Developed by Monolith Productions and released by Warner Bros, Shadow of Mordor DID deliver those things to us.

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Posted:
2015-05-05

Steven_Shaw

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Xbox One

6.9

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - The Bright Lord on the Xbox One is an action video game available as downloadable content, this title was developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive. The DLC pack was released on for the Xhox One on Feb 24 2015.

Shadow of Mordor was, perhaps, our favorite surprise in video game releases in the past couple of years. Games that have tried to capitalize on the legendary Tolkien IP have been notably bad, especially when it comes to doing stuff in the action/RPG world. Sure, Battle for Middle Earth was alright, but we want a 3D adventure with engaging RPG elements. Developed by Monolith Productions and released by Warner Bros, Shadow of Mordor DID deliver those things to us. The game quickly found its way into our hearts with its interesting story, addictive combat mechanics, unique nemesis/branding system, and finally its vision of Mordor. With the success that the game received it was only a matter of time until we got some DLC. In comes The Bright Lord for the Xbox One.

Before we dig too deeply into the DLC pack let's talk a little bit about what sets it up. You play as the Ranger Talion as you roam Mordor with a wraith like figure at your side by the name of Celebrimbor. The two of you have been wrongly killed, though in very different times and circumstances, and are now forced to walk an existence that is not quite living nor is it quite dead. Using the powers that Celebrimbor can teach you, along with your own learned skills as a Ranger, you wander along Mordor playing political power games with the Uruks and Orcs of Sauron's army. Along the way you will hopefully find the vengeance that you are seeking. You will run into some familiar characters and there will be some lore from Tolkien's legendarium, but most of the game is spent elbow deep in the world of the orcs, one that has mostly been untold to this point. Through hack and slash combat, political machinations, and a few side quests from Golumn you will quickly find your way to the top of the food chain.

So that is a quick refresher on Shadow of Mordor. Let's talk about the DLC now.

A Bright Light starts out with a flashback story that puts you right into the shoes of Celebrimbor himself. We see Sauron abduct Celebrimbor's family and we see the pain and suffering that Cele himself feels as a result. You are dropped back into the Urdun section of the Shadow of Mordor Map and given free reign to seek your vengeance. This sounds sort of like a reskinned version of the game that already exists, but there is so much more to see.

First of all we have to commend the team for giving Celebrimbor such a unique combat style. While Talion was definitely awesome, he played so much like any of the assassins from the Assassins Creed series. Celebrimbor is all about doing things smart and using his abilities to get a victory on his side. Celebrimbor is great at branding enemies, using his stealth, and building up his own shadow army to fight against Sauron. You can use the Shadow Brand ability at will in order to brainwash any enemies in your line of sight. You can also use something like the Wraith Flash to brand a bunch of bad guys all at once. With these mind controlled Uruks at your side there is pretty much nothing in Sauron's wheelhouse that will slow you down.

With an army of uruks at your side, called to you whenever you feel like you need some back up, you can take on any fortress that Mordor has on display. Your brutes can definitely lay out some intense damage and combat should come easier to you. Unfortunately for Celebrimbor, that still doesn't mean that you are invincible. You are much less hearty in this DLC and much more prone to getting killed off. You just don't have the health that Talion has. You are also without your slow motion archery skills which play a big prat in Talion's wheelhouse. Without those abilities you have to really be good at getting head shots and planning out how you are going to fight.

Despite some of his faults, Celebrimbor DOES indeed have the One Ring on his side. You can power up the ring by branding enemies. With the ring fueled up you can use slow motion abilities as well as infinite execution moves for about the span of 30 seconds. This is what you can do right off of the bat. This is before you start building up your skills tree. Let that sink in. So while we loved the infinite execution button, it definitely changed the way that we played the game. We hated that we could 'win' simply by getting our ring charged up. No longer did we feel afraid of hordes of orcs swarming us. So if you like competition, it might be best to just skip using that ability altogether. It makes the combat in the game feel pretty weak.

The Bright Lord changes the way that the big guys fight you as well. You can't kill any of the Warchiefs because they show up later on in Talion's part of the story. You can only dominate them. Captains aren't fighting one another and because of that you won't have those fun little diversion missions to go to. No duels, feasts, executions, or gatherings to disrupt. The world itself comes to a standstill because of this and we felt that it was a dramatic misstep in planning by the developers. The final boss battle in the game IS pretty cool though, and worth playing just for that. The final battle forces you to balance a crowd of enemies with one big baddy and it really does push you to the limit.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - The Bright Lord is an admirable attempt at giving gamers more of what they loved. It was nice dropping in as Celebrimbor and experiencing his view on Mordor, as well as his powerful abilities. Unfortunately there isn't enough new content here to justify a purchase unless you are a huge fan.

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May 5, 2015
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Release Date:

23/02/2015

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