Published on September 9th, 2014 | by gareth0
Shadow Of Mordor: Hands On PAX Prime 2014
After covering the developers interview during the San Diego Comic Con, I looked forward to getting some hands on time with Shadow of Mordor during our coverage of PAX Prime 2014.
The game is set in the Lord of the Rings universe and players play as a Ranger in a third person perspective as they travel a richly detailed land filled with dangers to complete several missions.
The game uses a unique combat system called Nemesis which allows most enemies to have their own personalities in game instead of being generic fodder. This is just one of the many advantages of Nemesis but to give an example, Orc War Chiefs are shown along with their strengths and weaknesses and the bodyguards assigned to them. When a player dispatches one of them, a struggle within the Orc ranks to fill the voids can happen and at times results in characters being removed from within.
Combat was fast and free flowing and I was able to use the ability to bring an enemy to my side to great use in battle as well as execute enemies that I had stunned and taken to the ground.
The control system was smooth and responsive and this came in handy when I charmed a wild animal and rode it, as it allowed me to cover a great distance in a short time and provided a worthy companion to me in battle.
Not wanting to simply take on the odd band of Orcs, I charged into a stronghold to take on a War Chief early on. Despite taking out legions of minions, many of whom taunted me during the battle, I was not able to complete the task, but upon respawning, I returned and made short work of my goal. I was happy to see that his former troops and guards opted to run from me once the chief fell rather than stand and fight.
A map showed the new hierarchy of the Orcs as well as a battle to fill the position and how a guard had been killed by his own side for trying to usurp power in the void I had created.
While my time was limited, I did get a good overview of the game and loved what I saw. The great graphics and free flowing combat mixed well with the darker story tone and looks to be a epic adventure fans will love.