Middle Earth Shadow Of Mordor Review Round-Up; The Critics Say You Need To Play This One Yourself

By Steve Buja , Updated Sep 30, 2014 09:00 AM EDT

After a wait worse than those between Lord of the Rings films, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has arrived on PC, Xbox One and PS4. The game retails for (blank). Word of mouth has been good, nay great. How great?

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Polygon has given the game, which is set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, a 9.5 stating, "Shadow of Mordor is that ultimate rarity. It tells a fun little story that would be enough to hold up most games on its own. But it also provides all of the tools to ensure that the most interesting tales to come out of the game will be the ones that were not scripted."

IGN awarded the title a 9.3 (out of 10) saying that game "stands out from other open-world action games by putting a great new layer on top of the trail that Batman blazed. I was surprised at how well it integrates its excellent combat with rewarding feedback and progression not just for me, but also for my enemies. I've had many more memorable and unpredictable battles with its randomized Warchiefs and captains than I did in the scripted campaign missions, and I expect those to keep on coming."

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And Kotaku rounds out the trifecta with "To compare Mordor to the Arkham series one more time, Lord of the Rings offers this game a familiar setting and a strong undercurrent of emotional urgency. But the game gracefully manages to keep the fiction of its own universe at arm's length throughout. This gives Mordor welcome space to breath and have fun with itself. And even as a Lord of the Rings fan, I've gotta say: I'm glad that they did that. I mean: I can't remember a single orc from Peter Jackson's trilogy. Ok, maybe that one with a head like a gnarled potato. But I know I'm not going to forget the invigorating rush of meeting Mugluk on the battlefield any time soon."

Every outlet adores the new Nemesis system, a new AI architecture that allows for a more personalized adversary. Orcs who kill you, or whom you let go, will now remember you and act accordingly. It is more than your basic morality system, it's creating a personal history. Every playthrough of Shadow of Mordor is going to be different and for once, your mercy or your vengeance will have real consequences down the line. What if you threw a party at the Black Gate, and no Uruks showed up (because you had killed them all)?

GameNGuide's very own editor Alex Riviello is home today live streaming Shadow of Mordor because that's what he gets paid to do, the jerk. He's only a few hours in but absolutely loving it, and he's not even a big fan of the Assassin's Creed games.

Nor does the fun stop with just the game's release. An entire season's pass has been laid out. Check out the details here.

And in case you missed all the trailers the first time, watch the supercut trailer below which tells you everything you need to know about Mordor, the enemies, the weapons and the characters you will be interacting with.

Buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor today, and let Broketober begin!

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