Shadow of Mordor 2014 (PC)

Game of the year this, make NO doubt.

Violence is of course subjectively assessed. Mordor makes it easy to judge because all the violence is inflicted on orcs. Ugly, despicable, unholy creatures that they are. So when we see an arc of green blood cascading over a battlefield of 15 orcs and a detached head career into the sky towards a witless soldier, we can only shout with glee as we move onto the next victim.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the story – you can find that out elsewhere. It’s Tolkienesque and is a hand-me-down game that was supposed to be another Batman title. But here, we have basically the invincible Aragorn (Strider) cleaving his way from victim to victim.

And what sweet justice does he wreak upon his foes. So satisfying is the combat mechanic that quite often you’re happy to forget about the main mission and dive into a group of baddies to deal your righteous retribution upon this marked race. ?
Switching seamlessly between sword, dagger and bow, the corpses literally begin to pile up as combo after combo sees your foes dispatched. Continue to level up and you begin to develop almost supernaturally strong powers that can, in effect, make you pretty much invincible. But the fun continues because the combat mechanic is so goddamn perfect.

Decapitations, impalements, garrotting; there are so many varied and equally gruesome ways of dispatching your opponents, combat never feels repetitive and at all times it’s rewarding, giving you the constant impression that you alone are responsible for the achievements.

I absolutely LOVED this game. It’s brilliant and I’m gutted that it’s so short. I really hope that there’s some decent DLC to come in the future. If it extends play, I’m in.

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