I am one of many people who have been trapped by Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. I just can’t stop playing it. I’ve caught myself thinking about quests and runes at work and even tried to show how great the game is to non-player co-workers. What I mean is I really liked the game and every hour spent is a joy of orc-slaying and quest-completing fun.
Now, while all of this is true and I firmly believe Shadow of Mordor will be a GOTY contender, there are times in which I can’t avoid noticing how similar this title is to the Arkham series. I bet you all noticed it since it’s pretty obvious in an overall feel. Nonetheless, there are several features that can help you understand why Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor has a huge merit of its own. I believe it is even better than the Batman series (at least until Arkham Knight is released).
Even though there is a lot to be said about Batman’s history, Arkham games can’t separate themselves from the main characters and villains the bat vigilante faces. Even though there are story variations, we can’t think about him without the Joker, Harley Quinn, Bane and others planning murderous and criminal activities.
Shadow of Mordor, on the other hand, has a very deep lore in which several characters and events take place. Despite some liberties and even some inaccuracies on what respects Tolkien’s work, this deeply and detailed world is what allows the existence of Talion. That is also why his story can be related to a certain time and even to familiar characters without generating big discrepancies with the overall story of the Middle Earth.
Instead of having the same old Batman, we get a fresh story amidst familiar settings. These new events are capable of sustaining a relative verisimilitude while letting players feel they are forging Talion’s destiny in what could “untold” events in the history of Middle Earth.