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LTTP: Middle Earth Shadow of War

FrankTheBunny

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,458
Am about 4 hours into this sequel on PS4 Pro.

I really enjoyed the first game and was expecting this to build on all of the potential there.

So far? This is an absolute mess.

Firstly the UI and countless menus are ugly and counterintuitive.

Pressing L1 and R1 to accept quests and such is silly and makes no sense why they'd be used over X or O.

The Skills menu, you can barely tell where your cursor/selection is hovering. There is shit everywhere. Flashing and pulsing on all the skills, including ones you have already unlocked, can unlock and can't yet unlock. The frame of each section is pulsing as well. How the hell am I supposed to know where my cursor is and what I am to select? Ridiculous.

Same as the inventory screen. You can barely tell what is selected. You think it's the icon with the little pulsing circle, but no. That is trying to tell you you have a new item.

Ever managed an inventory in a game where you can't tell if the piece of armour you are looking at is the one you're wearing or the new one you could equip? This is Shadow of War x10. Then to make it worse, some items can be destroyed by hovering over them and pressing triangle, others for whatever reason need to be selected to be upgraded and only then can you destroy them. No clue.

The map is a mess as well. Ubi style icons every freaking where.

But surely the gameplay will make up for it.

Not really.

The same fun fighting is there. The Lord of the Rings super hero with his Arkham Asylum style works well.

But, there is no point. In a game with armies upon armies of orcs, you don't need to even encounter them, or really want to.

Firstly, they don't grant you ANY XP. None. Secondly, you can just shadow run past all of them (which still looks like a comedy, hitting the fast forward button) to your destination.

Secondly, the placement of quests and enemies is laughable. I sprinted towards a quest marker and saw a door guarded by 6 or 7 well equipped orcs. I guess I have to finally fight some so I can start the quest. Nope. Walk up to the glowing quest marker and even when the group attack you, as long as you press 'begin quest' they disappear and the cutscene begins. No 'clear area before starting' as most games would.

Then at the end of the quest, I'd killed 4 or 5 minor chiefs and 1 boss chief. All of their loot was floating there waiting for me to grab it. But, it didn't let me. It proceeds to a cut scene and mission wrap up overlay and spawns me just outside the area of my orc destruction.

Ok, so I'll go back in and grab all the loot. Well, the game has just respawned 10 orcs on top of my loot. FML.

Who designed this shit?

The combat is fun, the special moves great and the orcs once again steal the show (although many of the chiefs have upgraded their intelligence in their voice-overs which doesn't suit them and a lot of them sound like regular human's rather than orcs).

I am not sure if I'll keep playing. It's one of the most frustrating, baffling game sequels I've ever played.
 

Fliesen

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,189
I loved Shadow of Mordor.
Didn't even bother finishing Shadow of War.

The main issue was that the game was designed around its microtransactions. Like, they took a single player, relatively story focused, relatively linear game with a neat gameplay system (Shadow of Mordor / the nemesis system) and inflated that system to make it monetizable; bastardizing the whole idea.

Like, previously meeting those 'named' orcs was special ... now they were like ... collectible playing cards.

It's horrible what they did with that series.
The new skill tree is shit. The inventory system is shit. Leveling up is shit. Nemesis 2.0 is shit.
 

Dracoonian

Member
Dec 6, 2017
204
The main issue was that the game was designed around its microtransactions. Like, they took a single player, relatively story focused, relatively linear game with a neat gameplay system (Shadow of Mordor / the nemesis system) and inflated that system to make it monetizable; bastardizing the whole idea.
Don't know about skills and inventory but I thought they removed the store and the whole pay to get orcs system?
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,228
Weird, I never had any complaints about reading the menus, even if they are a bit unintuitive.

Generally I found the game an improvement above Shadow of Mordor in almost every way. But it was such an unfocused mess that it was still mediocre. The devs clearly didn't want to work with the IP and make their own thing instead and it shows.
 

Aprikurt

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,126
The first one was solid and played really well, even if the overworld didn't really resemble Middle Earth and the Tolkien purist within me had a bit of an aneurysm.

Probably won't bother with downloading the sequel off PS Now after reading this.

Plus Shelob as a personified woman what the actual fuck
 
Nov 8, 2017
4,214
On a minute to minute level the game is actually still quite fun, and I enjoyed the first.

The problem is more like that everywhere you turn, there's 5 extra layers of needless complexity in the progression systems. Weapons, armor pieces, runes, skills, and money are just for Talion. There's this whole other game about managing orcs and shit. You're constantly cycling gear for better gear, enemies are dropping loot all the time, and you can't brand orcs that are too high level for you - even if you're good enough to take them out in a fight. You have to "terrify them" to lower their rank then try again later. Come on son.

The actual stuff that's there is sort of exacerbated by two other things, which is that the menus suck / are laid out poorly, and the game is not great at introducing it all organically. There's so much stuff you can see the designers sort of didn't know how to do it all elegantly so they just kind of dump it on you one system after another. It's sort of night and day compared to the first game, where you didn't even get the Orc recruitment stuff until the back half of the game when you'd started to master everything else.

I bounced off the game long before it's ending. I don't feel like I was getting anything really out of it. The itemization treadmill was not addictive in the way they were hoping it would be, tying your power into gear tiers made the combat feel kind of worse than the first game for the first several hours until you started getting the ball rolling on gear, the orc recruitment and warfare stuff was just kind of bleh. I did like some of what I saw in terms of expanding the Nemesis system variations, but the game overall is messy and scattershot in its design.
 

Linus815

Member
Oct 29, 2017
5,297
Dunno, I thought it was better than the first one. More interesting story, more variety in the visuals due as there's more than 2 maps and generally more shit to distract you. That being said I wouldn't say either game is particularly great, but they're both entertaining.

I do remember SoW having a rough first 2 or so hours, very overwhelming. But it smoothened out as the story progressed and I got to go to different maps.

In general though I'd say that both games suffer from having a "playground feel". The "world" just feels like an assortment of activites and hordes of enemy scattered around, nothing about it feels immersive or belivable. The open world feels like empty space that you must traverse to get from one icon to the other. And the quests lack a handcrafted feel, they're really the most basic stuff, infused with 2014-era Ubisoft side content.

BUT, the gameplay itself is really fun, the story is so ridiculous that it actually ends up being fun as well, and the orc personalities are great, even more varied than in Mordor, IMO.
 

monmagman

Member
Dec 6, 2018
2,175
England,UK
I didn't have any issues with the menus myself and I didn't play the game until the complete version came out and all the lootbox bullshit was patched out.
I had fun with it and I recommend playing on nemesis(hard)difficulty as it really let the game systems shine better,it gave me a lot of memorable moments.
 
OP
OP
FrankTheBunny

FrankTheBunny

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,458
The problem is more like that everywhere you turn, there's 5 extra layers of needless complexity in the progression systems. Weapons, armor pieces, runes, skills, and money are just for Talion. There's this whole other game about managing orcs and shit. You're constantly cycling gear for better gear, enemies are dropping loot all the time, and you can't brand orcs that are too high level for you - even if you're good enough to take them out in a fight. You have to "terrify them" to lower their rank then try again later. Come on son.

The actual stuff that's there is sort of exacerbated by two other things, which is that the menus suck / are laid out poorly, and the game is not great at introducing it all organically. There's so much stuff you can see the designers sort of didn't know how to do it all elegantly so they just kind of dump it on you one system after another. It's sort of night and day compared to the first game, where you didn't even get the Orc recruitment stuff until the back half of the game when you'd started to master everything else.

... but the game overall is messy and scattershot in its design.
Well put and more of how I've felt playing it.
 

tomd96

Member
Jul 6, 2018
114
I loved it, and played nearly three times as many hours as the first game (45 vs 17). I'd recommend that anyone who has easy/free access to it at least give it a try.
 

Xero grimlock

Member
Dec 1, 2017
812
I did not enjoy Mordor and have basically zero desire to play War. Too much repetition and too many fetch quests for my liking.
agree mordor was such a bare bones skeleton of a game with a wasted license and I heard the sequel didnt improve in that regards, and had no desire to play it. I felt the nemesis system was just...ok, maybe I would like it with a better game. Probably one of the biggest wastes of a license.