How Shadow of Mordor is a Poor Man's Batman: Arkham Game

inkheart_artist

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Iunno Shamus, these last two articles seem to serve the fact that you didn't like Shadow of Mordor rather than highlighting any real, glaring technical or storytelling terms (when taken in tandem. The first article would have been more legitimate if not for this one). I get that you hated the game and that you must not have liked the areas of design that the devs focused on and, as an LOTR fan, the whole thing really rubbed you the wrong way. As a games journalist it's perfectly reasonable for you to write about it too, but you already aired your legitimate gripes out last time, give it a rest.

Taking systems from other games, mashing them and repurposing them is the main way new games are made and "being exactly like what it was borrowing from" is not a measure for success. I've found points systems to frequently be annoying and they don't really go either way for me: if I'm not interested enough in a game to master it, the points don't make me want to and if points aren't involved but I am invested in the game, I'm going to strive for mastery anyway. Not having that system is not a failure of the devs to properly emulate Arkam, it's them emulating what they felt their game could use and scrapping what they didn't feel it would benefit from.
 

Loonyyy

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RedDeadFred said:
Kilo24 said:
Shamus: I think that you've argued that your combat abilities aren't as closely tied to the combo meter as it is in Arkham, not that Shadow of Mordor's combat is an inferior version of Arkham's. Having not played Arkham, I can't comment on how critical it is there - but here it's just one of many combat tools that unlocks special moves, not a score counter.
I haven't played Mordor yet, but the combo meter in Arkham, while fun, was completely inessential. The games were quite simply, way too easy. Combos just made it even easier. Heck, even when I turned off the counter cues, it still didn't make it that much tougher. This is one of the main reasons I'm looking forward to playing Mordor, everyone seems to be saying that it's actually pretty tough.

Also, as others have pointed out, isn't one of the biggest draws of the game the Nemesis system? It's my understanding that it is that system that is what sets the game apart from others. At least, that's the impression I got from Yahtzee and Jim.
I wouldn't say quite so tough unless you turn off cues, and only then later in the game (And still, like Arkham, a bunch of moves makes you invulnerable to damage, or still provide the ability to counter during). Still, it's well worth playing, it's just hard to tweak to difficulty to make Nemesis fun without making combat frustrating (Not frustratingly difficult, but frustratingly cheap). What I think the game is really good at is generating Arkham style combat scenarios, it's kind of like a randomly generated challenge mode for that style of combat, which is great if yuo've ever found the challenges in that series too short, or lacking in difficulty, simply due to the sheer longevity of fights.
 

JUMBO PALACE

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The_Darkness said:
Shadow of Mordor - I wonder. The Nemesis System somewhat relies on Talion dying from time-to-time. It lets you build up a back-and-forth with the orcs that kill you. This feels like a flaw - since the perfect player will miss out on content. The Nemesis System - up to a point - relies on you screwing up the combat.
This is very true at least in my experience. The Nemesis system was really only relevant to me in the beginning of the game while most of my abilities were still locked. By the midway point I had all the tools I needed to pretty much dominate every orc group and warchief I came across, and the Nemesis system became less important. The screen displaying Sauron's army was mostly blank for me the whole game because I wiped everyone out without dying.
 

EternallyBored

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Eh, I like both systems, the Arkham games are a little more solid, but the SOM system allows for some crazy fun abilities like the shadow striking and combat brand that can turn massive melees into two small armies fighting each other.

There are some really broken abilities later in the game, and abusing death threats for epic runes will pretty much break the combat system, get the epic bow rune that makes your focus last 50% longer and pair it with the ones that restore focus for kills from stealth and pinning shot and you basically end up with a ridiculous amount of time to move and line up head shots, then saving two arrows so you can shadow strike and combat drain two orcs for a total refill on arrows and creating two minions to distract any remaining living orcs, then just either shadow striking out again or using your still full focus meter to headshot another ten or so orcs before restoring it with pinning shots, basically rinse and repeat for infinite focus and arrows, I've managed to clear entire fortresses without even drawing my sword. It gets even more ridiculous with late game skills that give you two fire arrows every five shots that can either light up an orc or be used to amp up the power of exploding barrels and fire pits to the point you can clear a good dozen orcs with a single arrow. And through all that if you mess up you can fire up your bow's super ability and have a full twenty seconds or so of infinite fire arrows and focus, basically turning your bow into a rapid fire execution kill streak, in one of the larger fortresses, I managed to charge the special meter up twice just bow killing everything in the base, the only time I ever dropped out of slow mo was to combat drain an orc to get my arrows back, it was certainly fun just teleporting around the fortress and killing entire groups of enemies before they even know your there before just teleporting off to the next group to kill.
 

RedEyesBlackGamer

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Many of these commenters have obviously never watched Spoiler Warning. This isn't really nitpicking.
 

Artaneius

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I hate it when people say the game doesn't follow what "Tolkien" designed Middle Earth to be like. Tolkien is dead and thus his opinion about the story and lore he founded honestly no longer matters. And if you want more people to actually care about Middle Earth your going to have to stop living in the wants and dreams of a dead man. I think this is the absolutely biggest issue that keeps a good amount of people from being interested in Middle Earth. If you don't follow the "encyclopedia long lore" to it's very letter, the Tolkien tryhards start moaning and groaning about any kind of difference. It reminds me how the Warcraft lore fanatics act like if you didn't play or read from the very first Warcraft.

Stories are just that... STORIES. And thus can and will be eventually subject to change.
 

FredTheUndead

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Artaneius said:
I hate it when people say the game doesn't follow what "Tolkien" designed Middle Earth to be like. Tolkien is dead and thus his opinion about the story and lore he founded honestly no longer matters. And if you want more people to actually care about Middle Earth your going to have to stop living in the wants and dreams of a dead man. I think this is the absolutely biggest issue that keeps a good amount of people from being interested in Middle Earth. If you don't follow the "encyclopedia long lore" to it's very letter, the Tolkien tryhards start moaning and groaning about any kind of difference. It reminds me how the Warcraft lore fanatics act like if you didn't play or read from the very first Warcraft.

Stories are just that... STORIES. And thus can and will be eventually subject to change.
Populism is a big step along the road to the death of storytelling.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Maybe I'm wrong but didn't this guy do another one of these last year about how Shadow of Mordor was a Poor Man's Middle Earth Game?