Posts tagged Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Yep, i’ve been doing a LOT of this, (many hours already at the point of this recording, so sorry for the lack of enough Uruk presentation), and not because i have to… just because it’s fun. First and foremost i’m incredibly INCREEEDIBLY impressed with the tech+artistry in making them. I just can’t believe how unique a lot of them are. Like seriously… I’ve seen a lot of concept art and actual in-game characters that are less memorable than these randomized orcs. So much expression, interesting props and just plain style on some of them… it feels like a lot of them would be fit to be a main character or main antagonist in their own games. And then on top of that you can put them in the arena. Not only is it interesting and surprising to watch betting on the winner or rooting for one, but I’ve created a meta-game for myself picking some favorites which I like based on their visual identity and try to pick “rig” fights based on their strengths and weaknesses to get them to the higher tiers. Not only is it interesting but also it provides for great custom drama as either I succeed or one that I didn’t like, surprisingly underleveled comes in out of nowhere and beats one of my champions. Fascinating!
You add to that the fact that some of them may come with a personalized back story and some have their own dialogue lines that they said to you upon first encountering them in the world or a particular memorable moment where they fought you/multiple times/had to work for them/or even saved you surprisingly and you end up with a surprisingly memorable cast, which I then actually felt motivated to sometimes use on them the very rare training or beasts/warrior support to make a particular favorite or another into a fighter with a higher chance of surviving. Oh, and also: the visual interest of their props and expressions is amazingly complemented by the great variety in their specific attributes and traits leading to interesting surprises in their gameplay to complement their looks.
I remember for example a character i didn’t think of based on weapon and powers and weaknesses, but then had this very aggressive style of attacking combined with some quick stunning explosions that got him to win a lot of battles though i had considered him weak and replaced one of my champions even though i had given him a much better cursed weapons with flies (or was it fire/poison?). Or the fact that over time i had concluded that the big bulky beasts are way advantaged and archers suck even when of the same level compared to non beasts, and then this particular archer had a funny combination of skills and weaknesses of shooting fast, stunning and acrobatically rolling which made him into a surprising exception.
PS: maaan, some look soooooooo interesting!
+, + amazing surprise
+, +, +, + the chieftain fights simulation is just simply a leap forward in gaming, I totally didn’t expect this game to thread such brave new territory
– often i would want to do something but get stuck or the character would not react to movement
+ the stories generated in game are fascinating
+, – sometimes it looked beautiful, sometimes just okay
+, – the main story has it’s interesting twists, but also it’s ordinariness, often I didn’t want to get back to it just to play more simulation
+ sheds some interesting lights on the (to me) otherwise relatively boring mythos of the lord of the rings universe with interesting moral greys and layers of story
+, +, + shockingly memorable orcs. Even as a graphics artist with a lifetime interest in learning how to do this I am still amazed and shcoked how they managed to make the different chieftains so memorable and unique and full of character both in facial expressions and accessories.
Conclusions: 3 (on a -5 to 5 scale). Totally shocker good game, took me by complete surprise, I was expecting it to be just a tiny insignificant filler but it was like WOOOW. Lots of fun to experiment with orc control, just to mess with their inside struggles of power. I really hope future games will have more of this internal simulation, with stories forming inside the game.
PS: I haven’t played such an original and interesting Monolith game since Blood 2 (one was even more amazingly original).
It’s true, this dynamic ads a lot to the game making the world a bit more alive. Would still need more, but way to be a pathbreaker!