It came as no surprise, given the release of rehashes, repeats and sequels that were spawned in the first year of this generation, that the only game to truly do something new and interesting makes it into our Game of the Year list.
Shadow of Mordor, for me, was truly out of left field. I had heard about its nemesis system, but with promises of intelligent AI falling foul of PR overhype on the last generation I have to admit I honestly scoffed at the PR video issued for SOM’s AI complexity and as such the release date soon arrived.
Though it did not quite live up to that initial video, it did however make enough of a change to enemy variation to deservedly warrant its place here.
Shadow of Mordor is a stand alone story told within the world of Middle earth, but unassociated with events of the Ring Trilogy. You play as Talion, a Gondorian Ranger tasked with defending the black gate from the hordes of Sauron. This does not end well and during an attack on the wall by Uruk soldiers you are made to watch your family be butchered before your eyes before finally having your own throat sliced by the officers of Saurons forces. Finding yourself in the wraith world, you broker an alliance with a vengeful spirit, hell bent on destroying Sauron in order to return to the world of the living and seek revenge.
To tell you much more of this game would spoil the wow factor of an engaging story, an interesting combat system and your overall enjoyment of the game. Let’s just put it this way – The Midlife Gamer community rarely get it wrong and there is very good reason this game is number two in the overall list.