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Topic: Middle-earth: Shadow of War Review - Is the Game's Nemesis S...
Steve Farrelly
AusGamers Editor
Posts: 7530
Location: Sydney, New South Wales

We've taken to Middle-earth over the past little while, with the lovely Talion-Celebrimbor reunion bringing out the best and worst in us. But that Nemesis System kept us coming back again and again, one slain orc (or us) at a time. But is the Nemesis System the game's only real trick?

Short answer is yes, long answer contains a maybe. Or two. Anyway, here's an excerpt from our in-depth review:
While it’s clear Monolith Productions’ punt on the unique enemy AI system in the first game paid critical dividends, what they’ve managed to do here is brilliant. Dynamic and emergent (to a controlled degree) confrontations with orcs is almost never the same twice over, and their traits, strengths and weaknesses create a style of game that is rarely ever structured. It’s sort of at odds, in this way, to the rest of the game which follows seamlessly on from the structure of Shadow of Mordor. Missions are waiting for you out in the greater game via mission markers, engage in one of these and your new assignment begins. The ‘overworld’ then is simply teaming with sword, arrow and dagger fodder along with a number of collectibles in each region that work to unlock much of the game’s backstory. It’s all very checklisty in design, and takes a lot away from the more emergent Nemesis side of the game, but in engagement, it still works.

What doesn’t really work is movement, combat and the game’s camera. Players have control over the camera, of course, but you’re often using your spare thumb for something else, and there’s no real smart camera system in place to help in these moments (well, there sort of is, but it’s not very good). Moreover, camera aside, the player movement system is largely forgettable with Talion often snagging various parts of the environment you had no intention of being snagged on at all. Button inputs aren’t up to scratch, either, and can leave you in a wake of frustration when all of the above combines to conspire against you. The number of times I died in combat due to a laggy input, or the camera taking an attacker out of my field of view unnecessarily, became too much to count. It’s a collection of less-than-prime systems that you can work with, but they don’t coalesce into the league of the Batman: Arkham series -- where all of this has been heavily borrowed from.
Click here for our full Shadow of War review. And if you've also been playing, let us know your thoughts in Comments below.
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