Hot Take: Shadow of Mordor is a good game

Giant Bomb’s “Best Game” of 2014, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, was a game that I refused to believe deserved all the praise it received. This game just never clicked for me. I have tried this game on platform it released on, and every time I’m spent before I make it even 2 hours into the story.

Fast-forward to this past weekend, where I happened to sit down and watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, apparently out of nowhere (honestly, I think Amazon’s Wheel of Time was scratching a similar high-fantasy itch I was having, but it wasn’t enough). I found myself browsing my Steam library for any LOTR related games. The Lord of the Rings Online and Shadow of Mordor were queued up for install. Something about the Tolkien universe just sucks me in and I want to consume more media from that world once I get a taste of it!

I briefly hopped into the game Sunday night just to get a feel for how it ran and controlled on my new(ish) 165HZ 1440P display. It may be that new-car-smell of the game running at 100+ FPS on a 1440P display, but I was instantly impressed again by the game when I first loaded into the tutorial mission. The controls were snappy and the framerate crispy-clean.

I initially credited my indifference to this game on the “clunky” combat and convoluted control scheme. I will go out on a limb here and say that I still think the controls are too complicated for their own good. Maybe I’m just a boomer and my brain can’t retain information as well as it used to, but I feel like “there’s got to be a better way!”.

Anyways, I streamed some Shadow of Mordor yesterday on Twitch. Before I went live, I did a quick audio/video test. This is what happened. Enjoy.

YouTube Streamin’

I’ve begun randomly streaming on YouTube after a break from Twitch. That said, I’m not 100% sure if I’ll switch off of Twitch and solely stream from YouTube. I mean, the streaming deals and contract offers are piling up, don’t get me wrong, but one can’t rush greatness.

I honestly just wanted to see how it differed from the Twitch streaming experience. During these streams I’m going to be giving into this undeniable draw I’ve had to Warhammer & Warhammer 40K by playing some Warhammer and Warhammer 40K games. My first exposure to Warhammer was Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning back in 2008 and I’ve been drawn to the setting since then. I’ve never actually played the tabletop game or painted any miniatures, but I love the world and art of all things Warhammer and WH40K, so I figured I’d make a little project out of trying a variety of Warhammer/WH40K games.

Warhammer: Chaosbane (Test Stream)

I started out with the aRPG title Warhammer: Chaosbane but my attention has been recently drawn to Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr (and the Prophecy expansion), which is also an isometric aRPG but it seems to have a little more depth and be a little more systems-heavy, which I’m all about.

Trying out my first Tech-Adept
Trying out my first Heavy Weapons Crusader

So, yeah — I look forward to slowly trickling out more and more Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 content over the upcoming weeks and months. Stay tuned!

JamesPlaysGames – Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes

I have a love/hate relationship with Wrath of Heroes. Some days I’ll hop in for a quick match and have a great time and see the potential in its “MOBA-meets-MMORPG” battlegrounds. Other days, or even the next match I play, can swing my mood to frustration as I focus on the simplicity and what seems like a lack of depth in this game. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve seen the game grow so much throughout the beta. My pride for what the developers have done in a little time is making me cheer for the game from the sidelines. The in-game UI has made leaps and bounds and the menu-art and layout is phenomenal in my opinion. Maybe it’s the fact that I really enjoyed Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning  that is making me want Wrath of Heroes to pick up where WAR left off. I want it to do well, so in some weird back-handed way it may help draw new players to its MMORPG counterpart.