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.