Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
F.E.A.R. may not be the best first-person shooter of all time but it has the best shooting of any first-person game.
RPS Feature Have You Played
What if publishers and rightsholders were more willing to experiment with unused or squandered series, taking chances on handing them to new developers? Square Enix have thought about opening some older Eidos series to third-party developers through their weird crowdfunding Collective thing, I know folks have agitated for Sega to stop making horrible Sonic games and give someone not-awful a chance, and now the chap who owns first-person puncher Condemned is musing about handing the homeless-hammering simulator over to an indie team.
RPS Feature Anecdotal Roguelike Orc Slaying
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor came out last year to widespread appeal. Sure, the combat’s just a gorier, hyper deadly version of what we’ve already seen in the Batman Arkham games. Yeah, open world icon assassination was clearly lifted from Assassin’s Creed. But this time those icons were orcs, with actual memories and personalities, balanced on a power structure which the player was free to tinker with.
It’s great, but by the end of the game, messing with those systems felt unnecessary. You were powerful enough to just wade into the fortresses and kill your targets willy-nilly. What’s held my attention instead are the extra modes added since launch (one free, the rest paid-for DLC), which allow you to play the game as something approximating a roguelike. The free ‘Test of Defiance’ is the only mode that actually limits you to a single death, but it also doesn’t randomize the enemies or require you to gather intel on them.. Instead, I’m playing the ‘Test of the Wild’, which tasks you with ‘killing all 5 Warchiefs plus all 20 Captains’. I’m only giving myself one life, and to make things more interesting I’ll only use runes which I find as I play, ignoring the haul I gathered while playing the main game. Bring it on, hordes of Sauron.
RPS Feature Rule Them
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s moment-to-moment biffing is a trick we’ve seen before, but it’s still impressive to watch your wraith-Ranger shift and flip with seamless animations between punching one gribbly uruk and gutting another. Yet it’s the Nemesis system, which gives the action context within the larger army of Sauron and world of Mordor, that makes every assassination matter so much more and which makes Middle-earth the best action game of 2014.
John: The highest compliment I can pay Mordor is to say it was 2014’s Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning. Which is to say, the game I found the most enjoyable, the most effortlessly absorbing, this year. Yes, it’s vapid, but that’s part of its appeal.
Dear Video Games,
Please observe what Monolith are doing with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Recognising that its bland-o hero could be anything with two legs, two arms, and two blades, they’ve been releasing free outfits that turn Johnny Stabman into other people. First he became gothy villain the Black Hand of Sauron, and now we can play as a lady – Lithariel, the warrior commander met in the campaign. If your story is mostly dressing, why not let us stab-stab away as a variety of people?
If you’ve been playing Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor for a while, you’re probably thinking “Hey! Why did Johnny Stabman here stop being so angsty? I miss that angst! When will he be angsty again?” Well, my friend, you’re in luck. Warner Bros. yesterday released a free little DLC pack with a costume that lets you dress like a… I was thinking like a black metal lifestyler, but look how chipper and delightful the Vegan Black Metal Chef is. Why can’t Johnny Stabman be more like him?
Perhaps the free Epic-level runes the pack gives you too might cheer him up.
RPS Feature Lend Us Your Boromir
MOOOOOORRRRRRRRRDDDOOOOOOOOORRRRRRR, is the primary form of communication about Monolith’s Middle-hyphen-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor. However, we managed to break free of this trapping, and instead converse about the game in ever-so-slightly more erudite form. Below Jim, Alec and John have a natter about orc killing matter.
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RPS Feature Orcward Love
Now I’ve played for a large proportion of the last five days, with the main storyline completed, and a worrying number of the collectibles and side quests ticked off, I feel far more prepared to give a more definitive statement on Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor: I love it.
When I wrote my Wot I Think So Far of the game last week, I already knew it was great. Now I know it’s brilliant.
RPS Feature Sauron's Creed
I haven’t finished Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor, because for whatever tiresome reasons Warner refused to give us (and seemingly us alone) code before the game’s release. This is after a couple of lengthy days spent plugging away at what is a huge, detailed, and really rather fantastic brawling action game, set betwixt Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings (and importantly, it’s fun even if you don’t care about either). Here’s wot I think (so far).
Middle-Earth: Shadows Of Mordor looks like quite the prospect. An open world RPG in Tolkein’s universe, developed by Monolith. And you play as the best of all the classes, a ranger! It sounds rather exciting, but we’ve just learned that we’re not going to be able to tell you if it is or not before the game’s released, on the 30th September in the US. Huh.
Update: We’re being informed that console outlets already have review code, after attending a special event, and will have reviews online by the 26th. It seems this is a special treat for the PC version. We will keep you up to date.
Second update: Sadly, when we asked for details as to why PC code was not available when console was, we were told by Warner, “We have no further comment… at this stage.”