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.