Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Desolation of Mordor Xbox One X Review

Desolation of Mordor isn't exciting enough to bring back those who've moved on from Shadow of War

By Grayshadow, Posted 09 May 2018

Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Blade of Galadriel was an underwhelming DLC that provided context to the overall campaign but was short and didn't offer anything remarkable. Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Desolation of Mordor is the latest expansion that does a lot of the same. Providing insight into the campaign's plotholes and a different take on the Shadow of War gameplay. But it won't draw those in who've already moved on.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Desolation of Mordor,NoobFeed,WB Games,

Desolation of Mordor has players in control of Baranor a soldier in the Minas Ithil army who supported Talion during the main campaign. Since he carries no Ring of Power if killed the story ends and you'll have to start from the beginning. In addition, Baranor doesn't have any of the abilities that come with the Ring of Power and must rely on technology to get around. This does create a unique tale but at the cost of stripping what made the franchise so great.

Players will use a grappling hook and parachute to get around the new region. Although it's marketed as new much of the level shares similarities from other Mordor inspired levels. The same architecture and atmosphere are present here, only with lots of sand everywhere.

The Nemesis system is here but in a human variant. Baranor hires bodyguards who must be kept alive by obtaining healing potions by killing Uruks. You level up by getting artifacts instead of the traditional system of the main campaign. If killed lose all your mercenaries and outposts but maintain your character's progression. You can trick the system by simply restarting a mission to prevent this.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Desolation of Mordor,NoobFeed,WB Games,

Much of Desolation of Mordor involves you trying to take a single fortress. While Talion and Eltariel had an easier time taking fortresses Baranor is going to need the help he can get. Seeing how difficult conquering a fortress as an ordinary human does give a different perspective of how difficult it really is it's not as entertaining as using the Ring's power to manipulate the Uruks.

Baranor does have access to his own assortment of skills and equipment. Similar to Shadow of War's equipment system players can equip items found in the world by killing Uruks and earn experience to invest in skills. But these skills lack the creativity of Talion and are usually standard skills you would expect a military Captain to already have.

If you're starving for Middle-earth: Shadow of War content Desolation of Mordor will offer a small distraction for its 3-hour campaign. The human perspective is a nice touch but after having full control of a Ring of Power this felt more like a handicap. Desolation of Mordor isn't exciting enough to bring back those who've moved on from Shadow of War.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Warner Bros. International Enterprises
Developer(s): Monolith Productions, IUGO
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Fantasy
Release Date: 2018-05-08

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