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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Series) Review

Game image MiddleEarth Shadow of Mordor
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Posted: 10 months ago, last updated 3 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War is an adventure series set in Tolkein's fictional work, between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. You play Talion, a Ranger who sets out to avenge the deaths of his loved one. The fighting and combat is as you might expect, but more interesting is the open world and its "Nemesis System", which creates an actively changing and political world in which to play.

While there is a story you follow, how the creatures and the world responds to you depends on your previous actions as well as how other events are unfolding for the different races. For example, If an enemy kills the player, he will up promoted and become more powerful in future encounters.

In Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Mordor is not yet a barren wasteland, you will encounter Gollum and discover that the wraith who revived him is Celebrimbor, the greatest Elven smith master of the Second Age, who also seeks revenge against Sauron. Middle-earth: Shadow of War continues the story, as you travel to Mount Doom. You will deal with Shelob, the Ring, Sauron's forces and a valuable Palantir. You don't need to know the books and films but this will add more substance to the events you are caught up in.

DetailsGame Details

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 30/09/2014, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @MonolithDev



Duration: This game will take between 20 hours and 25 hours to complete. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War are similar length although how long it takes depends on approach and skill. To see everything will take over 75 hours.
Players: You can play this with 2 players online. Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War both have online vendettas where you can take on enemies who had killed an online friend and avenge their death. In Shadow of War you do this in your friend's world.

Shadow of War also has Online Conquest that's a little like Clash of Clans and results in a ranking. You equip your fortress and upload it online for other players to assault. You can assault other people's fortresses. Depending on how quickly you win you are awarded a rank and loot. You can't lose captains when defending a fortress but you can when assaulting.


Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. This includes a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game. In addition to small items and customisations there are larger paid expansions for Shadow of Mordor:
  • Lord of the Hunt
  • The Bright Lord

There are also small items and large expansions for Shadow of War:
  • Desolation of Mordor Story Expansion
  • Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion
  • Slaughter Tribe Nemesis Expansion
  • Outlaw Tribe Nemesis Expansion

The Game of the Year and Definitive editions includes these upgrades. You can also purchase a season pass to access the big content packs and other bonuses.
You will need PlayStation Plus to play online with PlayStation 3.
You will need Xbox Live Gold (must be 18 to create, then configure family accounts for younger players) to play online with Xbox One.
You will need Xbox Live Gold to play online with Xbox 360.
You will need PlayStation Plus (must be 18 to create, then create sub-accounts for younger players who need be set as 13 or older) to play online with PlayStation 4.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

This game has been rated ESRB MATURE 17+.


Rated PEGI 18 due to depictions of gross violence towards human-like characters, and violence towards the vulnerable and defenceless. This game contains depictions of gross violence to human-like and fantasy characters. The violence includes frequent decapitation and dismemberment paired with strong blood and gore. When a ‘finisher’ move has been activated the player will perform an elaborate move which gruesomely kills the enemy. This game also contains violence towards vulnerable/defenceless characters which include characters who are tied up or unable to escape the violence.

Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.


Accessibility for this game is as follows:
System Settings

Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.

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