Having to take on so many side activities scuppers the pacing of an otherwise absorbing story. Human allies Idril and Baramor – a couple willing to risk their necks to save others – are likeable, but their appearances are often hours apart. Troy Baker puts in a typically robust performance as Talion, pitched somewhere between Sean Bean’s turn as the flawed but fundamentally decent Boromir and Viggo Mortensen’s stolidly heroic Aragorn. But attempts to paint him as a gruff saviour figure flounder when every five minutes you see him squeeze the head of a terrified orc until it pops. Indeed, this is one of the most savagely, relentlessly violent games we’ve ever played. Perhaps it’s intended to show how easily we can justify horrifying means for a noble end, but it makes you feel pretty grotty all the same.