Shadow of Mor­dor

One does not sim­ply walk into Mor­dor… but sneak­ing works

Mac Format - - RATED -

£39.99 De­vel­oper Mono­lith Pro­duc­tions/Feral In­ter­ac­tive, fer­al­in­ter­ac­ Re­quires OS X 10.10.3 or higher, 2.4GHz In­tel pro­ces­sor, 8GB RAM, 67GB hard drive space, see web­site for graph­ics cards

This is a game about killing orcs and dy­ing at their hands, but it’s a lot more ex­cit­ing than that sounds. Its free-roam­ing core bor­rows from the As­sas­sin’s Creed and Bat­man Arkham se­ries, yet in­no­vates with its Neme­sis sys­tem.

Hero Talion’s goal is to kill the elite Uruk Warchiefs that stand be­tween him and aveng­ing his fam­ily’s death by the Black Hand of Sau­ron. Each en­emy cap­tain has a ran­domly gen­er­ated per­son­al­ity: some may be im­mune to ranged at­tacks, oth­ers dab­ble in poi­sons, and some are ter­ri­fied of the beastly caragors that stalk the plains of Mor­dor.

Slay­ing a cap­tain weak­ens Sau­ron’s army, but fall in bat­tle and it grows stronger. The game ex­cels at in­ci­den­tal sto­ry­telling, and the ri­val­ries with cap­tains and the ex­hil­a­rat­ing con­fronta­tions stick in your mind long af­ter you’ve fin­ished.

Com­bat is chal­leng­ing, re­ly­ing on tim­ing and man­ag­ing abil­i­ties rather than but­ton mash­ing. Stealth parts pro­vide clever sign­post­ing of orcs’ lines of sight. Rush into a mob and you’ll soon be over­whelmed. There are many side quests, with cap­tains

A su­pe­rior ac­tion­ad­ven­ture with an ex­cel­lent com­bat sys­tem – and it isn’t just for Tolkien fans.

turn­ing up in the mid­dle, spoil­ing for a fight, so it’s easy to get lost.

The game seems de­riv­a­tive at first, but it’s got enough per­son­al­ity – from clever game design rather than the Tolkien li­cense – to stand apart from other open-world ad­ven­tures as long as your Mac’s got the beefy hard­ware to run it. Alan Wil­liamson

Neme­sis of­fers dy­namic sto­ries

Com­bat sys­tem re­wards skill

Good stealth ac­tion

Avail­able paths can over­whelm

You’ll need a fairly pow­er­ful Mac and plenty of free disk space to play the game.

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