Shadow of Mordor
One does not simply walk into Mordor… but sneaking works
£39.99 Developer Monolith Productions/Feral Interactive, feralinteractive.com 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.