Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Percentile Rank

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is ranked in the 94th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 101 critic reviews
Mighty Man

OpenCritic Rating

85

Top Critic Average

91%

Critics Recommend

Based on 101 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

ACG
Buy
ACG

Top Critic

Buy
Sep 30, 2014
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Kotaku
Yes
Yes
Sep 30, 2014

An inventive and thoroughly enjoyable adventure that honors the legacy of its fiction while simultaneously expanding its boundaries.

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TechnoBuffalo
Buy
Buy
Oct 7, 2014

Shadow of Mordor is a conventional open-world action game with very cliched mechanics, but if you approach it conventionally, it might bore you to tears. Break away from its path, experiment, and find your own fun. Tackle story missions only when you want some new abilities or a new map to toy with, and you will definitely get your $60 worth.

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Gamers FTW
Unscored
Unscored
Oct 14, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a must own title on any platform and a genuine contender for Game of the Year.

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VGChartz
Unscored
Unscored
Oct 31, 2014

Shadow of Mordor more than qualifies as being one of the most polished and entertaining games to ever bear the Tolkien namesake.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Unscored
Unscored
Oct 6, 2014

But wow, I've enjoyed it.

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Gamestyle
Unscored
Unscored
Oct 8, 2014

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor isn't an earth shattering, game changing title. But it does do enough to move the genre on a bit.

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The A.V. Club
Unscored
Unscored
Oct 7, 2014

Shadow Of Mordor, though, successfully draws on some of that material in a way that is simultaneously engaging for a fan of Tolkien's extended works but not alienating for those passingly familiar with the story.

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TotalBiscuit, The Cynical Brit
Unscored
Unscored
Sep 29, 2014
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Scored Reviews

Giant Bomb
Sep 29, 2014

This perfectly competent open-world game gets a heck of a lot more interesting when it throws an endless host of savage, dynamic AI enemies into the mix.

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Guardian
Oct 7, 2014

Although saddled with an instantly forgettable title, Shadow of Mordor works hard to bring fun and life to the Tolkien universe – and manages both spectacularly

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Polygon
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Sep 25, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor tells a good story but provides the tools to discover even better tales

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Sep 29, 2014

Talion's story captures the essence of a Tolkien story. It's all about the journey. Friends are made, strangers are met and the true evil of Middle-earth is ever-present, but each story revolves around a true hero. Now Talion can stand next to the legends of Gimli, Frodo, Legolas and Aragorn.

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Softpedia
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Oct 1, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a stellar open world action adventure experience that, while borrowing from other, more popular franchises, manages to innovate by leaps and bounds through the Nemesis system, elevating the whole game above its standard story. The combat and exploration are fun, and while the game may seem a bit difficult, don't forget that running away is always a good idea.

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Gameplanet
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
Oct 9, 2014

Shadow of Mordor is the single best Lord of the Rings adaptation to date, and one of the very best third-person action games in many years. By taking some well-known mechanics and adding their own special twist with the Nemesis system, what Monolith has created is much more than the sum of its few borrowed parts.

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Pixel Dynamo
9.3 / 10.0
9.3 / 10.0
Oct 7, 2014

Exceptional fun

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The Loot Gaming
9.3 / 10.0
9.3 / 10.0
Aug 21, 2017

In conclusion, Shadow of Mordor is the best LOTR game I have played in a long time, it reaches the expectations and although some are very critic on the similarity with the assassin's creed system, I have to say I really enjoyed playing this epic game full of emotion, adrenaline and a soundtrack that will blow up your mind. The challenge of completing the campaing 100% will make you spend hours of fun, as the secondary missions are very attractive and challenging but keeping a balance that makes them achievable for any player investing a moderate quantity of time, it is not just a game that incudes high definition graphics and sound quality, but much more than that.

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IGN
9.3 / 10.0
Dan Stapleton

Top Critic

9.3 / 10.0
Sep 25, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's great action and dynamic enemies make both victory and defeat an amazing experience.

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CGMagazine
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 10, 2014

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a must-play experience for this new console generation.

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SelectButton
9 / 10
9 / 10
Oct 30, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an absolute blast to play. The gameplay builds off of the successes of Batman and Assassin's Creed and weaves a story through the world of LotR that connects very well within the framework of the overall universe. It's a title that I definitely recommend picking up since you'll certainly enjoy it if you do.

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Push Square
9 / 10
9 / 10
Oct 5, 2014

[T]his game is like the One Ring: it'll take much for it to ebb away into the shores of time, but will surface in our memories for years to come due to its "preciousss" novelty.

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USgamer
Sep 28, 2014

Shadow of Mordor is a great first step into the open-world action-adventure genre for Monolith. It up-ends what's come before with the Nemesis System, which brings the player closer to the game with personalized foes. The game isn't perfect - resurrecting foes can be frustrating - but those issues won't hold you back from enjoying yourself.

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The Escapist
Sep 25, 2014

As an open world game set in Middle-earth, Shadow of Mordor delivers unique emergent gameplay, finely-tuned combat mechanics and a story which avoids typical fantasy fare. While the main storyline can be finished relatively quickly, there is a lot of content in Mordor for you to pursue however you like.

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Hardcore Gamer
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
Sep 25, 2014

More than just a great Lord of the Rings game, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor marks a new era for the franchise that can be enjoyed by fans and the uninitiated alike.

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GamesRadar+
Sep 25, 2014

By turning your every death into the start of a personal vendetta, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor makes you that much more invested in its open-world. The savage combat and satisfying stealth are just the means to exacting your ultimate revenge.

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gameranx
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 10, 2014

The Nemesis System is an achievement, one that overshadows any faults Shadow of Mordor otherwise has through sheer fun factor, and I can't wait to see its influence spread.

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ZTGD
9 / 10.0
Ken McKown

Top Critic

9 / 10.0
Sep 29, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the first game on these new consoles that screams next generation game play. Even those not so sweet on the source material need to check this game out.

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Arcade Sushi
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 6, 2014

With its top-notch aesthetics, richly flowing action, and uniquely personal ecosystem of foes, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one game you'll be happy to go there and back again with.

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God is a Geek
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 6, 2014

Dark, compelling, and occasionally unflinchingly brutal, Shadow of Mordor is Lord of the Rings for grown-ups. It's not just a good game based on an established franchise, but a fantastic game in its own right and one that deserves to be judged purely by its own merits, and not by what has come before.

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TheSixthAxis
9 / 10
9 / 10
Oct 10, 2014

Shadow of Mordor is without doubt the best Middle-earth game available on consoles. Though not entirely original (then again, what is nowadays?) all of the elements which it borrows flow in sync with Monolith's intuitive Nemesis system, creating something both immensely fun and replayable. That's not to say the game doesn't start to lose steam, especially once you've hit the thirty-hour mark, long after you've finished the story and explored the world. Still, when you eventually come to that milestone you will undoubtedly have had your fill.

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PlayStation LifeStyle
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Sep 25, 2014

Overall, there is simply too much to cover in Shadow of Mordor and this is one of its greatest assets. As you progress through the game things expand exponentially, giving more room to play around in, but on a learning curve that is paced out perfectly. Fantasy fans will probably owe it to themselves to give Shadow of Mordor a shot, especially if they are fans of Tolkien's work. If you are not overly familiar with the lore from the books and movies, you may find it difficult to appreciate most of the content available here, but you will still find a fantastically fun fantasy action title with a robust amount of content, with some familiar core gameplay.

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Daily Dot
Sep 26, 2014

It's always a pleasure when a game is a no-brainer to recommend. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor fits into that category. It is dense with content, will envelop you within its world, and is worth every second of your attention it demands.

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Games Xtreme
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 6, 2014

Shadow of Mordor is an excellent game that is elevated by the Nemesis System and its many other features working together. It's a great tale in Middle Earth that is faithful to the concepts of Tolkien's world and echoes the tragedy of the likes of Hamlet and Macbeth. I highly recommend this game on new-gen platforms and PC where you can truly appreciate the Nemesis System and open world in all its hi-def epic nature.

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Reno Gazette-Journal
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 2, 2014

Admittedly, traversing the map and knocking out events can get repetitive after a while, even with fast traveling unlocked. By making you care about even lesser enemies, however, Shadow of Mordor turns what's normally mindless filler into a worthwhile encounter. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got another Uruk to hunt down.

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Game Revolution
Sep 25, 2014

Middle-earth just wants the player to explore it like a playground. You can climb up structures, leap from them to tackle a wild creature of the land, and even enlist your own group to drive the dramas that ensue. Shadow of Mordor paints the pictures that rest somewhere between bookends.

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GameGrin
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 13, 2014

Every aspect of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor feels like it was designed to be the ultimate power trip. At the same time, thanks to nemesis, your actions have very direct and visible consequences on the world you inhabit. It's this combination that makes Shadow of Mordor not only an excellent game, but one which sets the standard for all open-world titles to come.

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Shacknews
9 / 10
9 / 10
Sep 25, 2014

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor wears its influences on its sleeve, but integrates them so well with its own ideas that it stands up as a unique achievement on its own.

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AusGamers
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 7, 2014

[E]ven with that level of polish I'd have liked to see, it's difficult to think of any reason you shouldn't play this, because I can't. It's a compelling experience unlike anything else out in the market, despite borrowing heavily from a couple of other big guns. Thoroughly recommend.

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Game Debate
9 / 10.0
Game Debate
Felix Nova

Top Critic

9 / 10.0
Oct 4, 2014

Shadow of Mordor is a fun action title that continues to sprinkle enjoyable tactical options in front of the player even in the later stages of the game. It keeps a combat heavy, tried and tested formula from becoming stagnant, while borrowing mechanics from a variety of game franchises it nevertheless comes from a gaming pedigree itself. Where Assassin's Creed and Batman are becoming repetitive, Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor has managed to create an open world action fantasy RPG that has new life, albeit, slightly undead.

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The Digital Fix
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Dec 23, 2014

As a gamer you owe it to yourself to experience Shadow of Mordor if not for anything else other than the Nemesis system because playing a single-player game never made you feel less alone.

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GameCrate
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 3, 2014

Shadow of Mordor is an automatic recommendation for anyone who enjoys 3rd-person melee combat action games. Whether you're a Tolkien fan or not, you'll find a lot to love in the game's satisfying combat and innovative mechanics.

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Critical Hit
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 6, 2014

While not perfect, Shadow of Mordor surpasses expectations - it's fun, engaging and truly impressive. The Nemesis System is a stroke of genius and sets this game apart from its competitors. A serious contender for Game of the Year.

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Worth Playing
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Sep 30, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the rare Arkham clone that transcends its status. It borrows heavily from Batman: Arkham Asylum but does enough new, interesting and distinctive things that it doesn't feel derivative. The core gameplay mechanics are some of the most enjoyable I've encountered this year, and the game is fun from start to finish. A lackluster plot and odd use of the source material holds the game back slightly but not enough to interfere with the unadulterated fun of the core concept. Shadow of Mordor may not be the deepest or most meaningful game released this year, but it sure is one of the most fun.

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PlayStation Universe
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Oct 8, 2014

Combining the transversal and exploration of Assassin's Creed and the combat of the Batman: Arkham franchise, Monolith Productions has created not only the best title in the Middle-earth franchise, but probably the best action title of the year.

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SmashPad
Dec 15, 2014

The sandbox nature of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is what makes it such a great game.

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High-Def Digest
Oct 10, 2014

I've been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien since I was a boy. The fantastical world he created never disappointed, regardless of the entertainment medium it was presented in. His books kept me awake long into the night and Peter Jackson's film adaptations often left me breathless. While many of the video games based in this fantasy world have often been hit or miss, it's safe to say that 'Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor' has lived up to my very high expectations as being my most anticipated game (and let's not forget new franchise entry) of 2014. It took everything that I love about the action/adventure genre and brought it to life in wonderfully immersive ways. Monolith Productions has earned some serious bragging rights not only with what they've done for the epic fantasy franchise, but for what they have developed with their Nemesis system. Their many accolades and high praise are both warranted and justified. 'Shadow of Mordor' should not be missed.

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VideoGamer
9 / 10
9 / 10
Sep 25, 2014

A triumph of emergent gameplay, slightly let down by a heavily scripted ending.

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Digital Chumps
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Sep 26, 2014

All in all, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a beautiful third-person action title that has deep role-playing game elements embedded firmly into it. You also get enormously detailed and deep environments, with unique enemies to populate it. This is simply a superb game.

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Wccftech
9 / 10.0
Wccftech

Top Critic

9 / 10.0
Oct 6, 2014

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is simply a worthy Lord of the Rings title that stands as a title in its own right apart from the movies, but a title that honors the movies nonetheless.

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Game Rant
Oct 2, 2014

'Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor' combines familiar combat tricks and trademark Tolkien scenery with a unique Nemesis system to deliver one of the best new-gen experiences of the year.

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ThisGenGaming
9 / 10.0
ThisGenGaming
ThisGenGaming

Top Critic

9 / 10.0
Oct 12, 2014

Shadow Of Mordor might end up being the surprise hit of the year due to its fantastic combat system, intriguing and original nemesis system, and a whole lot of things to keep you entertained in this amazing open world game. While it does have its similarities to other successful games like Assassin's Creed and Batman Arkham series, it doesn't just copy and paste everything, they put their own special sauce on it and make it even better. One of the only real problems I had with the game was the story wasn't really that good, but everything else is done well making this a must own game!

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NZGamer
8.8 / 10.0
8.8 / 10.0
Oct 7, 2014

With the addition of the Nemesis system, Shadow of Mordor becomes something truly special, giving the player a more dynamic experience, which allows us to have our own unique adventures, with enemies we'll make a personal history with.

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Gaming Nexus
8.8 / 10.0
8.8 / 10.0
Dec 8, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the biggest "pleasant surprise" of 2014. A solid side-story from an established universe with spot-on gameplay makes this a surprise contender for one of the year's best games.

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Cheat Code Central
4.4 / 5.0
4.4 / 5.0
Sep 26, 2014

So, is Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor worth buying? Absolutely. It will appease hardcore fans of games like Assassin's Creed and the Batman: Arkham series, while introducing new gameplay mechanics that fundamentally change the structure of the game. A unique experience for any gamer indeed.

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Impulsegamer
4.4 / 5.0
4.4 / 5.0
Oct 25, 2014

Living and fighting and dying in an organic, dynamic world is utterly spectacular. Shadow of Mordor can offer nothing better than that: the plot is average, and side missions range from the severely limiting 'kill x orcs in this specific way' to the unreasonably tedious 'free these identical human slaves (again)'. But existing within this open world is a satisfying experience, purely because your enemies feel more rounded, more genuine. The Nemesis system is Shadow of Mordor; it's as simple as that.

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GameTrailers
8.7 / 10.0
8.7 / 10.0
Sep 25, 2014

If you're fond of Tolkien, you should enjoy this side story without being too offended by the updates to popular lore. If you've enjoyed Assassin's Creed, you may appreciate the visceral change of pace the game brings to the genre of open-world stealth. The world feels alive and treacherous, the combat gives you lots of gruesome options, and the enemy army is always evolving. It might not offer the challenge you crave, but if you enjoy killing orcs, there are two maps filled with the savage monsters and they're all looking for a fight.

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PSX Extreme
8.7 / 10.0
8.7 / 10.0
Sep 30, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a game that delivers the fantasy goods in spades. The ultra-anal Tolkien lovers might take issue with Talion and how the game is presented, and the AI and frame-rate issues are clear. That being said, this remains a wildly immersive, engaging adventure with an excellent combination of action and platforming elements.

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ActionTrip
8.7 / 10.0
8.7 / 10.0
Oct 16, 2014

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor definitely isn't for everyone, but I can almost guarantee that everyone who gives it a shot will find something enjoyable about it, regardless of whether you are a Tolkien fan or not. It perfects the gameplay it emulates, and it opens up an incredible world of forced strategy with the action-adventure genre. I'm sure I don't need to point out how infrequently this happens.

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New Game Network
86 / 100
86 / 100
Oct 16, 2014

Monolith Productions has created a new standard for Middle-earth games with Shadow of Mordor. The combat is gratifying, the visuals are gorgeous and the unique features such as the nemesis system combine to create a great action game experience.

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GameWatcher
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 6, 2014

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a strong foray into the Tolkien universe, backed up by popular combat from other major action series, with its own free-running style to boot.

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GamingTrend
85 / 100
85 / 100
Sep 29, 2014

While expectations may have been fairly low for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, there was still a certain amount of hope within me that Monolith could produce an enjoyable experience. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor soared past those expectations and not only produced an enjoyable experience, but also one of the best experiences with a video game this year. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a very well crafted adventure that will keep you hooked for hours on end.

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PC Gamer
85 / 100
85 / 100
Sep 29, 2014

The tech specs are demanding, but this is the Middle-Earth game to rule them all.

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Readers Gambit
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 2, 2014

Shadow of Mordor provides Lord of the Rings and high fantasy fans with an interesting take on the Assassin's Creed formula. A visually stunning experience paced well and complimented by the Nemesis system.

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GamingBolt
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Oct 4, 2014

The bottom line here is that if you have a passing interest in Tolkien's work, and you liked the Arkham or Assassin's Creed games, then you owe it to yourself to give Shadow of Mordor a shot. As for avid fans of Tolkien, the retconning of certain pieces of lore might upset you but this is hardly the first time a Lord of the Rings game has done that, and at least the "game" part is actually good this time. Just don't go in expecting a story on the scale of The Lord of the Rings or detailed environments, they just aren't there.

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EGM
8.5 / 10.0
EGM

Top Critic

8.5 / 10.0
Sep 25, 2014

The landscapes and exploration elements might not be on the level of some of its open-world brethren, but Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor delivers one of the best games to feature the intricate lore of J.R.R. Tolkien—and its innovative, addictive Nemesis system could redefine the way developers design enemy encounters in the future.

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Nerdburglars
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Aug 21, 2017

Middle-Earth: Shadow or Morder successfully delivers an experience that you will enjoy from start to finish. The hours will just fly by as you fight through the detailed land of Mordor. The Nemesis system and Uruk Hierarchy in Saurons Army is something fresh and will keep you entertained throughout the experience. It’s a shame the story couldn’t have been a bit longer. The game is so much fun to play that it’s a real let down when you get to the end of it so soon. This game is a must buy for anyone who is a fan of fantasy hack and slash RPGs. Regardless of your knowledge of the Lord of the Rings franchise you will find your self hooked to this game.

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Game Informer
8.3 / 10.0
8.3 / 10.0
Sep 25, 2014

A challenging and fascinating adventure in emergent gameplay, but not without growing pains

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COGconnected
83 / 100
83 / 100
Oct 7, 2014

With a brilliant blend of silky smooth yet brutal combat and some memorable stealth sequences, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor offers up some of the best open world combat we have seen in quite some time. It is not without some faults, and will frustrate many to the core, but in the end you are left with an excellent Lord of the Rings game that should please any "Mature" gamer.

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MMORPG.com
8.2 / 10.0
8.2 / 10.0
Sep 25, 2014

If you're a fan of open world RPGs, love the idea of killing and enslaving orcs, and aren't too worried about tweaking Tolkien to serve the purpose of fun, you owe it to yourself to buy and play Shadow of Mordor. Talion's quest right up there as one of this year's best and Monolith should be very proud of their work.

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GamesBeat
80 / 100
80 / 100
Sep 24, 2014

At its core, Shadow of Mordor is a fresh, exciting game. I love what it does to make every enemy feel special. Open-world games like Assassin's Creed and Grand Theft Auto haven't really done much to expand on the possibility for emergence in the genre. They look like a pair of Casio digital wristwatches compared to the complex moving parts of Shadow of Mordor's intricate cuckoo clock.

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Eurogamer
8 / 10
8 / 10
Sep 25, 2014

There's plenty to see and do in Mordor when you're dead; all that's left, in the words of a wise old wandering wizard, is to decide what to do with the time that is given to you.

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Attack of the Fanboy
Oct 1, 2014

Shadow of Mordor takes the focus away from new generation resolutions and framerates, and really starts to show what types of gameplay innovations are possible given the more powerful console hardware.

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Press Start
8 / 10
8 / 10
Oct 14, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor may be one of the biggest surprises this year so far. Offering incredibly robust and fun gameplay, along with a detailed world of lore and characters this title doesn't only have the right to be called a great Lord of the Rings game, but a great game in its own right. Its only drawback is that it may be held back somewhat in favour of cross-generation programming.

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Xbox Achievements
80%
80%
Sep 25, 2014

At a glance, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor seems like an ill-inspired Tolkien action game. Delve deeper beneath the surface and you'll find an exciting game with fantastic production values, thoroughly enjoyable gameplay, a good dose of variety and a killer hook in the Nemesis System. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is simply the finest Tolkien game we've played in quite some time.

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Twinfinite
4 / 5.0
Twinfinite
Twinfinite Staff

Top Critic

4 / 5.0
Oct 2, 2014

Shadow of Mordor has gone from an afterthought to one of the most lovingly discussed games in the new console cycle. Playing it, it's easy to see why. Given the source material, it's a little disappointing that story wasn't stronger. However, the nemesis system, helped by solid navigation and combat systems, is a true innovation in an industry struggling to move forward. Shadow of Mordor is a surprising breath of fresh air.

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Slant Magazine
Oct 5, 2014

If you embrace the tactical nature of its combat, which is rarely resolved on a single battlefield, then Shadow of Mordor stands largely without flaws.

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GameSpot
8 / 10
8 / 10
Sep 24, 2014

Shadow of Mordor's political machinations and rambunctious action make it a cut above your everyday Lord of the Rings game.

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Metro GameCentral
8 / 10
8 / 10
Sep 30, 2014

A far better game than many would've imagined, not just in terms of its action and Lord of the Rings authenticity – but in bringing a genuinely new idea to gaming.

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TrustedReviews
Oct 2, 2014

It sounds like an unholy Middle Earth mash-up of Arkham City and Assassin's Creed, but the Nemesis system helps turn Shadow of Mordor into something far more entertaining. With good, demanding combat, excellent stealth and enemies worth slaying it's more compulsive than you might expect, and it treats the license with some respect as well. This year's surprise sleeper hit? Don't bet against it.

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Dealspwn
Oct 8, 2014

A fantastic start for what we hope will become a fresh Tolkien franchise. There are some solid (if not borrowed) foundations and the Nemesis surpasses our expectations by providing a fresh experience to enemy design. Improvements next time should see a little more variety added to the combat brawls, but you're going to love taking advantage of an enemy's weaknesses from afar with the rich range of underhanded subterfuge tactics. Well played, Monolith.

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DarkZero
8 / 10
8 / 10
Oct 10, 2014

Simply put, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the best game based on The Lord of the Rings licence that brings solid combat, good sneaking mechanics and joyful side content, but above all, brings an innovating mechanic to the table that is so often hard to do in this current gaming climate.

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Digital Spy
Oct 13, 2014

It may not be wholly original, but thanks to a compelling Nemesis System, Shadow of Mordor forges its own unique path, which marks it out for praise.

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Pure Xbox
8 / 10
8 / 10
Oct 12, 2014

We can easily recommend Shadow of Mordor to fans of either aforementioned franchise, action-adventure lovers, and to anyone that won't mind spilling gallons of Orc blood. It's one of the year's biggest surprises.

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Multiplayer
Apr 28, 2015

From the get go you are introduced to Talion, a Ranger of Gondor as well as Captain of the Black Gate. Who is in the midst of training his son Dirhael and gives you the chance to learn some basic combat moves.

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Cubed3
8 / 10
8 / 10
Dec 3, 2014

Shadow of Mordor shows that the Tolkien licence still has a lot of life in it yet. It falls short a little in that some of the aspects feel like they don't quite live up to what they promised, but this is a great first step for a brand new IP. Hopefully this won't be the last we see of Talion.

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games(TM)
8 / 10
8 / 10
Sep 26, 2014

It's disappointing that Shadow of Mordor couldn't match the originality of its superb Nemesis system with a more engaging world, but the characters which populate it are more than enough to spur you through the campaign. Shadow of Mordor might owe something of a debt to numerous games that have come before it, but by adding its own flavour to the mixture the result is a surprisingly expansive and hearty experience that is more compelling than plenty that have come before it. A hugely entertaining, tongue-in-cheek and fulsome experience, it's a worthy expedition whether you're a Rings fan or not.

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Gamers Heroes
8 / 10
Gamers Heroes
Johnny Hurricane

Top Critic

8 / 10
Oct 3, 2014

The two things stated above do not change the fact that Shadow Of Mordor is amazing game that should be played by any action game fan. While it certainly needs a few tweaks to be a perfect game it has a legitimate shot at game of the year. The journey is well worth taking and you will not regret playing Middle-earth Shadow Of Mordor.

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GameZone
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Oct 7, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the best Lord of the Rings game I've ever played. It's that simple. It takes the gameplay of franchises like Assassin's Creed and Arkham City, throws new gameplay wrinkles into the fold, and adds a good character to make your time in Middle-earth exciting. But it's not all Hobbit stew and potatoes.

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GameSkinny
Mar 10, 2015

Shadow of Mordor is a beautiful game with some sick combat that's geuinely fun. The gameplay is the real star of this show and it's one worth getting at full price.

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Telegraph
Oct 3, 2014

None of this is to say that Shadow of Mordor isn't a great time, especially once you get to the second half of it, but it definitely feels more like a proof of concept more than a fully accomplished idea. The withholding of the uruk turning mechanic until the second half makes no real sense to me, and hurts the game pretty significantly, leaving the first half feeling slightly purposeless and confusing in terms of what you're supposed to do with all these systems. But once it gets going it offers something fresh and original, and at the same time something only a game with the budget of Shadow of Mordor could really accomplish, and that's extremely laudable.

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Examiner
Oct 6, 2014

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an entertaining game. It is a great take on Lord of the Rings lore and delivers an engaging open-world experience that PS4 and Xbox One owners will thoroughly enjoy. The repetitive mission structure is disappointing, but the game's world, characters, Nemesis System, and the storyline make this game a must-play for fans of The Lord of the Ring and open-world games.

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We Got This Covered
Oct 7, 2014

Despite borrowing some of its more prevalent mechanics from both Assassin's Creed and Batman, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor manages to be a very solid and memorable game.

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Kill Screen
77 / 100
77 / 100
Oct 8, 2014

But the truth is that it is a good game in spite of the fact that it has bones that threaten to burst from the fantasy skin laid overtop; that it is yearning to mutate out of this Lord of the Rings form and into something truly revolutionary.

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Toronto Sun
Sep 26, 2014

Good games based on J. R. R. Tolkien's works are surprisingly rare, and Shadow of Mordor is certainly a sword-thrusting lunge in the right direction. It's slick and fun, with solid production values and some new takes on what's becoming an overly familiar formula. There's just not quite enough here to make it truly preciousss.

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PC Invasion
7 / 10
7 / 10
Oct 6, 2014

A highly polished and generally entertaining romp, but it's missing a vital spark to bring everything together.

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Digital Trends
Sep 30, 2014

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor nears perfection, but the demands of a scripted narrative work against its freeform structure.

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GameSkinny
Oct 4, 2014

All I have to say about that final fight: bulls***t

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Post Arcade (National Post)
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Sep 25, 2014

Monolith's action fantasy RPG isn't quite the definitive Tolkien mythology-inspired game fans may have been hoping for.

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FourFaceButtons
62 / 100
62 / 100
Aug 28, 2017
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor video thumbnail
Destructoid
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Sep 25, 2014

Ultimately, like many ambitious projects, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor doesn't deliver on everything it sets out to do. Although Monolith's heart is in the right place and the studio honors the lore, it doesn't really add anything that's worth seeing outside of some solid open world gameplay. It isn't a bad game, it just feels far too repetitive for its own good. 

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PCMag
Oct 27, 2014

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has a cool way to allow your actions to develop your enemies in its Nemesis system. And it looks nice, too, but shallow combat and frustrating design choices mar this Tolkien-inspired PC brawler.

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