Once upon a time, EA had the rights to the Lord of the Rings (film) series, and they made a bunch of games. Many of them were surprisingly good, like Return of the King, but two in particular stood out: The Battle for Middle Earth RTS games.
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Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, the latest video game set in the world of Lord of the Rings, looks like some crazy Tolkien fanfiction. Its most recent trailer went even wilder, and introduced us to, among other things, the giant spider Shelob... in the form of human woman. How? Why? The team behind the game has a reason, and it's a weird one.
Sidekicks. Always there to lend a helping hand, or sword, or wand, as the case may be. A hero is nothing without his or her sidekick, but these companions rarely get the recognition they deserve. A few second bananas may get the spotlight on occasion — your Robins, your Chewbaccas, your Igors — but they all originated in comics, films, or on TV. This list is for the truly forgotten, the most overlooked of the overlooked. Here is a ranking of the top 10 best science fiction and fantasy sidekicks that originated in books.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, the newly unveiled video gaming sequel to Shadow of Mordor, looks like it's ramping up things up in every possible way. The last game already played fast and loose with Lord of the Rings lore, but now you're a human leading armies of orcs into an invasion of Mordor. With your own ring of power. Also, there may be dragons?
One of Shadow of Mordor's biggest features is the "Nemesis System," a mechanic that gradually beefs up unique Uruk rivals for the player. The more you progress, the more menacing your Nemesis becomes, and the more gratifying it is when you finally kill it. But what happens if you go out of your way to avoid nemesis assignments?
Briefly: A $US50 "Game Of The Year" edition of Shadow of Mordor is coming out May 5 — as in, next week — for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. No word on last-gen versions. If you haven't played Mordor yet, this is a good chance to get all its post-release goodies without having to pay extra for the crappy parts of its DLC.
The Bright Lord, Shadow of Mordor's new DLC campaign, promises an epic showdown with Lord of the Rings head honcho Sauron. It was designed in part to address a common fan complaint about the original game's anticlimactic ending. But while it does give players a chance to fight Sauron, I'd hardly call it an epic battle.
Dayshot: Osgiliath, capital of the Kingdom of Gondor, was the Kingdom's greatest city before it was eventually abandoned in the Third Age. Now, you can take a walk in Osgiliath, both in its glory days and beyond, courtesy of two fantastic Minecraft builds.
Shadow of Mordor is one of the best games I played this year. I had high hopes for Lord of the Hunt, its first major expansion, as a result. "New monsters!" I thought. "More nemesis orcs to fight, some of whom ride on top of the new monsters! What could possibly go wrong?" So many things, apparently.
Shadow of Mordor got its first major DLC instalment today, Lord of the Hunt. As the name suggests, the expansion is all about monsters — ones you can kill or bend to your will in various ways. Let's take a closer look at some of these gnarly new beasts.