Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor
There have been many Lord of the Rings games over the years, and they're all good in their own ways. The recent Shadow of Mordor, however, introduces a story outside of the movies, and for that, it can only be praised. The game takes place between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, featuring a captain of Gondor as he tries to get revenge on Mordor for the killing of his family. However, twinned with a wraith, he is granted abilities beyond a mortal man, and that wraith has lofty ambitions. The strength, however, lies not in the story, which plods along slowly in the background, but the gameplay. The title blends the combat system of the Batman games with intelligent stealth mechanics, longswords, and bows. You never get bored of cutting through thousands of orcs, but there is something of a challenge here too. To get to Sauron's Black Hand, you must first defeat his underlings. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done. The fights with orc leaders are intense and difficult, requiring intelligence gathering and skill. If you lose, your wraith powers will return you to the mortal world, but the Orc will gain notoriety for the kill. That, in turn, affects the whole power structure of the game, shuffling around the hierarchy and growing Sauron's army. As a result, no two playthroughs are the same, and the world evolves dynamically. Orcs will bear the scars of your previous encounters and allies and taunt you. At its heart, it's a revenge fantasy, and it's one of the few that can induce real hatred.