Shadow of Mordor: Lord of the Hunt DLC
Shadow of Mordor is by far one of my favorite games of 2014 and an excellent tribute to the Lord of the Rings. Even though released on both generations of consoles Shadow of Mordor (unlike most titles this year) truly showed off the true capabilities of these next-gen systems. The lighting effects and graphics are unbelievable by console standards and the shadows adjust perfectly with the weather and the environmental effects. Raindrops wet Talion’s hair and armor making them glisten in the moonlight. His armor, which is now waterlogged, looks heavier after being soaked by the thunderstorm. I could go on and on about the graphics, voice acting and lighting that makes this game one of the biggest sleeper hits of 2014 and with the release of the Lord of the Hunt DLC it still might be sleeping in 2015.
Being a huge fan of this game, I was pretty pumped for the Lord of the Hunt DLC and excited to see what the new storyline would bring. Unfortunately, when the DLC picks up it is unclear how much time has passed since the conclusion of the main storyline. It begins with Talion and Trovin having a conversation about a new type of Warchief that has arrived in Nurn. These new Uruk have the ability to tame many creatures in Mordor. Some of these creatures are new to the DLC such as the Stealth Caragors and the vomiting Graug. It seems as if many years have passed. Talion now has a full beard and is wearing an outfit that he may or may not have stolen off of a homeless peasant. It is not the well-dressed Talion I was used to from the beginning of the game. Although, this was just a menu option away from putting his Dark Ranger skin back on. Because we all know that skin is the best, anyways.
Regardless of these cosmetic issues, the epic combo system and gameplay mechanics have remained unchanged and are as satisfyingly brutal as ever. Included in the DLC are a few new abilities which include stealth killing while riding a Caragor and dominating Ghuls. These abilities both become very useful when fighting the new type of Warchiefs. With the added difficulty of these new Warchiefs (who are now mounted) it takes a little more strategy then before to vanquish them. This is a welcome addition though and keeps the DLC content challenging for more experienced players. Not much else has been changed, but as the saying goes…If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.
The Lord of the Hunt DLC follows the exact campaign system as the original story. There are quest markers that start a mission, followed by a short cut-scene explaining the objectives. The new story adds about two to three hours of new gameplay, but adding to the lore was not the focus of this DLC. While there is a story it is very trivial and really is just there to show off the new additions to the fighting system and the new upgraded Warchiefs. Once the campaign mode is over, a trial mode is unlocked, which is the DLC without the story missions. The objective in trial mode is to kill all the Captains and Warchiefs. You would think that Monolith would have created new Warchiefs or at least given them different skins for trial mode, but they look exactly the same as the ones that were just defeated in the campaign with the same strengths and weaknesses. This takes much of the allure out of trial mode and feels like a waste of time unless you are just in the mood to dismember more Uruk scum.
Overall, the Lord of the Hunt DLC is not bad, but by no means groundbreaking. It provides very little in the regards of story, however does add a few new ways to kill Uruk putting even more polish on an already pristine fighting system. If you are a fan of Shadow of Mordor and are looking for a new reason to continue Talion’s journey then you will not be disappointed.
What are your thoughts about the DLC? Let us know in the comments below and for a full review of Shadow of Mordor click here.
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