Zero Punctuation: Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Yahtzee Reviews Middle Earth: Shadow of War.

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Good review as always.

Of course the 'optional' defense is a BS line fed by the publishers but the fact they added in the option means that WB is clearly aiming to milk more from its customers. They didn't 'have' to make the 4th act such a slog. They didn't 'have' to add in microtransactions in a single player game. Just as you, the consumer don't 'have' to buy them. But since the option exists in the first place, WB must be held accountable for their shady business practices.

Burnouts3s3:
Good review as always.

Of course the 'optional' defense is a BS line fed by the publishers but the fact they added in the option means that WB is clearly aiming to milk more from its customers. They didn't 'have' to make the 4th act such a slog. They didn't 'have' to add in microtransactions in a single player game. Just as you, the consumer don't 'have' to buy them. But since the option exists in the first place, WB must be held accountable for their shady business practices.

And of course let us not forget that the developers of Postal 2 said much the same thing about killing people when they came under fire for the game.

Yes you can get through the game without killing anyone, but it's incredibly hard and as time goes on you'll feel less and less inclined to stick with it.

Anyhoo: Good review Yahtzee, though its funny you mentioned how much of a slog the story was because that's how I felt about SoM. Sure for a while it was fun to waylay the hordes but after a while you needed to progress to get the better power ups/uruk rankings/actual end to the story and I just couldn't be bothered. None of the characters seem terribly interesting and I didn't have any intent on seeing where the story went to.

I don't suppose we could get you and your girlfriend doing cuphead co-op for a stream eh?

Relax Yahtz the Silmarillion has you covered.

I loved the first game to death, never beat it because I spent all of my time doing revenge missions against captains that killed my mates.

This one was going to be a pre-order but when I heard about the bullshit microtransactions I said "nah". And honestly I don't think I'll even pirate this one, I'll just keep playing the first forever because I can.

That was a damn funny episode.

I haven't got much more of substance to say besides that.

Burnouts3s3:
Good review as always.

Of course the 'optional' defense is a BS line fed by the publishers but the fact they added in the option means that WB is clearly aiming to milk more from its customers. They didn't 'have' to make the 4th act such a slog. They didn't 'have' to add in microtransactions in a single player game. Just as you, the consumer don't 'have' to buy them. But since the option exists in the first place, WB must be held accountable for their shady business practices.

You know what else is optional? Buying this overpriced rip-off masquerading as a game.

If I could convince the entire gaming community to abandon the entire AAA industry en masse I would, but I probably would have better luck convincing the tide to turn back.

I'm not an expert, but Shelob's mom, Ungoliant, is an evil spirit taking the form of an even bigger giant spider who wants to pretty much eat EVERYTHING. Including all her kids (which would be pretty much every spider around, including Shelob of course).

So yeah, not much reason for Shelob to take the form of a hot lady. Doesn't even really do the whole "evil seductress" thing. Just nabs the wraith, takes the ring in trade for him, shows T&C some visions, and later gives the ring back.

Anyway, going to wait for them to put the whole game together in one package for a lower price. Did that with the first one and had a blast. Until then, I can just watch Jesse Cox play it.

I played through all the sidemissions and came out feeling the complete opposite about the in game currency. It felt completely irrelevant.

I hit the fourth act with 60k in my pocket with nothing to spend it on. When I saw the fortress upgrades I thought "Oh, so that's what all this money I've been collecting during the whole game is for", but I bought the upgrades and still finished the game with 80k.

As for the high level orcs, I wasted too much time trying to level up my orcs so they could match them. Until I realized that all new orcs that spawn on a map are around your level, so it's much easier to say fuck you to the level 20 Dugz the Poet, however painful that may be, and just go capture a new level 40 orc to replace it.

Imp Emissary:
So yeah, not much reason for Shelob to take the form of a hot lady. Doesn't even really do the whole "evil seductress" thing. Just nabs the wraith, takes the ring in trade for him, shows T&C some visions, and later gives the ring back.

To be fair I'd still feel slightly more inclined to listen to a pretty woman, even if she didn't do the whole "evil seductress" thing, rather than a terrifying giant spider.

What Yahtzee said about this game's place in LotR canon brings to mind io9 calling it the bleakest Lord of the Rings fanfiction ever.
https://io9.gizmodo.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-war-is-the-bleakest-lord-of-the-1819596595
And living in California, the "on fire again" joke made me chuckle. After a while, you get used to hearing about it.

Imp Emissary:
I'm not an expert, but Shelob's mom, Ungoliant, is an evil spirit taking the form of an even bigger giant spider who wants to pretty much eat EVERYTHING. Including all her kids (which would be pretty much every spider around, including Shelob of course).

So yeah, not much reason for Shelob to take the form of a hot lady. Doesn't even really do the whole "evil seductress" thing. Just nabs the wraith, takes the ring in trade for him, shows T&C some visions, and later gives the ring back.

Anyway, going to wait for them to put the whole game together in one package for a lower price. Did that with the first one and had a blast. Until then, I can just watch Jesse Cox play it.

It's almost like game companies are really creatively bankrupt when it comes to writing female characters. Even when writing competent badass ones, it's mandatory that they need to be easy on the eyes. Even if it's a giant fucking spider that's as close as Lord of the Rings gets to Eldritch Abominations.

So it sounds like the Nemesis System is better than ever, but WB just had to go and stick its dick in the cake with intrusive microtransactions. Pity. This game is looking good, but I honestly just want nothing to fucking do with it. Ah well, too many games coming out this month anyway. This saves me money I can spend on Mario and Wolfenstein.

For those worried about the easy difficulty in the first game I can confirm the nemesis difficulty level does really ramp it up. To a somewhat annoying degree early but once you start getting upgrades it does balance out I'm just after the first Fortress siege and I feel the game has reached a nice balance where I can drop in and screw up a commander or twos day but three or more do often force you to retreat. Basically rather than an untouchable god you feel more like a predator, planning an attack, killing your target then retreating when needed.

shinyelf:

Imp Emissary:

To be fair I'd still feel slightly more inclined to listen to a pretty woman, even if she didn't do the whole "evil seductress" thing, rather than a terrifying giant spider.

I don't know. If I was arachnophobic, I might do whatever she says out of fear. Though, I guess for those with serious arachnophobia Shelob's transformation may help. Granted, she does change literally right in front of you when you first meet, so it's not like she's fooling anyone.
I still think it would have been cooler to talk to a giant spider instead, but I guess my arachnophobic friends will have an easier time with the game.

erttheking:

Imp Emissary:

It's almost like game companies are really creatively bankrupt when it comes to writing female characters. Even when writing competent badass ones, it's mandatory that they need to be easy on the eyes. Even if it's a giant fucking spider that's as close as Lord of the Rings gets to Eldritch Abominations.

So it sounds like the Nemesis System is better than ever, but WB just had to go and stick its dick in the cake with intrusive microtransactions. Pity. This game is looking good, but I honestly just want nothing to fucking do with it. Ah well, too many games coming out this month anyway. This saves me money I can spend on Mario and Wolfenstein.

Yeah, they even have some of the orc clans locked off for the more expensive editions too.

Wolfenstein should be fun and controversy-free though. I do nazi any issues with it so far. =w= b

Imp Emissary:

shinyelf:

Imp Emissary:

To be fair I'd still feel slightly more inclined to listen to a pretty woman, even if she didn't do the whole "evil seductress" thing, rather than a terrifying giant spider.

I don't know. If I was arachnophobic, I might do whatever she says out of fear. Though, I guess for those with serious arachnophobia Shelob's transformation may help. Granted, she does change literally right in front of you when you first meet, so it's not like she's fooling anyone.
I still think it would have been cooler to talk to a giant spider instead, but I guess my arachnophobic friends will have an easier time with the game.

My theory is they needed her to have fingers to put the ring on.

Why does it keep playing that escapist ad about that guy talking about water slides? Does anyone know?

Why does it keep playing that escapist ad about that guy talking about water slides? Does anyone know?

Why does it keep playing that escapist ad about that guy talking about water slides? Does anyone know?

Unspecifiedestan:
Why does it keep playing that escapist ad about that guy talking about water slides? Does anyone know?

It's a bug, don't know what causes it. I had it happen for a month or two and then it went away by itself. It happened after I downloaded all of the Zero Punctuation videos through the site's RSS feed. There isn't a tech team or staff running the site anymore, so there isn't really anyone you can ask for help.

Did you happen to clear your cookies or history?

Drathnoxis:

Unspecifiedestan:
Why does it keep playing that escapist ad about that guy talking about water slides? Does anyone know?

It's a bug, don't know what causes it. I had it happen for a month or two and then it went away by itself. It happened after I downloaded all of the Zero Punctuation videos through the site's RSS feed. There isn't a tech team or staff running the site anymore, so there isn't really anyone you can ask for help.

Did you happen to clear your cookies or history?

Drathnoxis:

Unspecifiedestan:
Why does it keep playing that escapist ad about that guy talking about water slides? Does anyone know?

It's a bug, don't know what causes it. I had it happen for a month or two and then it went away by itself. It happened after I downloaded all of the Zero Punctuation videos through the site's RSS feed. There isn't a tech team or staff running the site anymore, so there isn't really anyone you can ask for help.

Unspecifiedestan:
Did you happen to clear your cookies or history?

Drathnoxis:

Unspecifiedestan:
Why does it keep playing that escapist ad about that guy talking about water slides? Does anyone know?

It's a bug, don't know what causes it. I had it happen for a month or two and then it went away by itself. It happened after I downloaded all of the Zero Punctuation videos through the site's RSS feed. There isn't a tech team or staff running the site anymore, so there isn't really anyone you can ask for help.

I do that pretty regularly, but it neither causes the issue nor fixed it when I had it.

To be fair, he wasn't called "The Dark Lord Sauron" at the time. He had a different name (which I can't recall off the top of my head; I think it was Maeleron, but don't quote me), and was more angelic.

K.ur:

My theory is they needed her to have fingers to put the ring on.

Yeah, I thought about that too. Probably was cheaper to animate a regular sized lady as opposed to a giant spider monster too.

Could have just put the ring on one of her fangs though. She's got lots.

erttheking:
It's almost like game companies are really creatively bankrupt when it comes to writing female characters. Even when writing competent badass ones, it's mandatory that they need to be easy on the eyes.

For the same reason most Hollywood actress are drop dead gorgeous. It sells.

Burnouts3s3:
Good review as always.

Of course the 'optional' defense is a BS line fed by the publishers but the fact they added in the option means that WB is clearly aiming to milk more from its customers. They didn't 'have' to make the 4th act such a slog. They didn't 'have' to add in microtransactions in a single player game. Just as you, the consumer don't 'have' to buy them. But since the option exists in the first place, WB must be held accountable for their shady business practices.

Yeah, it's not really optional if the only alternative is insane grinding, especially if you get no warning you're gonna need a lot of resources/prep after the point of no return. At that point it's effectively pay to win.

I'm assuming that's the case here. Several reviews have alluded to the fact the final act really, really wants you to buy those lootboxes for resources.

One of the best ZP's I've seen in a long time. The ending had me in stitches.

I loved Shadow of Mordor, but I despise what WB has done to the sequel. If I buy this game at all it'll probably be a year or two down the line, when the inevitable "GotY Edition" comes out at a discounted price. Regardless, I refuse to spend a cent on the microtransactions or lootboxes out of principle.

Gamer's rule 75: if a game has micro-transactions for buying in-game resources, as opposed to major game expansions or cosmetic changes, don't buy the game.

deadish:

erttheking:
It's almost like game companies are really creatively bankrupt when it comes to writing female characters. Even when writing competent badass ones, it's mandatory that they need to be easy on the eyes.

For the same reason most Hollywood actress are drop dead gorgeous. It sells.

Last time I checked, the original movie was able to have her as a scary as fuck spider and still sell well.

It's a Lord of the Rings game that's a sequel to a critical and commercial success. If the sheer concentrated greed and audience contempt the game has doesn't impact sales, I don't think a non traditional female character would've tanked them.

erttheking:

Last time I checked, the original movie was able to have her as a scary as fuck spider and still sell well.

But we all know that we had Eowyn and Arwen to cover that base. :p

Daily reminder that Shadow of Mordor was marketed in the most bizarre method possible, and that Yahtzee's review of it seemingly followed all the laid-out guidelines.

Logience:
Daily reminder that Shadow of Mordor was marketed in the most bizarre method possible, and that Yahtzee's review of it seemingly followed all the laid-out guidelines.

For the lazy.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/9802-Shadow-of-Mordor-Review#&gid=gallery_2895&pid=1

The "optional" micro transaction defense is only valid in the case of free to play games and depending on how it's done MMO's, not full priced single player games (or single player games with a tacked on and barely updated multiplayer).

I think WB Interactive should have their hearts ripped out and be dunked in lava pit Temple of Doom style. Of course that would require them to HAVE hearts.

 

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