Saturday, October 28, 2017

Shadow of War Review

Innovative, cool, with dazzling visuals, it's no wonder that many gamers fall in love with what Monolith did with the Shadow of Mordor a few years ago. That does not fall on an Assassin's Creed "clone" with the Lord of the Rings universe, of course, a definite combination of formulas, they implement a fantastic revolutionary feature called Nemesis System on it. Through this complex mechanism, your encounter with enemy orcs has the potential to develop into a personalized storyline. That your actions against them or vice versa, now have consequences that must be faced. Something that they also maintain in the sequel series - Shadow of War.

You who have read our preview article before of course already have a little picture about what is offered by Shadow of War this. We call it a refinement of the Shadow of Mordor experience, but are now confronted not only with the new gameplay mechanics, but also the wider world. That Talion's task is no longer just a cause of panic in Mordor, but dispensing forces to make it equal and able to deal with Sauron in a balanced way. The Nemesis System is perfected to apply not only to Talion figures but also to the orcs he has mastered.

So, what is actually offered by Shadow of War this? Why do we call it a game injured by the end-game? This review will discuss it more deeply for you.


Like the name that he stretcher, Shadow of War is a series direct sequel from Shadow of Mordor. Talion, who is on a mission of revenge, is still possessed by Celebrimbor - an Elf who contributes directly to the creation of the Ring of Powers owned by Middle-earth leaders who now fall to their knees under Sauron's control. To ensure they have a chance to fight back, Talion and Celebrimbor decide to forge a new Ring of Power equivalent to Sauron's, but free from the influence of the Dark Lord.

But in the middle of the process, Celebrimbor is suddenly kidnapped by Shelob, a female character capable of turning into a giant spider. Demonstrating his phenomenal strength, Shelob successfully extorted Talion to hand over the new Ring of Power to be exchanged for Celebrimbor's "life". The demands Talion's passion for granted. With this new power, Shelob is also opposite to Sauron, using it to look to the future. Seeing what Sauron is planning, seeing the true fate of Talion, preventing the worst-case scenario that can happen to humans who survive the onslaught of orcs in Minas Ithil. For Talion, Shelob's vision is the "key" to defeating Sauron.
The struggle to ensure Sauron did not regain his strength was certainly not an easy task. To ensure that he was in a balanced position, Talion also began to use his new power to build Orc forces to fight back Sauron. With the influence of Celebrimbor who now calls himself the Bright Lord - the opponent of Dark Lord aka Sauron, this journey is certainly not easy. Because not only Sauron, there are so many other threats, either from the "dissident" orcs who even dare to awaken Balrog to betray Sauron until the attempt to rescue the captured forces of Gondor.

So, what is Talion's journey this time as Bright Lord? Can the new Ring of Power they wrought make them beat Sauron? What threats should he face? All the answers to that question of course you can get by playing this Shadow of War directly.

Uncommon Visualization

At the beginning of its release, Shadow of Mordor was counted quite special from the visual presentation at the time. There are two main reasons: first because he became the first modern game to portray the charm of Mordor (the universe Lord of the Rings) by using the latest generation platform performance, and also the appearance of the first modification for the Lithtech Engine version used by Monolith. The first impression that resulted from these two combinations made the Shadow of Mordor at that time, felt special. Given the visualization of nothing more than just renewal and refinement here and there, the same thing, unfortunately not in the Shadow of War.

We do not call it a game with bad visuals. He's still a game that will make you fall in love, especially through environmental design that is now much more varied than Shadow of Mordor. That no longer stuck to a dark world covered with mud in various corners with a bad Orc sighting, the Shadow of War now divides the world into several variants each with its own theme. From adventure and play in Minas Ithil - a great city with a fantastic civilization, to snowy areas or dense forests, each of which is also "armed" with the headquarters of the orcs you can take. At least for variations, Shadow of War ensures you can adventure on a wider and more diverse scale.

But for the details, he did not look special. The daytime and dynamic weather cycles are fortunately retained, although they do not contribute significantly in the game. Dramatic effects also flow through the lighting in some corner of the game arena that makes you end up enjoying a more cinematic experience. But beyond that, Shadow of War will not end up being a game that you will enjoy just for the quality of the existing visualization only. At least, it's still the best modern way to jump into the universe of Lord of the Rings you know, even though you will not have the opportunity to explore it freely given the existing game arena is divided by region.

One for sure, the presentation he offers is faithful to what you expect from a game that makes "Lord of the Rings" the base. The Orcs and Uruk-hai you meet along the way, especially with their random Nemesis system, always present with a unique visual presentation to reinforce their personality traits. That indeed, the Uruk-hai you meet is special and different from each other. Some were scarred, some wearing a helmet with fire blazing like Megaman's enemies, to the ones present with human facial details. They come with different lines of conversation that match the situation you are facing and of course, enough to strengthen their identity. Some have hard accents, some are present with a tendency to homosexuality that shows interest in you, to a mere speech impaired. Orc and Uruk-hai is indeed a special attraction for the Shadow of War.

You are happy to capture a variety of beautiful screenshots will also termanjakan with Photo Mode belongs to the right target. With unlimited camera angles and motion, you can create the variety of moments you want with the features it offers. More cool? Unlike other common Mode Photo game filters, there are a variety of cool effects you can apply here, one of them, even making it possible to end up being a coloring book with details that deserve thumbs up.

The wider and more diverse world, the more intense Orc and Uruk-hai variants, and the successful lighting effects make some of the more dramatic angles of the game, the presentation and appeal of Shadow of War is not based solely on textural detail and the like. He relies more on the density and strength of the content in it.

More Epick Gameplay

Broadly speaking, the game experience you get in Shadow of War will feel similar to what you find in Shadow of Mordor. Different? Instead of just one place, you will now stop at various different places, each of which will carry a different Orc / Uruk-hai variant of clan variety, each of which comes with weapons, mounts and surpluses- their weaknesses respectively. For the battle system, he still maintains a Batman Arkham-style system that lets you attack and counter-attack instantly, if needed. Of course, this strategy is not always effective. There are types of orcs, such as those using shields for example, that you will not be able to attack frontally and need to do a vault to unlock their defenses. Or the Berserker type with two weapons in hand that also need different strategies to subdue.

The good news? Monolith does not necessarily fall on the nonsense of the story to remove Talion's power from before. You will still play the "mature" Talion of the first series of course, beginning to master the abilities offered by Celebrimbor. As a replacement? Monolith makes these "super" abilities even more effective. Examples of such mobility capabilities are more effective thanks to Talion's double-jump capabilities allowing it to reach further areas, or simply the ability to jump when climbing that allows it to get to the top with much more effective. Based on experience points as rewards and level system, you will also gain skill points to be allocated in various skill categories to make Talion increasingly feared by Sauron forces.

Then, with more new areas being offered, how does the quest system work? Just as the formula seems to have been applied by so many other open-world games, you just need to "work" the various icons you find on the map. There are icons that will move the main story, there is a side mission that you can finish with solid story lines and super tempting rewards, and there are a variety of collectibles missions that ask you to find and find objects that are also coupled with awards that are too dear to miss. These missions themselves are cross-cutting. This means, sometimes there is a new side mission that can continue after you open the next new area. While each of them will also contain its own challenges.

In addition to Talion's better abilities, one of the coolest new features that make the Shadow of War feel even more epic is its ability to ride Drake. Like any other creature, at the beginning, this fire-breathing dragon will continue to attack you blindly. Attacking them with arrows and swords (if successful landed him) to fall into Broken status will allow you to ride it freely. Drake not only allows you to move quickly from one area to the next, but also has the ability to breath fire and massive projectile attacks which of course, easily, will make the Uruk-hai and Orc fog. More cool? If you successfully complete one of the existing side quests, you will have the opportunity to call him, whenever and wherever.

But of course, in the end just like Shadow of Mordor, the Shadow of War experience will also focus on your battle against the "Captain" Uruk-hai who also implements a similar Nemesis system in it. Fighting them down or simply absorbing them into forces you can control (which we will discuss later) is indeed the essence of the experience.

More cool? They succeeded in perfecting a system that is already quite well in the Shadow of Mordor, at least in the normal difficulty level. The Captain has the ability to adapt more quickly and effectively to your type of attack. So, although each of them has a weakness that can be exploited, using the same strategy of continuous attacks will make it end ineffective. As an example? If you continue to attack Captain with a shield for example, by doing vault and attacking them from behind. If only this movement is what you do, Captain will learn, adapt, and encourage you every time you do vault, forcing you to look for other strategies. Fantastic!

But of course, the most significant change in Shadow of War is the new game system which, of course, becomes the Monolith reason for choosing this one game title. That's right, war.

Now, War!
Unlike the Shadow of Mordor, which feels like Talion's personal journey to revenge, Shadow of War as the name suggests is Talion's attempt to no longer merely subjugate Sauron, but to master Mordor. Therefore, it became essential for him to build his own Orc and Uruk Hai troops.

So it is this system that becomes the main force of the Shadow of War, while creating the sensation of the game on a wider scale. The ability to dominate and make other Uruk-hai as your companion is already offered in the first series. But this time, they implement larger and more complex systems to make it more important than the gameplay aspect. That no longer just for fun, you can do it to make your game progress easier.

Faced with the "Army" page that will contain the leadership structure of the Sauron forces in your chosen area, you must subdue the main Fortress of each area to get specific rewards. Led by an Overlord, you can not just go in, knock on the door, and then chop off their heads just like that. There are coherent strategies that must be taken to do it. First, you have to subordinate subordinates directly from the Overlord - Warchief. To be able to subdue Warchief, you can directly frontal or use your influence among the Captain - lower structures. Locked at the beginning with no information, you can catch the Uruk-hai with a green symbol above his head to unlock any related Intel Captain, Warchief or Overlord information. With it, you can know their names, forms, strengths, and weaknesses.

Mastering Fortress is a concept of "war" waged by the Shadow of War. That to make sure you can master every area there, you must build your Uruk-Hai troops first. The Captain you can kill for a certain reward, or you can pull into your ranks of troops to fight on your behalf. More cool? You can organize and instruct different commands for each of them. You can ask them to be your bodyguard, who will help you fight when called, ask them to exercise to strengthen their troops / raise their level, to order him to attack Captain who is still loyal to Sauron and finish him off. For a Captain who has a special relationship, you can ask them to secretly infiltrate inside.

Because to overwhelm the existing Overlord and subdue Fortress in one area, the most rational way is to minimize the threat of resistance during the war. The more the number of Warchiefs the more left, the more solid the existing defense system. Because every surviving Warchief will activate certain defense systems, from a thorn on the wall that will make your troops difficult to climb, to variants of protective forces that will make it difficult for you or the Captain you carry when doing so. If you manage to get the Captains standing under each Warchief to fight on your side, then you can ask them to infiltrate, betray, and then make every Warchief die more easily.

If it is, then the next process is to activate the existing war mission and make sure you inject with a more solid troops. In accordance with Talion level, more troop effects / buff will be selected and activated. Not only include the Captain who you think can be relied upon for your invasion action alone, but each category is headed Captain is also you can strengthen with certain effects. As an example? Instead of just including Siege for example, you can now add extra poison effects in it to make it more effective. Or you can order one of the Captain's for example, to bring a Drake in the sky which unfortunately, despite having a big firepower, but could end up injuring your own troops. Worth it or not? You decide.

So with a mechanic like this, you'll have a new extra bustle in the Shadow of War, because this system is implemented in every area. Unfortunately, unlike past strategy games such as Romance of the Three Kingdom or Brigadine, for example, Orc troops that you build can only be used specifically in that area alone. You can not move it or ask them to invade another Fortress. Once you find a new Fortress in an area, then you have to do everything from the beginning again. Although it may feel repetitive in some gamers, we ourselves end up enjoying it.

One interesting, is the fact that the Nemesis System that became the main force of Shadow of Mordor is also applied more widely in this Shadow of War. That the story is no longer simply built between Talion and its opposing Uruk-hai, a similar system is now also applied between your troops and the Sauron forces. Although not actively instructed, you will be able to find this conflict actively happening. More cool? Each time a connection is created, either between your opponent's army or between your troops against the opposing army, a side mission icon will automatically be created on the map. You can simply pass the time and let this conflict reach its own resolution. But you can also be actively involved, helping your troops to survive. Because of victory, it can end up with an increase in your subordinate Captain level to make it stronger.

But there is one unique mechanic offered by Shadow of War, which is quite unique but feels like a boomerang when talking about End-Game content that we will discuss later. That Captain level that you master will not be higher than the level of Talion itself. Therefore, instead of just raising your troop levels, raising Talion levels is also essential.

Interesting Online Mode

If you feel the action to capture and master any existing Fortress is no longer interesting and busied you, especially considering the number of regions that are not too much, Shadow of War also offers several online modes to enjoy, at least making sure your experience can end endlessly. Everything will take up your time, but can end up giving rewards that are worth to be pursued.

You have an opportunity to attack other players' Fortress and test your Fortress to be subdued by other players in the online format. True, not only in single player mode, you can try out the action to subdue Fortress other users of course, containing various types of upgrades and Captain they've caught. Like single-player mode, this action will contain attempts to capture parts of the castle before it can switch to Overlord for personal battles on behalf of, winning. The reverse process may also occur to you, which requires you to mix a better defense system. As at the time of attack, this defense system must also be headed by the various Captain you have, with extra buffs and other effects that can be purchased with certain resources. Unfortunately, again, this mechanism also affects End-games that we'll talk about later.

Another online mode you can take is called "Online Vendetta". As the name implies, this is a personal revenge mission to kill the Captain who managed to finish off other players around the world. You will find the names of the users they have finished, as well as the status and the weaknesses of what Uruk-hai managed to become his "culprit". Once you agree to take part in the revenge action, you will enter the world of the user, who is locked only in action to lure and kill the targeted Orcs. As with any single-player mode, there is no specific method you need to do to achieve it. If the Uruk-hai is not immune to fire for example, you could just call Drake and burn it to ash if you want it.

But unfortunately, there is no chance to bring home the captain that may, tempt your heart. If you find a potential Captain and are too dear to pass up as a crew in online mode, you have no chance to master them and move them to your gameplay sessions. They are only available and locked in the online mode and can only contribute there. Something of course, unfortunate. Though like drinking water dive, this mode actually has the potential to be an arena to build more solid troops in offline mode.

Fear Lootbox = No Blanks!

If you follow the game information from outside media, Youtuber, or maybe a domestic review, you might hear about the "exploding" microtransactions in the cyber-related world of Shadow of War. There is a signal that Monolith is accused of creating this unpopular system, feels forced and "required" to ensure you can complete and enjoy the Shadow of War to its full potential. The good news? We loudly call all these explanations nonsense. As far as we're doing it, the Shadow of War microtransactions do not feel like a necessity at all.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Shadow of War injects an RNG-based lootbox system that contains equipment and Captains that you can instantly apply to your troops. Lootbox equipment becomes the most criticized, considering as in the case of RPG action games in general, it is divided into various scarcity effects that have the ability to make your journey easier. Some equipment, weapons or armor in the highest level of scarcity - Legendary for example, have a permanent buff that is too tempting to not be pursued. There is a small sword that allows you to create an explosive effect every 10 seconds once thrown, there are armor that makes you more fire resistant, until a ring that can make you produce a fire attack / poison effect, for example. In each of these Equipment slots, there are also various color rune systems capable of generating extra buffs from a variety of categories, which also apply a simple crafting system on it.

The problem is, lootbox alias microtransactions in Shadow of War is really an option, and not a requirement. We managed to finish this one game without touching any money from our wallet. Despite the fact that the existing Uruk-hai and Equipment forces have a variety of scarcity effects, which in fact will ease your action, the Shadow of War actually "outsmart" it by providing enough space to get the variety of things you need without the need to spend money extra dime. Of course, instead, you will be involved with a fairly time-consuming grinding process. One of the most effective strategies? Of course actively involved in the online mode that he offers.

As an example? The existing vendetta online mode, for example. Every time you get revenge for another user who is killed, you will get two types of Rewards directly: 1 lootbox contains equipment and exp. points for rewards named "Spoils of War". Lootbox containing this equipment will be aligned with your Talion level, while exp. Spoils of War will be constant and need at least 20 times Online Vendetta which ends with a win to get. Spoils of War will contain two types of buffs that can be applied to your troops, with three new Captaines to be paired, one of which is always Legendary. So if you need a grinding process, online mode will offer you what you need, without the need to spend a penny. More cool? For any equipment you do not use, you can always solve it and get a considerable amount of currency resources. Collect and destroy it intensively, then you can use the currency (silver coins) to strengthen your Fortress to buy another Lootbox that contains equipment.

"But is not there a lootbox that can only be purchased with paid resources?". It is true that the currency in the Shadow of War is divided into two types: silver coins that you can get from games and gold coins that are only available through purchase using real money. Monolith also limits that some objects that can be purchased, such as Lootbox with Legendary equipment and also buff-buff EXP for example, can only be obtained with gold coins. But should you buy with real money? Not at all. Shadow of War offers a challenge called Daily Challenges that change daily for you to finish. One of his missions always give reward +50 gold coins if successful you finish.

So, what really happened? Why is the talk about lootbox so obvious even though in the end it does not feel significant in our gameplay? There are two main reasons, in our opinion. Firstly, many mistakenly treat the Shadow of War as a single-player game on its "general" that can be solved quickly. Whereas the Shadow of War gameplay structure clearly defines Monolith's effort to make it played over a long period of time, with an essential grinding process, especially for completing existing end-games. This is not an open-world game in general. Second? Many are screaming without actually trying out what he has to offer.

But regardless of Monolith's motivation with their lootbox system, we can say that the fear for this system and the talk of how it feels "must" is something exaggerated and contrived. If there is one thing that deserves to be criticized from the Shadow of War, it ends from the End-Game that he offers.


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