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Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and How It Should’ve Handled Assassin’s Creed

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image courtesy of shadowofmordor.com

The title seems confusing. Assassin?s Creed is a good game, and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is something different entirely. But after their show at the E3 2014, there are quite a few points in Shadows of Mordor that Assassin?s Creed should probably have. In fact, maybe if Assassin?s Creed played a little more like Shadow of Mordor, it would?ve been more of a legend than it already is. That is not saying that Shadow of Mordor didn?t borrow elements from other games. You can climb on any surface; react to special moves or counter using button combinations, and pit hostile factions and wildlife against each other. These sounds like the games Batman: Arkham Asylum, Assassin?s Creed, and Far Cry 3 altogether. It?s also enough for developers to speculate that codes have been tampered with and copied from these other games.

Assassin?s Creed was brought to light in the discussion because as a game, it showed a lot of promise initially. There are a lot of consequences done by your stealthily moving through the environment and alerting AI of your presence. However, the development upon this element had been slow, and it was inevitable that a new game would overtake it. Shadow of Mordor did just that when it incorporated such an element into its game, ?only that it compounded on the effects of your actions in a grand scale. It showed how assassinating a captain or a leader would have an effect on the faction that they controlled.

image courtesy of shadowofmordor.com

image courtesy of shadowofmordor.com

Let us further study the effect of that. Shadow of Mordor took great care to give each character, from an Orc warlord down to an Orc captain, differing levels of power. This power was translated into a specific hold on the faction. Let?s say you do this in Assassin?s Creed; your mission is done, and then you will move on to the next chapter. Here in Shadow of Mordor, however, your assassination will have wide-spread consequences on the faction. For instance, if you kill an Orc captain, the vacancy in power will cause the Orc horde to experience wide-spread in-fighting for the chance to become the new captain. Strategies involved in your assassination, as well as timing, are of equal importance as well.

With the powers of a wraith, however, you aren?t tied down to performing things in this plane of existence. With your otherworldly powers, you can either take targets down with the stealth of a ghost, or you can otherwise dominate them to serve you. The domination factor is Shadow of Mordor?s gem; if you successfully take your target out of commission, that target still has an effect on how gameplay would fan out. Dominated characters can be ordered to do a lot of interesting things, like a dominated Orc captain turning on his master, or an ensnared warlord declaring war on another allied warlord. This then creates an interesting turn on how your game goes.

image courtesy of shadowofmordor.com

image courtesy of shadowofmordor.com

But this isn?t the only thing going for Shadow of Mordor. True to immersion, the way a character is created will still govern how he dies, regardless of your interference or not. An Orc captain, who, say, has a fear of water, or is a bad swimmer, will die if he goes into said water. The same is true for a warlord who is bad at deflecting heavy blows; he will die even if you do nothing to dominate him to die in such a way. These possibilities give Shadow of Mordor a significance that stories are definitely not scripted according to plot and gives a whole new meaning to ?OPEN?-world.

While Assassin?s Creed may have been a pioneer at what Shadow of Mordor purportedly emulated, Shadow of Mordor holds the distinction of taking a good thing and making it an even better version of itself. Truly, what a game Assassin?s Creed would have been if it was done in the same way as Shadow of Mordor.

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