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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an action role-playing game. It takes place between J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. You play as Talion, a ranger of Gondor guarding Black Gate. Talion and his family are killed by Sauron's armies led by Black Hand, but Talion is possessed by a mysterious wraith and is transferred to Mordor. His goal is avenging his family and revealing the identity of the wraith.

Shadow of Mordor is an open world game, where you have freedom to explore Mordor and completing side quests. The game combines elements of the Assassin's Creed series in terms of freely roaming the world and the Batman: Arkham series in terms of the combat system with complex combinations of offensive and defensive moves, and finishers.

The game uses a Nemesis system that remembers Talion's interactions with enemies, adapting their behavior at a later time. For example, a defeated orc might want to take revenge on Talion, humiliating him in a similar manner and wear the scars of the previous fight. The Nemesis system also generates the bodyguards, captains and war chiefs of Sauron's armies. They have their own hierarchy and become stronger as they manage to kill you, rising in the ranks. Captains who manage to beat Talion grow in strength and are promoted, and in time they become a serious challenge and a personal vendetta. Even though there are many fighting sequences, a large amount of stealth is encouraged to avoid overwhelming confrontations until many new weapons and abilities provide a wider range of tackling large groups. Captains can be killed permanently (usually by beheading them with a finisher), or you can choose to have them return at a later time through a regular kill. It is also possible to brand enemies which puts them under your influence. That way you can exercise control over them and have them fight by your side, but as it can be applied to all stages of the orc hierarchy it can also be used to influence the system from the inside. You can order a captain to kill his fellow captains and help determine their replacements.

The player can develop the abilities of Talion both as a ranger and as a wraith. Ranger abilities enhance stealth and make moving through the world unnoticed easier, while wraith abilities allow him to influence minds of enemies, allowing for example obtain information about captains and spreading unrest in enemy's ranks. The information for instance reveals immunity or weak points of specific captains, providing an advantage for a next fight.

The later released Xbox 360 and PS3 versions have reduced graphics. The Nemesis AI system has also been reduced significantly is depth and variety. Content-wise, it is largely identical.


Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor PlayStation 4 Thanks to your wraith companion, jumping from any height is no longer a problem
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor PlayStation 4 Gaining intel on one of the enemy captains
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor PlayStation 4 Certain items hold memory imprints that can be listened to once found
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Windows Sauron's army screen, containing known, unknown and fallen orcish captains. (Polish version)

Promo Images

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Screenshot
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Screenshot
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Screenshot
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "中つ国:モルドールの影" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Средиземье: Тени Мордора" -- Russian title
  • "Terra-Média: Sombras de Mordor" -- Brazilian title
  • "Śródziemie: Cień Mordoru" -- Polish title
  • "Nakatsukuni: Morudōru no kage" -- Japanese title
  • "Mittelerde: Mordors Schatten" -- German title
  • "La Tierra-Media: Sombras de Mordor" -- Spanish title
  • "La Terre du Milieu : L'Ombre du Mordor" -- French title
  • "La Terra di Mezzo: L’Ombra di Mordor" -- Italian title

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User Reviews

A great action game based on the Batman Arkham series engine Windows BeamingLizard (24)

Critic Reviews

PixlBit PlayStation 4 Nov 14, 2014 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
3D Juegos Xbox One Sep 30, 2014 9 out of 10 90
TrueAchievements Xbox One Oct 07, 2014 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Girl Gamers UK PlayStation 4 Oct 14, 2014 9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars 90
3D Juegos PlayStation 4 Sep 30, 2014 9 out of 10 90
Gamegravy PlayStation 4 Oct 06, 2014 8.5 out of 10 85
GameStar (Germany) Windows Sep 29, 2014 82 out of 100 82 Xbox 360 Nov 21, 2014 4 out of 20 20 Windows Oct 01, 2014 Unscored Unscored
Can't Stop the Movies Windows Aug 28, 2017 Unscored Unscored


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Canonical inconsistencies

Even though the game was created in collaboration with Peter Jackson and Middle-earth Enterprises, the story is not canonical. According to Tolkien, the only person in Middle-earth who returned to life was Beren, resurrected thanks to Lúthien. In addition, guards abandoned watch on the Black Gate approx. 1300 years prior to the game’s start date.


  • The Game Awards
    • 2014 — Game of the Year — Nominated
    • 2014 — Best Performance: Troy Baker as Talion — Nominated
    • 2014 — Best Action/Adventure — Won

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