Friday, October 17, 2014

I am tired of pressed X

I will try to squeeze out a few words between worrying about Microsoft Partner renewals and fretting over storage space.

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Out of an abundance of consistency I must condemn Shadow of Mordor for committing Chamberlain's cardinal gaming sin: the final confrontation ended with a quick time event. To explain my disappointment I need to step backwards in the came to the halfway point. At the end of the first half Talion was tasked with killing five uruk war chiefs. The game wanted me to do in tactful, almost sneaky manner by killing their body guards first and then luring the big bads out into the open. It gave me the option of doing it Conan style, that is, killing everyone with a big sword, so that is the one I took. Point for player freedom, hooray!

The second half ended much the same way, only instead of killing the war chiefs I was supposed to posses them, add them to my own personal orkish army. Subterfuge was again suggested: posses the body guards, use them to kill the chief, then the possessed body guard takes his place. Again, the Conan option was available. It was more difficult this time but I succeeded in strolling into their head quarters, cornering the chief, then beating him with my sword until he was on the brink of death.

This is all fine and good, but what do you do with your own uruk army? Storm the black gates, that what. Storming the black gates was the giant, movie quality set piece and encounter that Shadow of Mordor so desperately needed. Talion shows up with his blue eyed uruks in tow and run headlong into a much larger force of urks still loyal to Sauron. It is a chaotic battle, one that had me killing my own men as often as I killed the enemy, but Talion comes out on top.

Game over? Not quite. Talion scales the black gate and fights the creepy dark captain in a stealth based encounter. Not as epic as the giant uruk battle but at least I was in control of what was going on. Game over?

Nope, finally Talion and Celebrimbor face the black hand. The battle starts out interesting: the black hand slits his own throat and then pulls Clebrimnor out of Talion. For some reason the neck wound switch to Talion (don't think about it too hard) and I was ready for a battle between Talion and his families killer without the aid of the power of the elven spirit who had been keeping him alive throughout the game.

Then the black hand was possessed by Sauron which was a bit much. Then I pressed X to not die.

I understand the corner that the game backed itself into: how do have the player character fight and win against Sauron without cheapening the villain? Easy, fuckers, let him lose. It was already established that Talion was immortal. Yes, Celebrimbor was gone, but Talion had been 'denied death.' He was still immortal, just not as powerful. It was the perfect set up for a sequel, it could have logically explain why Talion lost all of his powers between games, but no, the games cheats with a interactive cut scene and a feel good ending.

God damn it I was annoyed. Shadow of Mordor was by no means a great game but it had a shit ending and that is what I am going to remember when the second one roles around.

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Pay no mind to NaTURAL DOCtRINE disappearing from the coming soon list. I played it for about ten minutes. It was a PSP refugee pressed to a PS4 disc in a genre that I neither enjoy nor have any ability in. Translation: it was ugly as sin and I want to play Alien: Isolation.

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