Shadow of Mordor was a unique adaptation of Middle-earth, but 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King remains the best Tolkien game.
And Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and its sequels are riveting action games set in J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy world, 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will always be the better game. The epic novel trilogy was adapted into a blockbuster film by Peter Jackson and inspired many exciting fantasy games. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor II combined Tolkien's world and the iconic Nemesis system, but it fell short of the standards set by The Return of the King.
The Middle-earth games developed by Monolith Productions bring a unique flavor to the world of J.R.R. The Nemesis system of Tolkien and Shadow of Mordor keeps the world alive and interactive. In the game, players take on the role of Talion, a ranger from Gondor who bonds with the spirit of the legendary elven blacksmith Celebrimbor to challenge Sauron. The Nemesis System makes this mission deeply personal, with each Uruk the player encounters has a distinct personality and develops a unique relationship with the Talion over time. While the Nemesis System stands out as one of the most innovative gaming features in recent memory, the Shadow of Mordor game fell short of the greatness of the old Lord of the Rings game.
Return Of The King Is Still The Best LOTR Game
While Monolith Productions' Middle-earth games took full advantage of the innovative Nemesis system, the 2003 release of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King more effectively embodies the spirit of the series. The co-op hack-and-slash game is directly based on the Peter Jackson film, following the plot of the film to translate its gorgeous sets into actual interactive spaces. Players can play as iconic characters such as Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn, fighting in hordes of Uruk, and co-op play puts two partners into battle together. While the Shadow of Mordor games brought a unique twist to Tolkien's world, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is very faithful, translating Tolkien's theme of friendship into actual gameplay.
The World Needs A New LOTR Co-Op Game
While a third Middle-earth game has yet to be revealed or announced, Monolith Productions has confirmed that its upcoming Wonder Woman game will feature the Nemesis system in some way. With this much-loved feature living in a new property, now would be the perfect time for a new co-op Lord of the Rings game that truly captures the feeling of going on an adventure in a large fellowship. Modern co-op gameplay will let players team up to explore new areas of Middle-earth, Like 2011's "The Lord of the Rings: The War in the North," which could even be adapted directly from Tolkien's novel, rather than borrowing heavily from Jackson's film.
Many video game adaptations feature unique takes on J.R.R. Tolkien, but none have been as faithful as co-op hack-and-slash game The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Games like Shadow of Mordor and the dwarf-centric survival game Return to Moria are extremely innovative, but we're long overdue for a co-op experience following the true events of Tokien's Lord of the Rings trilogy . Shadow of Mordor impresses with its Nemesis system and original narrative, but the Lord of the Rings games are better off returning to their roots.
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