Monolith Are Treating Middle-Earth Shadow of War On Xbox One X With Great Care And Tremendous Pride

We go hands on with the Xbox One X version of the game.

Posted By | On 10th, Jul. 2017 Under Article, Previews | Follow This Author @ZootPlays


After the highly successful debut of Shadow of Mordor, the developers at Monolith Productions are back with the highly anticipated sequel: Shadow of War, which is set in mythical world of the Lord of the Rings. With Mordor being a major hit for the studio, there was nearly no doubt that a sequel was on its way, and we finally got out hands on it. Shadow of War takes place after Shadow of Mordor, but in the J.R.R. Tolkien book series it occurs between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. What’s really juicy about these games published from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, is the fact that many of the elements that occur are inspired by the films and less than the books; and being it’s own story, Shadow of War can stretch out its own limbs and create original content that doesn’t necessarily counteract anything from the books or movies. So much of the game is filled with original and new content aplenty.

First things first, you should be happy to know that you will continue the game as Talion from the previous story; and you’re still infused with the same mystical powers and control of the spirit of Celebrimbor. Talion is a man of many great talents. His ability to avidly climb walls, without even a ledge to clamp down on to is unparalleled. Move over Nathan Drake, we’ve got a new cliffhanger in town. That’s right, Talion has the ability to climb towers without any struggle at all, and it feels great. It’s a bit weird and doesn’t look real, but who wants to slowly climb a wall or tower when this game is based on momentum? And also, blame it on his magical powers.

"With a ton of main story quests going on, Shadow of War is also filled with really fun side quests. These aren’t your standard fetch quests you’ll find in other major triple-A games either."

Talion’s ability to tactically infiltrate the minds of minions, and every sort of enemy, the Nemesis System from the previous game returns. The Nemesis System is more fleshed out than ever before and can be used on nearly every enemy in the game. After punching out an enemy, I was able to either shame the enemy, or have it join my ranks of an army I’m growing to take down enemy castles. Controlling enemies is obtainable in steps; and the first step is to beat the enemy into submission.

Just go down and swat it with your sword a few times and drain its health. Afterward, you can shame the enemy: this involves embarrassing the enemy and having it run off. But there’s also the ability to recruit enemies; again, almost all enemies are recruitable; even the massive ones that you can even ride and go smashing things up with. Same process applies: beat the enemy into submission and force it to join your ranks. The updated Nemesis System felt great and I was really proud of the number of enemies I was able to recruit and shame within a short amount of time.

One of the many jobs Talion takes on is laying assault on a series of castles and fortresses in the land. Castles involve a series of ways to go about infiltrating and killing the head chief. One way, is to locate the boss’s secret minions who are linked directly to him. With each location, you bring with you your own army of recruits; those that have joined willingly and those who you’ve recruited using the Nemesis System. So you’ll likely never be in a massive castle battle alone. When you find and defeat and/or recruit his personal body guards, the boss of the castle will come out and you can defeat him. Another way is to kill everyone, as well. This involves a major battle (most of which occurs no matter what) where your army battles the soldiers of the castle inside and outside of the walls. Or you can sneak in covertly and make minimal kills to find where he’s hiding.

"Shadow of War is a beautiful game set in a magnificent world, brought to life in a magical realm. And playing it on the Xbox One X was unreal."

With a ton of main story quests going on, Shadow of War is also filled with really fun side quests. These aren’t your standard fetch quests you’ll find in other major triple-A games either. These involve big story plots, fighting, rescuing, recruiting, exploring and more. I played a coupleof Β side quests that dropped a lot of loot; one was a good early-game sword.

Shadow of War is a beautiful game set in a magnificent world, brought to life in a magical realm. And playing it on the Xbox One X was unreal. Unlike Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War isn’t as drab or colorless like before. From watching orcs rambling on and working in their camps, to wild beasts running around looking for prey; Shadow of War is a living game that wants you to think. The hues of greens and browns are fresh and lively around the forests and prairies. The atmosphere is pungent of looming war, but also of strength and the will to survive.

After playing through Shadow of War’s preview version at E3 2017, it’s obvious that Monolith is treating it with great care and tremendous pride. There are a few odd choices, such as no fall damage, and the slow pace of climbing; but overall the game is looking amazing at this point and should only be better by the time it releases.

This game was previewed on the Xbox One X.


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  • Clint Sulis

    Thank you for the well written article. In these times of weak journalism, this article was a breath of fresh air. I am even MORE excited about Shadow of War now!!

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      I agree. Finally an article dedicated to what the game is all about. No console war injected, just revelant information for those interested in this game.

    • wilMaster04

      the title is console war bullshit

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      A title doesn’t make an entire article. Sure, Some are misleading, but those who want to talk about it should at least read the body of the article before taking things personal.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Well, no… if the title is misleading, it’s fair to crap on the article, as it didn’t gain your attention honestly.

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      And what part of THIS article is misleading? They’re clearly telling us on what system they played the demo, and proceed to explaining pertaining information about the game exclusively without injecting anything “console war” related.

    • Clint Sulis

      Yeah, there isn’t any mention of PS4 or Nintendo Switch anywhere. I don’t see this as console war content at all, just pertinent information and excellent details about this awesome game. How anyone could be dissatisfied with this fine article is mind boggling.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Hmm…

      The title quite blatantly implies that the “great care and tremendous pride” being given to the XOX version is unique to that version. If such reverence were meant to be extended to all versions of the game- even though it’s admittedly being demoed here on XOX- then you’d have no need to single out a platform. ” Monolith Are Treating Middle-Earth Shadow of War With Great Care And Tremendous Pride” sends a different message than the current title does. Surely you can see that. Replace “Xbox One X” with “PlayStation 4 Pro,” and the result is the same: it appears to single out a specific platform’s version that is being treated as the title says.

      Within the article, itself, there’s precious little mention of the platform at all. That, legitimately so, calls into question the need to single it out in the title. One of those few times- in fact, the ONLY time- that the platform is mentioned by name isn’t very descriptive: “And playing it on the Xbox One X was unreal.” This is, however, followed by saying, “Unlike Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War isn’t as drab or colorless like before.” The whole paragraph it’s contained in is about the game’s looks: sticking the platform in there between two sentences about the differences between this game and the previous one gives the idea that the XOX version has these changes over other versions.

      See, if you don’t want it “console war related,” you don’t even need to mention the console. Or, if it’s that important to you, also insert that you assume similar dedication to other platforms. It’s really easy in this case, yet gamingbolt failed miserably to do so here.

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      Your complain is very trivial and full of drama. The author covered Story and Gameplay very concisely. He expressed admiration for the visuals of the game, so naturally he had to mention the hardware the game was running on simply as reference. Also, keep in mind that we don’t know if there was a PS Pro version avaialble at E3. So, don’t be anxious for clickbait articles, they will come when technical analysis and comparisons are performed.

      “See, if you don’t want it “console war related,” you don’t even need to mention the console”

      This article is not for those who can count pixels with the naked eye, but rather those who are genuinely interested in this game. Looking “unreal” on the X will not automatically make the game look like an atari title on the Pro, so don’t be be so dramatic.

    • J.j. Barrington

      The author covered mostly things that will be present in ALL versions of the game; what reason, then, is there to put “Xbox One X” in the title?

      None.

      Oh, except console war, clickbait stuff.

      Nice try, though.

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      The author simply mentioned the Platform he played the game on which adds to the overall information of his article because that is the reference point for the readers. Maybe they can expect better visuals on the PC, less on the Pro and even less on the base models,etc. But that we don’t know yet because it seems only the X version was avaialable at that moment. So, what exactly you wanted the author to say in that regard when it comes to visuals?

      “Oh, except console war, clickbait stuff”

      If I was the author, and I wanted to clickbait the fanboys I would have titled my article as ” Monolith will not let the PS Pro to hold back the Xbox One X version of Shadow Of War”…It would have triggered the Sony fanboys much faster…:)

    • J.j. Barrington

      At least you’re honest about how you’d lie.

      The most that was needed to identify the platform played on is that bit at the very beginning.

      “We go hands on with the Xbox One X version of the game.”

      Any more emphasis than that implies things definitively are or will be different on other platforms.

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      And how do you knkw that would a lie? After all the X will be the most powerful console.

      Also, information can be conveyed in different ways, and in this case there is nothing wrong on how the article was presented, from the title to the end of the body. And Of course, the visuals will be different among each platform version whether by a little or by alot. That’s why it is important to have a point of reference for those who care about that aspect.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Sure, sure.

    • J.j. Barrington

      It’s strange: given you’re a blatant Xbox fanboy yourself, why would you expect anyone to take your word as that of an even partially neutral party?

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      It never fails; say something positive about the Xbox and Sony fanboys will be triggered faster than rocket fuel. Just look at your two replies on the same post…lol

    • J.j. Barrington

      Odd: this isn’t supposed to be about the Xbox, right? This is supposed to be about the game, isn’t it?

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      And it’s also not supposed to be about teaching people reading comprehension. If you can’t understand what hypothetical means then google it..It’s not that difficult.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Hypothetically, you’re smart enough to hold intelligent conversations. But in practice, you fail every time.

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      Intelligence is not the word to use in your reply when You’re literally not smart enough to make a proper joke..:)

    • J.j. Barrington

      Considering your inability to properly use “literally,” and your random capitalization, you’re not making a case against me, but yourself.

    • Evil_Annie_2015

      Tha case was made by yourself the moment you displayed your poor reading skills. I simply pointed that out..:)

    • J.j. Barrington

      Sure, sure.

  • Wei Feng

    Shame the netbook jaguar will limit this to 30fps.
    Hopefully a 3rd party game that’s not using the fake true 4k instead of native.

    • Mr Xrat

      Nah it’s a b-beast th-though.
      M-Mike told me s-so.

    • King Console

      it is native and I can see your a troll

    • Wei Feng

      You must part of the true fake 4k defenders and 30fps praising force.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Are you drunk?

    • Wei Feng

      Like who isn’t would be a better question

    • Reclaimer13

      It will be native 4k on the 1X and most likely 1440p, as per usual, on the potato pro. By the way Digital Foundry said 1440p is to 2160p (4K), what 720p is to 1080p.

    • Thomas Hannah

      Shadow of Mordor was native 4k on the PS4 Pro, then downsampled for 1080p users. The sequel should be the same.

    • Reclaimer13

      It was dynamic resolution on the Pro and mostly below native 4k. Shadow of Mordor wasn’t a fully fledged current gen game. It was on last gen consoles. Shadow of War is much bigger and only on current gen.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Weren’t some cross-gen games held back, performance-wise, due to last gen versions? But you don’t think anything will change? Hmm…

    • Reclaimer13

      I’m not really sure what you’re getting at.
      Anyway, if by some miracle, the ps4 pro version of Shadow of War is the same resolution as the 1X version, there’ll be a huge disparity when it comes to graphics and effects. That’s not me trolling, the 1X is just a lot more powerful and the fact that the game is being built on it doesn’t hurt.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Um, but the difference in power is about the same as the difference between the base consoles. Thanks to law of diminishing returns…

      And while the game is obviously going to BE on XOX, there’s nothing to support your impractical claim that it would be lead platform.

      Hmm…

    • Reclaimer13

      So 40% of 1 dollar is the same as 40% of 100 dollars?

      MS has the marketing rights to Shadow of War so yeah the 1X is the lead platform. It’s also an xbox play anywhere title. Buy it on xbox and get the pc version free, and vice versa.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Law of diminishing returns, genius. Guess that somehow slipped by you, but the short of it is that the higher you go, the less efficient your power becomes. If it only takes you 50HP to go 100mph, it takes 150HP to go 200mph, and 1000HP to go 500mph. Same with technology: it takes more power to get the same percentage of gains at higher performance. To use your money example, you’d have to work a lot harder to make $40 than 40 cent.

      Seems like common sense.

      Marketing rights doesn’t equal lead platform. Not only is there NOT a correlation between lead platform and marketing rights, but even if there WERE, the lead platform would be the base: the XB1. With the XOX having NO install base, that’s an asinine suggestion. Fitting that it’s backed by absolutely nothing.

    • Reclaimer13

      “The higher you go the less efficient your power becomes”
      If everything else remains the same. -genius

      So what is the lead platform of the game since you seem to know everything?

    • J.j. Barrington

      So what, exactly, is changing outside the power being brought forth?

      And I didn’t say I knew everything, or even what the lead platform IS. It IS, however, silly to assume that a recently-announced, iterative console with NO INSTALL BASE is lead platform.

    • Reclaimer13

      “So what, exactly, is changing outside the power being brought forth?
      What about torque, weight, friction, downforce, drag and traction among other things, that determine how fast a car can go?

      Anyway:
      43% faster GPU – 43% of 4.2 = 1.8 | 4.2 + 1.8 = 1X
      65% more RAM for games – 9 vs 5.5
      50% higher memory bandwidth – 217gb/s vs 326gb/s
      Higher clocked cpu – 2.1mhz vs 2.3mhz
      7200rpm hdd vs 5400rpm hdd
      Substantial tweaks made to the L2 cache to improve cpu performance vs 0
      60 modifications made within the GPU pipeline to reduce bottlenecks.
      dx12 baked into the gpu command processor to reduce cpu workload by up to 50%

      Comparing the ps4 to the xb1; the only real advantage the ps4 has is the gpu. The 1X has a massive advantage over the Pro in every category. Numbers don’t lie. Read um and weep.

      And 1X is part of the xbox one family so me saying that the 1X is the lead platform obviously means xbox one.

    • J.j. Barrington

      No, it doesn’t “obviously” mean that, as the XB1 and XOX aren’t quite the same console. Indeed, there’s a massive gap in the performance between those two- and part of the reason why the XOX will never reach its real potential. The XOX wouldn’t be the lead, and there’s no way you can spin it to make it so you “obviously” meant the XB1.

      I was talking about in terms of these consoles, dimwit. Power is all that’s changed, all that will be different between the consoles; there aren’t other determining factors that will affect performance; therefore, it will require more power than before to get even less of a gain.

    • Reclaimer13

      You know I meant xbox one in general. 1X and xbox one are the same platform. Stay stupid though.

      And you’re the one who brought up cars and horsepower dimwit. You can apply what I said about horsepower not being the only thing that determines how fast a car can go to anything, including consoles.

      And how qualified are you to determine how much the power can be increased before returns start to diminish professor? Also are there any measures that can be taken to prevent diminishing returns?

    • J.j. Barrington

      So even though you had multiple chances to SPECIFICALLY say “Xbox One in general,” even though there’s no way anybody would believe that’s what you were referring to, that’s the story you’re going with.

      Yeah, I brought up horsepower and cars… but it should be understood that all other things would be equal. It should also have been understood that you’d have to apply that to what was different as far as the consoles were concerned, but I guess that would be giving you too much credit.

      We’re already seeing diminishing returns in the form of graphics, are we not? 8K isn’t the massive improvement over 4K that 4K is over 1080p; that gap isn’t as big as the one from 1080p to 720p, which isn’t as big as 720p to 480. And each one is requiring more power for less noticeable gains.

      You seem to have a brain in that head of yours; you should use it.

    • Reclaimer13

      Bullsh*t. First of all, resolution isn’t graphics. And whether YOU can notice a big difference between 1080p and 4k, or not, is irrelevant, the difference is there in shear pixel count.

      Here’s where my comment about “if everything else remains the same” comes into play:
      If you’re comparing 1080p vs 4k on a screen of the same size, then of course the difference won’t be massive, but as you increase the size of the screen the difference becomes more and more apparent. 4k will look just as sharp on a 200″ screen as 1080p looks on a 50″ screen. 1080p vs 4k on a 200″ screen will be a massive difference, much bigger than the difference between 720p and 1080p. Common sense.

      The law of diminishing returns only applies if everything else remains the same.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Whether I or any particular person can see it is irrelevant. It’s fact that the difference is becoming less and less noticeable.

      Keep trying, though.

    • Reclaimer13

      I haven’t even started to try yet.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Sure, you haven’t.

    • Wei Feng

      Be the first 3rd party if it is native then. Judging from them so far i’ll be
      checkerboard on the netbook consoles.

      and 720p is what happens when gimping a GPU for the users that want Kinect and tv put first to off set the cost.

    • Reclaimer13

      Titanfall 2 isn’t 3rd party? Native 4k/60fps on the 1X. Even goes as high as native 6k/60fps at times.

    • Mr Xrat

      Thanks for the delays and the downgrades, MS. Hope paying for those adverts was worth it.

  • waltIII314

    pre ordered already can’t wait for X1X

    • Mike

      Preorders are available?!?! If so, I haven’t noticed. Stupid work!

    • Mr Xrat

      As if you Xgimp scum play games.

  • Mr Xrat

    A shame about the delay to downgrade the textures for that 4K mandate Uncle Phil slapped on them in exchange for paying for the advertising. It’s bad enough Xgimps don’t play games, moving it from August to November is a hammer blow.

    • madfighter

      Feeling the salt Xrat? Must be because you’re sad enough to hang around here as a fulltime job to troll. It was funny how South Park made a full season dedicated to weirdos like you lol.

    • Mr Xrat

      Another new username with the usual tears. Into the trash you go. πŸ™‚

    • TwoLiterSoda

      Geez just grow up already ffs it’s so pathetic and desperate

    • J.j. Barrington

      Not sure you’re in any position to give that command.

    • Mr Xrat

      Xgimp pleading is so wonderful. πŸ™‚

  • wilMaster04

    Click bait garbage

    • TwoLiterSoda

      And yet here u are so the article worked

    • J.j. Barrington

      Depends. Some people got adblocker. Like me.

  • Evil_Annie_2015

    Sony fanboys are funny…lol

  • Mr Xrat

    Mr Irony and his paranoia making a loser of himself as usual. Drink bleach. πŸ™‚


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