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Shadow of Mordor: The Bright Lord Impressions: The Ring Has Awoken

The final piece of downloadable content for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor features Celebrimbor wielding The One Ring, but does this legendary accessory make him feel overpowered? Let's find out in our impressions.

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Monolith Productions released the final piece of downloadable content for its Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor this week called The Bright Lord. The Bright Lord has players assuming the role of Celebrimbor, the Elven Lord known to have forged the Rings of Power, and tells the story of his escape from Sauron and how he raises an army to oppose the Dark Lord. As you’d expect, wielding the stolen One Ring makes him extremely powerful from the get go.

The Bright Lord begins with Sauron abducting Celebrimbor’s family, which sets him out to take over the Udun section of Shadow of Mordor’s map. This will feel extremely familiar, as you more-or-less do the same thing in the Shadow of Mordor’s main campaign. However, Celebrimbor's unique play style keeps the experience fresh by requiring him to unlock areas through branding Uruks, which then unlocks access to that area's Captain.

Celebrimbor's focus on branding enemies, instead of straightforward combat, significantly changes up Mordor's gameplay. Controlling an area automatically populates it with branded Uruks, and players can summon five soldiers at any time to back them up. Celebrimbor can even perform branding remotely, as a variation of the teleporting strike performed with the bow. Even though his branding abilities make him extremely powerful, his archery skill has been toned down a bit as he won’t be able to initiate a slow-motion effect when his bow is drawn. But, as a counterbalance to that, players no longer have to charge the bow for a powerful hit, making for faster shooting. At the same time, it's more difficult to take down Uruks with headshots, which I found to make the experience more interesting, since I really needed to make sure no enemies were close to me when I attempted to perform a ranged attack or else I’d find myself in some serious trouble.

The One Ring rules

Celebrimbor wields The One Ring, stolen from Sauron at the start of of the campaign. The One Ring, as I’m sure you’re aware, is an extremely powerful accessory as it allows Celebrimbor to activate slow-motion and infinite and unblockable execution moves for a limited amount of time. All the while, it appears to be corrupting him the longer he wields it.

Granted, you’ll need to brand enemies in order to charge The One Ring up, but once you do, Celebrimbor feels completely overpowered, as he can defeat most Captains and Warchiefs by simply mashing the execution buttons until they’re good and dead. Whatever challenge Captians might have presented is lost when The One Ring is activated, which doesn’t make the experience very challenging.

The dynamics of Shadow of Mordor, such as duels, feasts, and executions, is what arguably made the experience so unique. Unfortunately, The Bright Lord excludes these dynamic features as Warchiefs can’t be killed, only dominated. As a result, Captains don’t advance on their own to cause these events to occur, which makes the experience feel more scripted than it’s ever been.

When you finally do come to the final battle, the fight can be rather challenging as players will need to build a large crowd of uruks in order to help build your power, thus making you ready to take on the final threat of the campaign.

Conclusion

The Bright Lord feels like Monolith turned on “God Mode” in Shadow of Mordor. Celebrimbor may be too powerful for his own good with his abilities and The One Ring, so much of the experience will be spent charging it up in order to completely dominate your enemies. Instead of ending Shadow of Mordor’s DLC plans with a bang, it feels more of whimper due to the unfair advantage Celebrimbor has. It also doesn't help there aren't any dynamic events going on independently from your actions.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 25, 2015 12:30 PM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, Shadow of Mordor: The Bright Lord Impressions: The Ring Has Awoken

    • reply
      February 25, 2015 12:40 PM

      feels bad man

    • reply
      February 25, 2015 12:42 PM

      So all the post-game content has been lackluster? Was waiting until most/all of it came back to dive back in. but it's not worth it?

      • reply
        February 25, 2015 12:49 PM

        I haven't played the previous DLC for SoM, but I can tell you The Bright Lord doesn't offer much of a challenge compared to the main campaign.

        • reply
          February 26, 2015 7:15 AM

          The main game is sufficient challenge. God Mode is not a bad thing, question is do you still feel like a bad ass when you play? I know you are not simply running through the game, cause you couldn't even do that in the main campaign, not for a while anyway.

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