Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – Lord of the Hunt DLC – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: Monolith Productions, Inc.
Publisher: WB Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Tested on: PC

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – Lord of the Hunt DLC – Review

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Good: still fun to play, new monsters
Bad: short and sloppy story, no updated voice-over, separate campaign
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After the successful launch of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith Productions is trying to extend their success with a first DLC: Lord of the Hunt. Together with Torvin, you’ll hunt the wildest beasts of Mordor and turn them against Sauron’s forces!

Shadow of Mordor header

The first thing that was a big surprise when starting the game is that the DLC is actually a separate mode from the main game. It takes place in the second zone of the main campaign and is locked into this zone. It all starts with you and Torvin walking besides each other when suddenly Torvin brings up that a new kind of Warchief has arrived in Nurn. These new Warchiefs have achieved the ability to tame, control and ride different beasts in Nurn. You both decide it’s for the best that this new threat is eliminated as soon as possible.

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Besides from the little hiccup of being a separate game mode, there are some other issues that need addressing about the story, such as: how much time has passed since the end of the main story? Why does the story randomly start with Torvin talking to you? Why did all the beasts disappear and new ones come in their place? As for the first question, there is a slight indication of how much time has passed and it’s because of the appearance of Talion. Talion has received an almost completely new appearance, he’s grown a beard and he appears to have aged quite a bit if you look closely at his face. It almost looks like they threw in a completely new character that has all of the previous knowledge fom the main story.

As said before, this new DLC is locked into the second zone of the main game so there isn’t really anything new to explore besides some lore objects. They did add in 2 new creatures however: the Wretched Graug and the Caragath. The Caragaths are pretty much the same as the Caragors from the main game but they’re simply a bit stealthier and you’re able to perform stealth kills with them while mounted. Wretched Graugs are, as the name suggests, a wretched version of the Graug. Instead of melee attacks, you simply barf on your enemies and they die because it’s some kind of poison. What’s also pretty weird is that the developers simply replaced the original creatures, instead of having them in the same world side by side.

Another new skill is the ability to dominate Ghuls. Instead of having them gang up on you and getting poisoned, you can now use a combo skill that brands every Ghul around you. This is especially useful for killing some Warchiefs, and one Warchief even has to be killed completely just by using Ghuls. What’s also pretty remarkable is that you can’t level up in the DLC. The talent and skill tree is the same from the main game but you simply have everything unlocked. It’s pretty nice to have all skills, but players that didn’t make it far into the main game will now find themselves with a handful of skills and combos which they will have to learn.

Apart from only 2 new skills, the combat is pretty much the same as before, but don’t get me wrong, it’s still very enjoyable! However, the fights with the Warchiefs did seem much more difficult than they used to be. They have very specific weaknesses that almost force you to use some of the new skills in order to take them down, if you decide not to do this, prepare to have them rank up quite a bit in power because you’ll die a lot to them. On top of that, some of them have managed to ride the beasts of Mordor, so be ready for some crazy fights where a Warchief arrives on a Wretched Graug!

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The new dialog is also pretty fun and as always, the battle cries when Warchiefs arrive into battle are awesome! However, in the main game you could often hear orcs yelling “Caragors!” when you approached them while mounted on one. Apparently they don’t see the difference between Caragors and Caragaths, because in Lord of the Hunt they’ll still yell “Caragors!”.

Much like the main campaign, whenever you finish the story, you have the option to roam around freely and kill some Warchiefs to your liking. The lore in the DLC has more value than in the main campaign however, everything you pick up is now narrated and much more interesting. Although, it still doesn’t really add to the lore of your character itself, which is quite disappointing.

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While the game itself is still very fun to play, the DLC doesn’t really add a lot of value to it. The story is completed very quickly and there are quite a few things that aren’t clear or simply don’t make any sense. There’s even an advertisement when you manage to finish the story that says the new DLC is coming out somewhere in 2015. Overall, Lord of the Hunt was pretty disappointing compared to the base game and seemed more like an incentive to show off some new skills and advertise a bigger DLC over anything else.

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