Hello, dear reader, I hope you’re having a good day. This is a review on Middle Earth: Shadow of War also containing several tips. I’m not being paid to write this blog, and it contains information based on my opinions from playing Middle Earth: Shadow of War on iOS. Middle Earth: Shadow of War is rated 12+ on the App Store for Frequent/Intense Cartoon/Fantasy Violence. I personally believe the rating should be higher. You behead orcs daily for mission rewards and the game shows this. Rather graphically.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War is a free-to-play real-time role-playing game (RPG). The key to victory lies in timing skills, positioning your units, and managing your resources outside of combat. The game is beautifully put together, magnificent cut scenes introduce you to the story, the combat is streamlined and engaging, the nemesis system adds depth to your strategic considerations, and you can be certain Shadow of War (mobile version) is structured like any other free-to-play game with plenty of timers and paywalls.
Parental Concerns: This is a darker, grittier tale set in the background of the Lord of the Rings. As mentioned previously, you will behead orcs. You’ll also enslave them magically to work for you via branding (magical palm print, not fire and iron). Dark blood splatters occur when characters die in combat, though this is much harder to see than the fountains spurting after an Orc Duel or Execution.
Time: It takes about 1 to 2 minutes to complete battles consisting of 2 to 4 waves. Once you’ve completed a mission with no dead characters, you gain 3 stars on that mission and you can raid it. This allows for faster rune and resource collection. You can’t raid nemesis orcs when they respawn each day, nor Warlords battles. Orc jobs and dominance collection can take hours but happen automatically. When an orc is used to help your team in combat there is an hour, or longer, cooldown.
Pros and Cons: Middle Earth: Shadow of War rewards solid tactical decisions, allowing players to defeat Minas Morgul with teams much weaker than the recommend 3,795 power. I believe I beat it with a team around 2,500 power at the time. That includes my orc ‘friend’. Once you reach Udun, or try hard mode, you’ll quickly see a pay wall rise to deter your progress. Unless you’re very lucky with the free 4 hour Palantir drops, Udun will prove a tough nut to crack. I was lucky enough to draw enough glyphs to evolve Baranor 5 times and increase him to a 2 star rarity character. Thankfully, each evolution does eke out a bit more power . A massive boost occurs once the star is completed. I still can’t beat quest 9 though! The biggest irritant in the game is the orc roster. The game goes out of its way to kill your pet orcs. Orc duels and Orc jobs can leave your smelly friends dead as a doornail. Both are important ways to progress so it’s another way to slow you down. That said, the free Palantir drops make the game feel possible to complete. Eventually. Maybe by the ninth age or something. Keep in mind we’re in the third age.
Overall Impression: I would recommend Middle Earth: Shadow of War to players who enjoy a fast online free-to-play game and don’t mind slow progression. The experience is unique and well presented. If you always wanted a darker expansion to Tolkien’s Middle Earth, like Children of Hurin, you’ll enjoy Middle Earth: Shadow of War. I do not recommend this game for anyone looking to play a Lord of the Rings game with their children or to players who want to beat the game quickly.
- Brand Orcs and only execute one a day for daily missions- To progress quickly your team will need the extra boost a branded orc provides. You can go into combat and not use the orc. This doesn’t put the orc on cooldown and lets the orc be used in a later battle. This means it’s always a good idea to bring an orc to battle. Executing orcs can give you inscriptions, but you can get those in raids too. Orc nemeses refresh daily and your barracks will eventually cap at 30 orcs.
- Orc duels are a complete gamble- The guide tells you how to heavily tilt a duel to one orc’s favor. I had a level 6 higher power orc with a trait bonus against a level 1 orc with a trait penalty duel each other. Guess which won? The newbie. My dominance and grog investment went down the drain. Also, it costs more Resurrection Tokens to resurrect higher level orcs. My advice is to pit two garbage orcs against each other for the daily mission since you’ll eventually unlock Orc Jobs at level 12 which can give glory without the consequence of dying.
- Don’t forget to upgrade your Stronghold – The Stronghold can be leveled up to your player’s level (same with champions and orcs). If you don’t remember to go back and upgrade your stronghold, you’ll lose a bunch of extra dominance you could have collected overnight.
- Talion is squishy- I recommend giving Talion the Rune of Protection, and running away from death. Sometimes javelin-wielding enemies will focus Talion. Try to take them out quickly. Double tapping will cause all your troops to focus them unless another orc disrupts your team. In boss battles, it can be best to let Baranor solo near the end so Talion survives, and you get 3 stars on the mission.
- Don’t spend gems- Special summoning can cost up to 3,000 gems (Legolas, I’m looking at you). Don’t waste gems on timers, new dungeons, or ability points. Abilty points refresh over time and cap at 10 to spend. If you’re progressing well, you’ll get to the point Mirian become rarer than ability points!
I hope the review and tips help you out, dear reader! Sauron’s reign will end!
Links: https://www.shadowofwar.com/mobile/?selected is the game website and http://support.wbgames.com/link/portal/24022/24028/Article/1626/Middle-earth-Shadow-of-War-The-Mobile-Game-Orc-Duels-FAQ is the FAQ site.
Disclaimer: I’m not being paid by WB Games or anyone else to write these tips. The only money I could make would be through advertising on this site or on YouTube at this point in time. I don’t take responsibility for the content on sites linked to from this article. Also, note the video game isn’t the Xbox or PC game of the same name. Type “mobile” after the title to find relevant information about it.
by Brian Petrilli AKA Jalinon