Saturday 29 April 2017

The joys of the Nemesis System In Shadow of Mordor.

Also, the Annoyances of the Nemesis System in Shadow of Mordor.

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Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system provides an very interesting situation and intriguing gameplay in a number of ways.

Shadow of Mordor has an interesting game concept.  With a quick glance, one can summarise it merely as a reskinned Batman game.  I has the same core concepts, sneaking about, combat and special vision, a skill tree with upgradeable abilities and sandbox world to mess about it.  While I enjoyed Batman, having come straight off of Arkham Knight, I was not so sure about Shadow of Mordor. 

After all

One does not simply walk into Mordor.

Sorry, I had to say it.  I must admit, I thought I would tire of this game rather soon, yet, here I am 58 hours later, still going strong.

The gameplay is the same as Batman, the story and voice acting a fair bit weaker, however the Nemesis system manages to add that tiny little bit of extra personality to the game.  

And for me, it all started with a guy called Zogdush Blood-axe.

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There I was one day, wondering what all the hype about the nemesis system was all about, not really thinking anything of it and I stumbled across Zogdush.

“Gravewalker!”  He yelled at me “somethingsomething thems fightin’ words” he finished with.  
“Righto,” I thought to myself, “Let’s go! He has nice hair and I need some experience and points to get more skills.”

Thus I foolishly plowed into battle.  Sadly for me things did not quite go my way and Zogdush managed to finish me off.

I re-spawned at a tower as one does and thought to myself.

“Zogdush, mate.  YOU are going down RIGHT NOW!”

However, this time I was not as foolish and gained some intel on him.  I knew his weaknesses.  Sadly at that time, I did not quite have the abilities to take full advantage of them.  Regardless, my Batman counter skills could mean I could take on HUGE group of enemies and still triumph.

Once again, I engaged Zogdush in battle.  He was surprised to see me. We fought.

My Batman was weak.  I was overwhelmed.  Zogdush gave a sturdy blow and I was on my knees in front of him, awaiting the killing blow.  However, he insulted me and left me there without killing me.

What?  No other enemy has done that before!  

A look at his traits shows he won’t bother with “unworthy” foes.  ME? Unworthy?  How dare he!  My hatred and thirst for revenge escalated.  

Nevertheless, I was alive and decided to rethink my killing of Zogdush.  After all, I had some revenge to get and humiliation to lay upon him.

It was while I was attempting the other captain killing that I was interrupted by guess who?  Yes.  Zogdush.

Once again, things went badly, although I had managed to get first captain out of the way, I was again faced with Zogdush.  We fought, it was a fearsome battle.  Eventually I finally managed to take him out.

“HA HA HA HA! You were a worthy foe Zogdush, but I am the player of the game and so I must win!”

The game continued on, I settled on a feast interruption mission, however I neglected to notice the name.  When got there and started the mission, to my horror, guess who’s feast I’d chosen.

Zogdush Blood-axe

Undeterred, I declared loudly
“You’re going down for good this time Zogdush”
Somehow, once again, I managed to cock up the feast killing, and once again, he insulted me and left me to deal with his underlings.

How can this be?

It was at this point I began to realise the brilliance of the “Nemesis system.”  Unlike many other games, this enemy had become more than just a computer controlled guy.  



Zogdush Blood-Axe

had become so much more than just an enemy.  Zogdush had evolved into a monster, an obsession, a symbol to be feared. I was determined to kill him, but whenever I tried, I would fail.  

I had never felt this way about a computer game enemy before.

After our many confrontations, I was wary of him showing up, forever searching the map, to see if he were nearby.  If he called my name, I would flee and he would get stronger each and every time.  
I wanted to destroy him.  I had taken him out once and he had returned.  The next time would be final.  So I ventured out on one final try, armed with some newly acquired skills I was feeling apprehensive, but the urge to reclaim my good name was overwhelming.

I was so motivated to kill him.

More than any other enemy in any other game I’ve played.


And so I succeeded.  Zogdush’s corpse lay beneath my feet.  I was avenged for all the deaths before, for all the humiliated defeats.

I was happy.

Until one fateful moment.

Zogdush Blood-axe was back!  He had a bag on his head now (see the picture above), but the bleeding weapons and his rage were unmistakably Zogdush.

How could this be?

Once again our swords clashed.  Obviously I won out, otherwise I wouldn’t be 59 hours into the game, but the cool thing is that the Nemesis system provided me with this experience.

A search online when tips might be needed reveals many other people who’ve played the game and had similar experiences and, most importantly feelings towards varied Uruk captains.   That is also part and parcel of the system as well.  While the game is primarily a single player experience, going online and googling for tips and stuff, shows that many other people have the same sort of experience as I.  Some Uruk Warchief or captain has tormented them and become MORE than just some generic enemy in a game.  I read their posts and chuckle…  Yeap, I can imagine what you are going through.

We share a bond.

All thanks to some annoying enemy who won’t die, or was tricky to kill.

That is a great gameplay experience and the brilliance of the Nemesis system and how Shadow of Mordor manages to climb its way out of the Batman clone gameplay department.

Well done monolith games.  You’ve done well and while I’m not done with Shadow of Mordor just yet, I am certainly eyeing up Shadow of War (although the name is a bit generic)  Wouldn’t war of Mordor be better?  Or something like that?

I for one can’t wait (but I will, because I am cheap)

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