Open-world action game Middle-earth: Shadow of War is finally out for the PS4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. Sequel to 2014’s Shadow of Mordor, the game has you in the role of undead ranger Talion who shares his body with elf lord Celebrimbor. Developed by Monolith Productions, the studio behind Fear and Shogo: Mobile Armored Division as well as the aforementioned Shadow of Mordor, this is what you need to know about Shadow of War.
Shadow of War unlocked relatively early on PC, being playable on Steam from 12am CET on October 10 (4:30am IST on October 10). The PS4 and Xbox One versions could be played at midnight local time on October 10. So if you were holding out till the game was available digitally to play right after downloading, you don't have to.
In our Shadow of War review we noted it to be a massive time-sink with polished moment to moment gameplay. Despite some creative liberties with the Lord of the Rings license, it ends up being a sprawling, immersive take on Tolkein’s tales.
You can buy loot chests that let you get better weapons; experience boosts that allow you level up Talion quicker; war chests that grant you more powerful orcs; and bundles containing loot chests, experience boosts, and war chests. Unlike other games that feature micro-transactions like Forza 7, you aren’t constantly nagged to purchase them, and in fact you disable them completely by choosing to play offline.
While there’s an online component not too dissimilar to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s Forward Operating Base (FOB) feature that pits your forces against those online, it doesn’t impact the progress of your campaign. Instead it simply allows you to increase your stats if your troops defend well enough against the onslaught.
Nonetheless, not once did we feel compelled to spend money to progress in Shadow of War, which is heartening. Furthermore, you can play Shadow of War without seeing any micro-transactions at all with this handy guide.
Shadow of War’s price is Rs. 3,499 on the PS4 and Xbox One, and Rs. 2,999 on the PC. Keep in mind that the PC version available at retail does not include a disc, instead it is just a code in box, much like WWE games in recent years. There is a Shadow of War Silver Edition and Gold Edition which cost Rs. 4,499 and Rs. 6,999.
Aside from the Shadow of War standard edition which is just the game on disc, publisher Warner Bros has also released the Shadow of War Silver Edition and Gold Edition.
Shadow of War Gold Edition
Shadow of War Silver Edition
At the moment the PS4 Pro version seems to have the slight edge in terms of visual fidelity while the PS4 and Xbox One variants manage to hold their own. Needless to say, Shadow of War plays well on all three platforms and barring some additional effects on the PS4 Pro, you’re not missing much. Considering the level of optimisation developer Monolith Productions has managed to achieve it has us optimistic to see what the PC version brings. As it stands though, you really can’t go wrong with Shadow of Mordor on either console.
Will you be playing Shadow of War, or are you checking out the other games releasing in October instead? Let us know in the comments.
We discuss Shadow of War's micro-transactions and design on Transition - Gadgets 360's gaming and pop culture podcast. You can subscribe to Transition via Apple Podcasts or RSS or just listen to this episode by hitting the play button below.