I just finished the main storyline of Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor last night. Although I was disappointed in the boss endings, I wasn't too upset with how they finished the story. I had heard that the ending was disappointing/anti-climactic, so I wasn't really expecting much. When it was all over (I'll try to keep this spoiler free), I have to admit, I was a little disappointed - both the final boss battles were very much lacking in action, and mainly turned out to be scripted events during which I had to push a few buttons here and there to make sure I was paying attention, and the "Big" battle that came immediately before that was disappointing, mainly because I didn't kill a single one of the "tough guys", but watched as my branded Uruk war chiefs did all the dirty work. BUT, even after those disappointing events - and here's the point of my post - IT DIDN'T MATTER. I will elaborate my reasons why in a moment.

The story itself wasn't disappointing in my opinion. Other people have claimed that it is a weak story, but I was interested in the main storyline through the entire game, even though I often found myself too easily distracted by the numerous side missions/random captains along the way that it seemed to be broken up at bit too much (but that's my own fault). I'll admit, I am a little biased as far as the story goes, maybe compared to an average person with little to no interest in the Lord of the Rings world. I did read the LOTR, the Hobbit, the Silmarillion, and the Book of Lost tales, so I do find myself drawn in to anything related to this amazing world created by Tolkien. So, having said that, I think the story does "fit" into the world of middle earth, not perfectly, but enough so that I can believe that these events perhaps did take place, but were maybe not recorded by Tolkien.

Going back to why IT DIDN'T MATTER, I'll start by saying this - immediately after the game started me back on top of one of those wraith towers and gave the stunted notice that I can continue playing, I did feel a bit disappointed. But, as soon as I jumped down and started working on completing the remaining side missions/weapon quests, I was immediately drawn back into the game just as if the story hadn't come to a close - as soon as I met my first captain in battle again. For some reason, the nemesis system has such an easy way of creating this living world that doesn't "end" even though the story is done.

When I finished the main story of Red Dead Redemption (one of my all-time favorite games), only the side quests, outfits, strangers missions remained. When those were done, it was all over for me. I did play the game multiple times, but had to start over to get more enjoyment from the game. There's only so much hunting, picking flowers, and clearing the same bandit hideouts I can do before it becomes repetitious and boring. But now, Shadow of Mordor gives me the feeling that I could do this "Uruk hunting" thing for a very long time, trying out many different strategies and tactics to change the experience up and keep it fresh - for example, I want to take all 5 war chiefs head on with no intel and see if I can do it; maybe brand 5 captains, make them all bodyguards for one war chief, then turn them loose when he least expects it; or perhaps let myself be killed by one captain over and over until he levels up and is nigh invincible, proceed to try get him promoted to war chief while not branded, then face him one-on-one in a glorious battle - the list goes on. So, that is how I feel about the "ending" of this game. And that is why I don't really care that the bosses were less than what they could have been. The game was never about the "boss" for me, because it was more about the interaction in the Uruk hierarchy. To me, the real game is the Uruk society, the nemesis system. And that will continue to change as long as I choose to live in that world.

This was entirely too long, I apologize. But my 2 cents anyway. :)

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