Middle-earth: Shadow of War was one of last year’s top games, no doubt. This fantasy action and role-playing game set in the Lord of the Rings universe delivered more of what players enjoyed in its predecessor, 2014’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (one of the year’s video game highlights for sure).
Not everyone was so fond of Middle-earth: Shadow of War’s microtransactions though, which ended up being controversial as they let players pay cash to become more powerful in the game and push through the single player campaign more easily instead of spending hours grinding for upgrades. After all, tying progression, no matter how subtly, to paid microtransactions in a single player game is not a good idea by anyone’s standards…
Thankfully then, Shadow of War’s market has been excised for the upcoming “Definitive Edition” of the game, which unoriginally is titled Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition.
Aside from the removal of microtransactions (which for some reason is being billed as a feature here), even better news is the inclusion of all the previously released DLC for the game.
This includes two major expansions which came out for Shadow of War, The Blade of Galadriel (which lets you play as the sultry elven queen) and Desolation of Mordor, which features iconic Lord of the Rings character Baranor.
And if Middle-earth: Shadow of War wasn’t already hard enough, those fond of being eviscerated by the game’s orc enemies can try the two new difficulty modes in this definitive edition, named “Brutal” and “Gravewalker”. Also, things can be even more of a challenge here taking into account that the game’s Nemesis System has been expanded, with orcs getting new traits and behaviours, while enemy captains have had their level cap raised too…
Developer Monolith Productions has also streamlined the game’s epilogue in this new edition of the game, cutting out the tedious stream of missions players had to go through before (the Shadow Wars), replacing this with a new epilogue narrated by Shelob, Witch-King and Dark Talion.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition is coming on August 28, 2018, and is priced at $59.99 US dollars. And although you could argue this is what the game should have offered at launch, Monolith deserves credit for bringing the game up to speed and giving Lord of the Rings fans and anyone fond of action RPGs another opportunity to pick up an even better version of one of 2017’s best games.