At E3 2006, Kaz Hirai was accused of arrogance when he said the words ‘The next generation doesn’t start until we say it does,’ when talking about the PlayStation 3. However, nobody said anything of the sort this generation, and although some great games have been streaming out steadily, new IP is what keeps this industry afloat. There have been some big IPs released that have left a little bit of a sour taste in our mouths, but one that has lived up to our expectations is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.
Whenever people talk about Shadow of Mordor, it’s usually described as Assassin’s Creed in Mordor, with a bit of Batman mixed in. I don’t know whether that supposed to knock the game or not, but how can that not sound amazing?? The Lord of the Rings universe is extremely vast, and I even enjoyed some of the games based on the movies, the fact that this one has got so much freedom and scope has meant that the developers can create a game that they wanted to.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been some games released that definitely look amazing, Wolfenstein: The New Order and inFAMOUS: Second Son come to mind, but it’s often difficult for a new IP to do well in this industry without a massive amount of hype and promotion. Watch Dogs did very well, but was nowhere near as good as everyone expected, however, Shadow of Mordor has come through as a bit of an underdog, and everyone loves an underdog. Nobody expected that it would be as good as it is, with many outlets complaining from the beginning that they didn’t expect that Nemesis System to work as advertised, and whilst some have found flaws in the game, for the most part the reviews are extremely positive. It must be great for the developers to see the critics eating some humble pie.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article suggesting that Shadow of Mordor could be game of the year. I’m not saying it will be, but it’s looking a hell of a lot more likely than it was in August, especially with Destiny now dividing opinions. The only other contender, in my opinion, is Far Cry 4, and to be perfectly honest, that game looks amazing from the story trailers that have been released so far, and if Far Cry 3 is anything to go by, it’s almost definitely Game of the Year material. We’ll see what happens when the dust settles.