Released in 2014, Shadow of Mordor proved that WB Games were one of the few publishers in the business dedicated to making quality licensed products. Taking The Lord of the Rings universe and creating an original new story, the game became a huge hit thanks to the Nemesis system, a unique gameplay focus that revolutionised the open-world formula.
A mechanic whereby regular enemies were imbued with a persistent personality, constantly showing up on the battlefield to create natural rivalries with the player, the standout feature made the title an immediate game of the year contender.
Fast forward three years later and the sequel to the sleeper-hit first game, Shadow of War, has finally hit shelves with the promise of building upon the tantalising concepts present in the original release.
Surrounded by controversy over microtransactions and charity DLC though, much of the discussion so far has been focused on the business side of things rather than the quality of the title itself.
The dust is finally staring to settle however, and it's become clear that the developers at Monolith Studios have gone all out with the sequel. Still, has Shadow of War massively improved on its predecessor's flaws like Assassin's Creed 2, or is it doomed to be seen as a huge misstep on the level of Resident Evil 5?