After an arduous three-year wait, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War finally released earlier in October, and the reception has been mixed to say the least. With a lot of the criticisms being overshadowed by discussions surrounding the game's controversial inclusion of microtransactions, whether Monolith's latest is actually any good or not has fallen by the wayside.
Fortunately, the long anticipated sequel has proved itself as a worthy follow up to the original Shadow of Mordor, but it isn't without problems.
Not quite as substantial a leap in quality as Assassin's Creed 1 to 2, Monolith Productions' follow up to their sleeper hit success has built upon its predecessor in a number of ways, but wasted potential and certain flaws from the original game along with divisive new additions still haunt the sequel.
It's not enough to tank it completely, but players can't help but wonder how amazing Shadow of War could have been if Monolith had done things differently and fixed key issues. The potential was there to completely revolutionise the series, and there were ways the devs could have made a sequel that would have elevated it from being good to great.
11. A Better Traversal System
Monolith's Middle-Earth titles take a lot of inspiration from both the Assassin's Creed franchise as well as Rocksteady's Arkham games, but unfortunately they don't have a traversal system anywhere near as enjoyable as either series.
Lacking the ability to glide around the map or even free-run effectively, Talion has to ineffectively sprint everywhere, gaining speed and momentum by timing button presses with specific actions. It's not a terrible system on paper, but in practice something about it feels... off.
Maybe it's the maps themselves that aren't designed to facilitate this movement, but a lot of the time you can find yourself getting stuck on terrain or completely mistiming jumps and ending up in an embarrassingly compromised position.
Not only does it make actually exploring the map a bit of a chore, but stealth is way more frustrating than it should be, as a botched jump can send you accidentally flying head-first into a group of orcs.