Decided to pick up Shadow of Mordor while it was $6 at Bundlestars. I'm a few hours in, it's definitely got the hooks in mechanics wise but there's a few things giving me pause. First, holy shit is this an Arkham game to an almost crazy degree. I know every game and its mother has the unlock towers/collectibles mechanic at this point, but they basically just copied over the fighting system verbatim, right down to the stuns, executions, ranged weapons and upgrades. The only big difference thus far (and again, only a few hours in) is the bow, which is admittedly a nice change of pace. I wouldn't say it's a bad thing per se, but having just finished playing through Arkham Origins the dejavu is strong. My other big complaint is that the world itself feels small, and frankly, dull. Part of this I chalk up to the LOTR license itself; I know it's not really fair to throw the "generic" card at the thing that originated the genre, but given the 1,838,847 hojillion fantasy games I've played through in my life, that's what this feels like. The enemies look good but the world is just a mass of samey looking ruins, without any big "wow" visual elements (which, again, is something the Arkham games do really well). It also doesn't help that outside of one or two funny lines, the writing is pretty uniformly...there. It's not bad, but does nothing more than move the plot along. That said, overall I'm still enjoying it and I can see what all the hype was about with the Captain system, that's some devious "gotta murder 'em all" shit right there.