For as great as some of your favorite games might be, I bet very few of them are worth revisiting after you are through with them. In my case, that’s generally what happens, anyway. For Shadow of Mordor, I’m in a crossroad, after being done with most of what it had to offer.
If you take into consideration its first piece of significant single player content, Lord of the Hunt, it’s the excuse I’ve been looking for me to jump back into one of last year’s best games. For better or for worse, it’s yet another army of hungry orcs to take out in more specific and somewhat more scripted ways, all within a familiar location from the main game.
This time, you’ll be tackling those guys side by side with Torvin, the dwarven hunter that made a few entertaining appearances during the main game. Since our small friend is an expert in hunting, his enemies have decided to take up the sport as well. Orcs haven’t ever really gotten along with Mordor’s local wildlife before, but now it seems they’ve cut a deal with the delightful creatures, since they’re pretty much buddy buddy with them, forcing you to learn a few new tricks in order to defeat them.
Some of those might seem like somewhat awkward fits to the already ridiculous suite of abilities from the core game, while others feel tacked on and one-note. For instance, now you can tame and ride a quieter version of the caragor, who can trot around and somehow stealthily take out unsuspecting enemies. But before you call foul on that one, wait ’til you hear about the graug who vomits on his food before eating it. That’s right, if graugs weren’t strange enough on their own, now you can make that unique power your own for whatever odd reason you desire to do so. While not particularly my favorite addition in Lord of the Hunt, its implementation during its special mission is amusing to say the least, even though it’s basically a one off thing.
Speaking of missions, the hand full that there are during this DLC are all related to learning these new skills in order to apply them to the enemy army. Much like the base content, you can still tackle captains indirectly via their subordinates, or head on, gun-ho style. The few bits of story in this new content are only delivered via the bits with Torvin, so don’t expect to keep the Silmarillion next to you while you are playing this. There is zero explanation as to why you are suddenly taking on yet another army, or why in plain heck Talion is wearing dreadlocks all of the sudden. Just go with the flow.
As the flow goes with the season pass, I want to see what else Monolith can attempt to twist and fit within the playground that Shadow of Mordor looms over. While little of this DLC is anything you’d be daft to miss after finishing the base game, considering how weak most of these additions are in the grand scheme of the game as a whole, Lord of the Hunt still manages to serve as a nice reminder that Shadow of Mordor is a fantastic game. That’s mainly because, hey, that game is pretty dang good on its own, let’s face it. Still, as a piece of extra content that doesn’t aim to revolutionize what made that game so great to begin with, Lord of the Hunt works as intended.