Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
Buy On
  1. Oct 27, 2017
    Monolith has something for everyone here, and just like Gollum with his ‘precious’, you’ll be hooked after a little taste of the power you can possess in Shadow of War.
  2. Oct 23, 2017
    Luckily for me, I didn’t go into Shadow of War wanting to re-live Lord of the Rings, I wanted to hunt some orcs. And this game delivers on that in more ways than I can possibly count — and it does so in a way that doesn’t require to spend one extra cent, near as I can tell.
  3. Oct 5, 2017
    Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor vastly improves on its predecessor thanks to a tens of hours-long epic story, great combat and a better and more dynamic Nemesis System. A must buy for any fantasy action lover.
  4. Nov 1, 2017
    Middle-earth Shadow of War adds a lot to the already great formula, with the addition of sieges and the great additions to the nemesis system this is a game of the year contender for sure.
  5. Oct 30, 2017
    Monolith Productions has an absolute sensational game in Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, and while there will be some detractors, the story, and game as a whole, is a masterpiece of craftsmanship that would make J.R.R. Tolkien proud. It has quality development that takes everything fans know and love from the first game, and improves and expands on it making Shadow of War a game that could easily hold contention for "Game of the Year". It is a must have purchase for anyone that enjoys quality gameplay mechanics, beautiful visuals, stellar sound, and a story that holds its own in a lore that is highly protected by its fans all across the globe. In the world of The Lord of the Rings, Monolith Productions has become the one developer to rule them all.
  6. Oct 17, 2017
    Middle Earth: Shadow of War offers us the same product as Shadows of Mordor, but better. A conservative game in the playable aspect that only has a few improvements, but enough to not think that we are looking at an expansion of the previous title. With entertaining and well-implemented ideas, an improved Nemesis system and a graphic section that without the best, at least it's not hampered by the Old Gen versions.
  7. Oct 16, 2017
    Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the best Assassin's Creed-style game available. It's also a worthy successor to a game many called 2014's Game of the Year. The world is huge and full of tons of activities. The new fortress assault system creates awesome battles that feel truly epic. Then there's the return of the Nemesis system, which runs through every system the game has to offer. The system keeps combat fresh and it gives Shadow of War a much-needed splash of character and humor. Its faults are undoubtedly minor. One of the game's more prominent side activities, fight pits, are simply not very fun at all. Then there are the loot boxes, which aren't strictly necessary but will undoubtedly create a need to grind if you don't purchase them. Overall, Shadow of War is an excellent game that offers dozens of hours of enjoyable content. It's a game that's worthy of every minute you'll put into it.
  8. Oct 16, 2017
    Loot boxes and a sexy Shelob aside Shadow of War is an impressive game in a franchise that whilst takes liberties with lore of the land produces a fascinating world full of captivating experiences.
  9. 90
    Middle Earth: Shadow of War is bigger and better than its predecessor in almost every conceivable way. If you don't mind the repetition found in most open world games, there's a robust strategy layer here that combines with a great combat system to offer hours and hours of Orc slaying, army building fun.
  10. Oct 11, 2017
    Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a great sequel to one of the best videogames based on the Tolkien's Universe.
  11. Oct 10, 2017
    A game with as much combat as Shadow of War runs the risk of becoming repetitive and boring, but Shadow of War never manages to devolve into an endless slog of orc fights. There are plenty of other activities and side quests available to provide a good degree of variety to the game, but the Nemesis system and the duels with orc captains really make the game feel more like a war than an endless battle. And even the battles themselves never grow boring - the quality of the game's combat system, the variety of powers available, and the feeling of near-invincibility you gain when surviving a battle against a dozen orc enemies make the game as interesting in its twentieth hour as it was in its first.
  12. Oct 5, 2017
    Shadow of War offers dozens of hours of entertainment for gamers who enjoy action adventure titles with a strong splash of RPG elements. The moving parts may be a touch too complicated for the most casual gamers, but players who are patient enough to master all of the game’s systems will be rewarded with an exciting story, control of a powerful army, and an unstoppable protagonist.
  13. Oct 5, 2017
    It’s a fantastic game with a near flawless execution.The journey is enjoyable and the characters you help and hinder throughout the game make it an memorable experience. If you’re looking for a high quality, AAA single-player game, look no further than Shadow of War.
  14. Oct 5, 2017
    Similar to the way Batman: Arkham City built on the foundation of Arkham Asylum, Middle-earth: Shadow of War is bigger and more ambitious in scope than Shadow of Mordor, with great results. The way it expands the Nemesis system with far greater variety and fortress sieges makes even better use of the stand-out generated characters, and its battles with memorable uruk captains remain challenging all the way through the campaign and into the clever asynchronous multiplayer beyond.
  15. Oct 5, 2017
    Improves everything that made Shadow of Mordor an excellent game but makes new mistakes with pacing and with its narrative. Again, an excellent (and deeper) game.
  16. Nov 29, 2017
    Perhaps you might slap your forehead in dismay by the goofy plot or looseness to the source material but what's undeniable is, that Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a lot of fun.
  17. Oct 11, 2017
    A definite improvement over Shadow of Mordor. People who played the first game and wanted to see serious growth will be pleased. There are times when it can feel a bit repetitive. I feel like I would have enjoyed it more if I could have spread the experience out over weeks, picking away at segments and really building up to those major sieges. But the Nemesis system does feel stronger this time around, with orcs that can be rather delightful as you continually fight them or prepare them to serve your own purposes in your army.
  18. Oct 18, 2017
    Shadow of War improves on almost every aspect of the original game. There is so much to do and the systems in place are truly special. The story missions fall flat and the loot boxes are kind of gross, but otherwise this is one spectacular game. Those that enjoyed the original will find even more to love here. I just feel like this game is marred by controversy and a poor release window.
  19. Oct 6, 2017
    If you can live with some bugs, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is a solid follow-up to Shadow of Mordor. Everything that made the first game such a treat is still fully intact, and the addition of loot makes it even more difficult to decide whether to keep or kill orcs. The new fortress mechanic is very intriguing, especially when multiplayer is thrown into the mix, but it makes concessions so it doesn't heavily punish those who don't always maintain their bases. All of this is thrown together with a wide variety of activities and an overall journey that is rarely boring. Fans of grand adventures absolutely enjoy this title.
  20. 85
    A textbook example of how to make a great sequel, Middle-earth: Shadow of War takes the first game's template and expands upon it in a meaningful and interesting way. The result is a follow-up that's not only a lot bigger, but it's also a lot better. It talks the talk, and yes, it also Orcs the Orc.
  21. Oct 13, 2017
    In terms of content and mechanics this is better in almost every aspect than Shadow of Mordor, heavily relying on the vastly improved Nemesis system to carry the burden, while the story is decent enough to keep you motivated for most of the time. Unfortunately the fourth act falls short with its omission of story elements and the temptation of micro-transactions lurking - which, by the way, bothers me mostly because of the break in the immersion. Orks from loot chests? Really?
  22. Oct 26, 2017
    There’s plenty here to love, but you will need patience and you will need resolve, because the orcs and their player-defined society is a thing of, as I said earlier, unnatural beauty, it’s just a shame the rest of the game suffers in their expanded development wake.
  23. Oct 13, 2017
    Shadows of War is a sequel more than acceptable. It improves everything seen in the previous installment and gives us an interesting story based on the work of Tolkien, an immense world to conquer with our own army, hundreds of secondary missions and an agile and dynamic combat system. Pity for its policy of loot boxes, whose use begins to be worrisome in the industry, and some graphic details and AI that slightly tarnish the brightness of the game.
  24. Oct 12, 2017
    Its storylines run the gamut from deftly handled through to daft, and ludicrous liberties are taken with Tolkien’s characters and lore...All the same, none of this matters because Shadow of War doubles down on everything that was already brilliant in Shadow of Mordor for a good 30-40 hours of stupidly absorbing stealth, action and warfare.
  25. Oct 10, 2017
    Middle-earth: Shadow of War resoundingly beats to the sound of its own war drum to result in an experience that is iterative rather than revolutionary. Bold and resolute, its strength in character stirs when leading the charge into battle to create sweepingly epic moments that thrill in their dark and violent chaos. It’s a promising return to Tolkien’s world, even if the journey isn’t without its meandering fumbles.
  26. Oct 5, 2017
    Middle-earth: Shadow of War is an improvement over its predecessor in every way imaginable.
  27. Oct 5, 2017
    Middle-earth Shadow of War consistently shocked and surprised me around every corner, with every Orc betrayal, every revelatory fortress takeover, and menacing look from the Bright Lord. It gripped me in ways I certainly didn’t expect having played the first game, and I’m already missing my trip through Mordor.
  28. Oct 5, 2017
    It's a shame the story is so strangely paced, but you hardly need it. Fortress Assaults are great set pieces, and there's a lot of fun to be had with the upgraded Nemesis System alone.
  29. Oct 5, 2017
    Middle Earth Shadow of War is an impressive action game, with solid graphics and smooth gameplay. Nemesys System works very well, but it’s not capable randomizing the fortress and the world. Missions too are too similar, but Monolith has built a solid and fun experience.
  30. Oct 5, 2017
    Shadow of War is stellar in the moments the player focuses on the game’s grander scope, but some of the mechanics that tie the rest together should have received a bit more attention. It may start off a bit slow, but the end payoff is more than worth it.
  31. games(TM)
    Nov 3, 2017
    While it's huge and complex in many of its systems, it still feels as if it is caught in 2014. [Issue#194, p.68]
  32. Oct 20, 2017
    Shadow of War's combat is every bit as satisfying as the first, with tight, vicious swordplay, an extensive amount of moves to use and fun features, like beast riding and stealth. We've seen it all before in the first game, though. Despite having fun combat, some extra RPG mechanics, and an evolved Nemesis system which includes castle siege gameplay, Shadow of War gets repetitive fairly quickly.
  33. Oct 12, 2017
    Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel perfect for the fans of the original game and fans of repetitive gameplay. They'll love this game but they won't be surprised at all. The combat system is really cool, the story is okay (albeit too long) but all in all Monolith took a step back as if afraid to do something new.
  34. Oct 10, 2017
    Although it would’ve seemed madness a decade or so ago the complaint that a video game is just too long, or overstuffed with features, is becoming increasingly common. Some developers just don’t seem to know when to say no, and Shadow Of War is a prime example of a game that would’ve been a lot more entertaining as a shorter, leaner experience. Less features, rather than more, would’ve been better, and we’re not just talking about the loot boxes.
  35. Oct 5, 2017
    Things like the storefront and the menus and loot system don't make the game terrible, it just would've been better without them. It tries to be larger than its predecessor, there are more abilities, more weapons, more Orcs, yet it leaves you wanting less. But at its core, it's a fun experience with brilliant moments that provide fascinating insight into some of the untold stories of Middle-earth. I just wish it had known when to stop.
  36. Oct 5, 2017
    Shadow of War is Shadow of Mordor 2.0. If you liked the first, you’ll like the second – though hopefully you’ll be provided with a day one patch to smooth off rough edges. Though that’s highly unlikely.
  37. Nov 13, 2017
    Middle-earth: Shadow of War has high production values and is a fun open-world slashathon, but it's stretched thin. The storyline starts off promising, but all of the interesting characters get pushed aside to make room for nothing of consequence. Hours upon hours are lost to the abyss as players engage in a relentless cycle of gear upgrades and Orc recruits. Assaulting fortresses and conquering territory loses its appeal a bit too quickly. The game is pretty entertaining in short bursts, especially when Talion can make full use of his powerful abilities. Still, the lack of finesse when it comes to combat will make fighting feel a bit bothersome. The Ranger is at his best when he's eliminating the opposition with surgical precision, or making use of hazards in the environment. All in all, this title is worth a look; just don't expect to grow too attached to it.
  38. Oct 22, 2017
    This core action and the complex systems that underpin it are fun enough to play around with that it's a real shame that so many issues exist around the edges of this package, because those issues eventually started to diminish my enjoyment of the game's good parts.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 304 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 304
  1. Oct 10, 2017
    I miss the days of cheat codes being a string of random buttons. Now you have to pay for cheat codes. Microtransactions do not belong in thisI miss the days of cheat codes being a string of random buttons. Now you have to pay for cheat codes. Microtransactions do not belong in this game... i love how the critic reviews dont care though.. wouldnt want to upset the gaming industry and give an honest review. Full Review »
  2. Oct 10, 2017
    I don’t write reviews. A lot of people do that for living and passion. I am more of a introvert.
    I always took
    I don’t write reviews. A lot of people do that for living and passion. I am more of a introvert.
    I always took refugee in games. I found acceptance and friends there. It allowed me to feel able and free, unlike in real world. Once you are in the game you are not ugly, stupid or poor, or pretty, smart and rich. We are all adventurers. We are all EQUAL. We are all what we want to be, commit our time and effort to excel in what we believe in. We had to earn everything with our bare mouse and keyboard and gamepad.
    Microtransactions is killing the heart and soul of gaming.
    Wanna be more powerful? Pay up!
    Wanna look cool? Pay up!
    Don’t worry we made your beloved game a piece of grindy mobile dumpster.
    And Publishers say it is for your own freedom of choice.
    A testament to greed and falsehood.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 10, 2017
    DO NOT BUY. Nothing but a long boring grind unless you pay real money for loot boxes to get ahead. pass. Loot boxes have no place in a $60DO NOT BUY. Nothing but a long boring grind unless you pay real money for loot boxes to get ahead. pass. Loot boxes have no place in a $60 game. Loots boxes are nothing but greedy and predatory. They are gambling, and they take advantage of people that they know will get addicted to this. Full Review »