Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is a simple game. There are 2 open worlds for you to scour for artifacts, only 3 common enemy types, and a familiar combat mechanic for those who enjoy Assassin’s Creed or the Batman: Arkham series. These are my favorite types of games: where the mechanics don’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the story and gameplay. After 30 hours with SOM, I’ve compiled a few tips that helped me along the journey into Mordor.
Tip #1: there is no penalty for leaving a battle.
There is nothing more frustrating than a stealth attack gone wrong. If you find yourself surrounded by orcs, run away! The game does not punish you at all. In fact, you may notice the orcs running away from you from time to time.
Tip #2: max out your health and the rest will come easy.
Collect Mirian (currency) from challenge missions (white) and use it to upgrade your health. Surviving battles early is key in SOM. As you gain more skills and powers you’ll get better at combat. But having a lot of health early in the game will help mitigate death and allow you to hone your combat reflexes.
Tip #3: put your skill points into combat (Ranger track)
Between Ranger and Wraith abilities, I recommend a strong slant towards Ranger skills early in the game. These are the melee combat skills that serve 2 critical purposes: chaining combos and making you feel like a real bad ass. You’ll eventually gain enough skill points to max out both sides, so don’t sweat that.
Tip #4: don’t bother with rare runes.
Some may disagree with me here. If you just want to beat the game and not master it, then bypass the yellow runes. Sure, they offer better stat boosts; I’m all for that. Ultimately you’ll spend a ton of time for a reward that helps you if you don’t follow the other tips I’ve listed. Although, if you can find a rune that helps counter the effects of poison, you’ll be well off. Poison is a dish served often, and it hurts. Most of my deaths came from the negative effects of poison.
Tip #5: ride the caragors
The one thing about caragors is they are brutal regardless of whom they are attacking. The best way to use them is to mount them, turn them into allies, and repeat this process. It was not uncommon that I would attack a challenge mission that was not stealth related, with 2 or even 3 caragors on my side. Not only do they deal a lot of damage, they also defer orc attacks meant for you.
If you have other tips for our community, please share them in the comments section. These are just a few that came to my mind; I know there are more out there!