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An Epic Xbox 360 Game - Shadow of Mordor

Updated on March 13, 2016

Middle Earth - Shadow of Mordor

A fighting game for xbox360

Shadow of Mordor

The Mechanics of the Game

Middle Earth - Shadow of Mordor is an open world action/fighter/adventure game based on the novel by Tolkien - The Hobbit (which inspired the box office hit movie Lord of the Rings). The game utilizes the Nemesis System which allows the characters in the game to remember details about previous battles including your actions during a battle.

For example's sake, if I battle a captain and I use the Vault Stun ability (some captains are invulnerable to certain abilities), that particular captain knows he is invulnerable and will say something to the effect "I already know your tricks ranger!" However, the next time, if you try using that same ability again, he will respond with something like "You already tried that!" or "Nice try!"... something along those lines.

The fact of the matter is, I am currently on my third "tour of duty", so to speak, playing this game. I can't seem to put down the controller. So you could say that I know my way around the game pretty well. The overall objective of Shadow of Mordor is to defeat The Black Captains and Sauron's Army.

Elements of the Game

  • Missions
  • Hunting Challenges
  • Survival Challenges
  • Abilities
  • Attributes
  • Mirian
  • Power
  • XP
  • Runes
  • The Black Captains
  • Uruks
  • Uruk Captains
  • Warchiefs
  • Ghuls
  • Caragor
  • Graug
  • Morgol flies


Basically there are 3 types of missions in Shadow of Mordor. They are:

  1. Main missions
  2. Weapon missions
  3. Power missions

Main Missions

The main missions make up the story line and map your progress throughout the game. They comprise of such characters like the Black Captains, Hirgon, Ratbag, Torvin and Queen Marwen.


Ratbag - soon to be warchief
Ratbag - soon to be warchief

Queen Marwen

Queen Marwen
Queen Marwen


Ah, then there's the Great White Graug slayer - Torwin
Ah, then there's the Great White Graug slayer - Torwin

And did I forget to mention the character Gollum, a.k.a. Smeagol? Remember him in Lord of the Rings?


Gollum a.k.a. Smeagol
Gollum a.k.a. Smeagol

Weapon Missions

Dispersed throughout Mordor will be these various missions (Weapon Legends), most of which are involved with freeing the slaves.

Some the most memorable of these missions would be the likes of Into the pit, They shall not pass, and Arise - to name a few of the most challenging.

Into the Pit (Sword Legend)

Power Missions

I look at power missions as the experience you need to take on the Captains, Warchiefs and, ultimately, Black Captains. You gain power points by defeating the Captains and Warchiefs or by doing the Power Struggle Missions: where Uruks compete for dominance. Power points are also needed to unlock each tier level for your abilities.

Hunting Challenges

Your hunting challenges are side missions where you can earn a little extra Mirian. They include such challenges like kill 3 Caragors or kill 5 flying creatures.

Hunting Challenges

Survival Challenges

Survival Challenges consist of running around all of Mordor searching for certain Herbs. Your herbs are types of plants that have healing abilities. When Talion's health reaches a critical level, taking one of these herbs completely restores his health. Later, I will show you a way how to not become dependent on these herbs when your health gets low.


Next up are my favorites: Talion's abilities. Abilities are divided up two ways. Ranger Abilities, Wraith Abilities. After that, they are divided up into tier levels. There are a total of 5 tiers. You earn ability points to unlock each ability. My favorite abilities are some of the following:

  • Execution
  • Detonate
  • Vault Stun
  • Shadow Strike Chain
  • Wraith Stun
  • Wraith Blast

Best Abilities


Attributes are similar to abilities except you earn Mirian to unlock them. Your attributes include some of the most important items such as Health, Elf Shot and Focus. Elf Shot are your arrows and Focus allows you to slow down time in order to get an accurate shot.


Mirian is Mordor currency. Earn Mirian to purchase Attributes. Mirian can be earned by completing Hunting Challenges, Survival Challenges or Weapon Missions.


Earn Power and you unlock the various tier levels needed to unlock all Abilities and Attributes. Power can be earned by completing Main Missions and Power Struggle Missions or by defeating Uruk Captains and Warchiefs.


You need to earn XP in order to gain ability points. Complete the various Missions - Main Missions, Power Missions and Weapon Missions - to earn XP.


As I said already, Talion carries 3 types of weapons, Sword, bow and daggers. Think of a Rune as another type of ability. You earn Runes by defeating Captains and Warchiefs. The more powerful the Captain or Warchief, the more powerful the Rune. When that Captain or Warchief dies, he drops one of these Runes. And there are two types of Runes: Normal Runes, which are level based, i.e. level 1,2,3, ect, ect. Then there are Epic Runes. Only the highest ranking and most powerful Captains and Warchiefs drop the Epic Runes. Normal Runes are a silver color, but Epic Runes are gold in color. You know right away when a Captain drops an Epic.

The Black Captains

Eventually, as the story line progresses, you will have to confront the Black Captains. Although, I will say that, by the time you've earned enough experience, and have all the Abilities and Attributes and Power you should need, taking on the Black Captains will be easy. You should have at least half the map of Mordor conquered by the time you confront the first of the BIG boys. By the way, Mordor is divided up into two halves. The first half takes you through Udun and the second covers The Sea of Nurnen.


Uruks are stronger than the average Orcs (if you'll remember them from Lord of the Rings) and were bred for fighting. There are 4 kinds of Uruks: normal, defenders, hunters and berserkers. I will leave you with some tips on fighting each one down in my section titled Gaming Tips.

Uruk Captains

Uruk Captains are constantly getting promoted. If an Uruk kills you, he will immediately be promoted to Captain. Captains move up to become a Warchief's bodyguard and then Warchief. Captains are, obviously, harder to kill than Uruks. Each Captain has a set of strengths and weaknesses. How you battle each one will usually depend on his weaknesses.


Next to the Black Captains are the Warchiefs. But don't be mistaken. There are Captains with more strengths and fewer weaknesses than some Warchiefs. Myself, I've gotten to the point where I take on a Warchief, his body guards and a small Uruk army at the same time. But of course I've played the game already three times! At some point in the game, you earn the ability to issue a death threat against a Warchief - or Captain. What that does is, allows the Warchief or Captain to increase in strength and power, which increases the likelihood of him dropping an Epic Rune.

Warchief Battle


At some point during the game you will encounter Ghuls. But they can only be found at night.


Caragors appear in the game relatively early. You will earn the ability to ride a Caragor, which makes traversing Mordor easier and faster. Another thing I like about Caragors is, once you brand one, i.e. tame him, you can use him to take on Uruks. And Talion will not take any damage while he is mounted.


The Graugs are the biggest of Mordor's creatures. At one point during the game, you will get the chance to take on the Graug (The Great White Graug).

Morgal Flies

I thought I'd just throw in Morgal Flies for your own information even though they, in and of themselves, do not pose a threat to Talion. Instead, Morgal Flies can be used to create a distraction against Uruks, since they absolutely hate them, and some are even afraid of them. Anytime your out and about Mordor and you happen to be up high on one of many high structures and you see what looks like a bee's nest with a bunch of pests buzzing around it, that would be Morgal Flies. Take a shot with your bow and watch the Uruks run around like chickens with their heads cut off and screaming like little girls.

Gaming Tips

  • During your first time playing the game I highly advise you to upgrade your health whenever possible. There are Herbs around that you can use to replenish your health, but trust me, when you are in the heat of battle, you don't want to have to go running around searching for them, especially if you don't know the area very well. And then there are some Captains and Warchiefs who's strengths happens to be a fast generator when it comes to health.
  • Battle Captains early in the game and often to get power, experience and Runes. You are going to want Runes that deal with restoring your health like Favor of the lady (preferably level 20 or above) - which restores a percentage of your health when you perform a Drain or Brand. Myself, I am currently using the Blade Master Rune, which has a 97 percent chance of restoring 100 health when the hit streak reaches 30, it is a level 24 Rune.
  • Opt for the Throwing Daggers Ability and upgrade whenever possible. Besides being a great defense to stun enemies, it can be used to up your hit streak, especially when upgraded to Brace of Daggers.
  • Keep an eye on your health all the time. And if it gets low, don't be ashamed to run away. Trust me when I say, "it beats having to deal with a more powerful Uruk Captain because he killed you". But hey, if that's you and you like a challenge, all the more power to ya!
  • Get used to blocking attacks. In the Xbox 360 console, it is the Y button used to counter attacks. A trick I used to get myself used to it is: I put myself in the middle of a bunch of Uruks and then just focused on countering their attacks. Each time Talion counters an attack he deals them a blow in return - automatically.
  • Use the environment to your advantage. A lot of times, when you battle Uruks, there are structures and buildings around the area. Uruks don't climb and they are terrible shots when shooting up.
  • Use the element of surprise. Uruks never look up or behind them. You can actually circle an Uruk and by the time you get to his rear side you can get him from behind. Keep an eye on the Uruk's alert level. If it is red, he sees you, if it is yellow he senses something, but if nothing at all he is totally unaware of your presence.
  1. Uruks - use the melee attack (X button)
  2. Hunters - use Elf shot or Shadow Strike to take out the Hunters
  3. Defenders - use Vault Stun to climb up over and get behind the Defender, then use melee attack to hit him from behind.
  4. Berserkers - stun them first with the B button before attacking them.
  • Save up that Mirian for the Shadow of Acharn Atribute. I believe it costs 2500 Mirian, but it's well worth it. It enables you to go on a killing spree for 20 seconds where no Uruk can touch you. Let me tell you, it really evens the odds.
  • Get used to the Last Chance Finishers. If you die, and let's face it, you will a few times, you will have the option of a Last Chance Finisher. See the video below related to Last Chance Finishers-

Last Chance Finisher Tutorial

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