In the wake of the controversies, including some legal ones that I mentioned over the last 5 months involving loot boxes and microtransactions, sparked off by EA and Star Wars Battlefront Two, publisher WB Interactive had made an announcement that their polarizing open world Lord of the Rings Adjacent title “Shadow of War” will do away with microtransactions in the very near future. While this isn’t exactly a game that blew people away, WB Interactive is by no means a small company, and seeing someone step up and say that microtransactions are not “in the spirit” of their game is a step in the right direction. As someone who’s been gaming since literally two years old (Eff you castlevania on NES, ruining my childhood ass mother fu…) I truly appreciate seeing large studios taking a stance on this. I don’t think it’s outside of the realm of possibility that there are all sorts of outside pressures that lead to this decision, but it happened, and I’m on board.
If you want to play a stealth/action game in an open world, in the Lord of the Rings Universe, in my opinion this game is pretty damn great. As an Xbox One X owner, I can say that the visuals are gorgeous, the gameplay is tighter than the Shadow of Mordor (it’s predecessor) and there’s a few new features floating around that help keep the game feeling a little fresh. That downside is, similarly to games like Farcry, it can get a bit repetitive, taking camps, taking down captains, etc. All that said, this is a step in the right direction for publishers in my opinion.