Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations

A video on The Escapist has a rant from Jim Sterling about the conditions WBIE's PR firm forced on "YouTubers" who requested advance review copies of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The terms he outlines show an undue effort at controlling the message for the new release. The clip is about seven minutes of creative compound swearing and froth worthy of anyone's time, but in the interest of expedience, we can turn to a summary on MCV:
Stipulations for access to pre-release PC code for the game allegedly stated that YouTubers must:

  • Maximise awareness for the game during the ‘week of vengeance’
  • Persuade viewers to purchase game
  • Not show bugs or glitches that may exist
  • Discuss the story
  • Include discussion of the Nemesis system – “this really should take up the bulk of the focus, such as how different the orcs are, how vivid their personalises are” etc.

Also stipulated was that standard FCC disclosure should be contained within the body of the description after the links and call to action (placing it after ‘show more’ button)

“Videos will have a strong verbal call to action, a clickable link in the description box for the viewer to go to the game’s website to learn about the game to learn how to register and play the game,” the agreement added. “Twitch stream videos will have five calls to action. Videos will be of sufficient length to feature gameplay and build excitement.

“Videos will promote positive sentiment about the game”

Reviewers were also told that they must “not mention LOTR or Hobbit movies, characters or books” and, most worryingly of all, that “the company has final approval on the YouTube video at least 48 hours before any video goes live”.

Sterling also says that Warner allowed sponsored Mordor videos to go up but content ID’d videos from those not signed up to the agreement.

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63.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 9, 2014, 09:26
Verno
 
63.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 9, 2014, 09:26
Oct 9, 2014, 09:26
 Verno
 
Great time for it man, Steam Big Picture Mode owns and if you can't have the hardware in the living room then at least a small video decoding device will be fine for in-home streaming which works pretty well.
Playing: Xenoblade Chronicles DE, Ys IX, God of War
Watching: Lupin, You me and the Apocalypse, Days of Thunder
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62.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 9, 2014, 08:39
62.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 9, 2014, 08:39
Oct 9, 2014, 08:39
 
Numinar wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 04:45:
cyxxon wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 04:35:
Ouch. Preordered for the PS3 here in Europe, because I thought it looked like a good couch game instead of PC game, and sorely tempted to cancel that preorder now... hm...

Kill it, apparently the best part of the game (Dynamic Enemy generation system) is mega gimped on the old consoles.

Then get a nice long HDMI cable and a wireless dongle for X360 and get it on your PC, everyone I know who bought it loves it.

Hm, I hadn't heard about that part. So yeah, thanks - I should really cancel it then. And I actually have a Xbox 360 controller + dongle since I used to own an Xbox and just recently sold it and kept a controller Maybe I'll also finally build some sort of Steam client for the living room...
61.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 15:54
61.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 15:54
Oct 8, 2014, 15:54
 
Alamar wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 11:01:
Jamil20 wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:39:
Reviewers were also told that they must “not mention LOTR or Hobbit movies, characters or books”

What's up with that? Why is this game distancing itself from the source material?

As seen in these threads, people can't wrap their mind around Mordor being green, and other 'disconnection's from the movies. Shadow of Mordor takes place before the LOTR movies, but I couldn't say how much before. If you assume these people know more than the average fan, the average fan would get even more confused.

Mordor is a big place. We see northern Mordor in the movies, around the Black Gate and Barad-Dur. Nurn is Southern Mordor, and Tolkien described it as Mordor's bread basket, where the enslaved men worked to feed Sauron's armies. Jackson never showed it because it really had nothing to do with the story.

I'd also like to mention that AC bores the crap out me, and yet Mordor has me sucked in. GTAV wasn't my cup of tea, but Watchdogs was. It's all about context and personal taste.

This comment was edited on Oct 8, 2014, 15:59.
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60.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 15:23
60.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 15:23
Oct 8, 2014, 15:23
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 15:20:
harlock wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 14:48:
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:58:
I'm stunned that the nemesis system so blinds people to the shallowness this game is; how little it really has to offer.

sounds like what you're really stunned about is how someone else could ever have an opinion that differs from your own... which is usually caused by the "world revolving around you" issue, so that should explain everything for ya

Meh, you guys are kinda right. Somehow it's indeed hard to understand opinions so vastly different than your own. I'mmmmm letting it go.

Game still kinda sucks.

Classy post.
No sarcasm. It's always nice when someone says "well, I think my opinion is right, but of course you also have your opinion and I'll respect it."

These are games. Nothing more.
59.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 15:20
59.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 15:20
Oct 8, 2014, 15:20
 
harlock wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 14:48:
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:58:
I'm stunned that the nemesis system so blinds people to the shallowness this game is; how little it really has to offer.

sounds like what you're really stunned about is how someone else could ever have an opinion that differs from your own... which is usually caused by the "world revolving around you" issue, so that should explain everything for ya

Meh, you guys are kinda right. Somehow it's indeed hard to understand opinions so vastly different than your own. I'mmmmm letting it go.

Game still kinda sucks.
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58.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 14:48
58.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 14:48
Oct 8, 2014, 14:48
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:58:
I'm stunned that the nemesis system so blinds people to the shallowness this game is; how little it really has to offer.

sounds like what you're really stunned about is how someone else could ever have an opinion that differs from your own... which is usually caused by the "world revolving around you" issue, so that should explain everything for ya
57.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 14:30
NKD
57.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 14:30
Oct 8, 2014, 14:30
NKD
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 13:34:
NegaDeath wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 12:55:
I think the wonderful violence of the game keeps the combat fun for me. I don't need a "shiny" after I win, the reward is all the creative and bloody ways you bring them to an end. I'll never get tired of the one move where you make the enemy fall onto your sword. Or exploding grog and watching them run away while on fire.

Some people need a deep inventory system, others just like to watch the world burn.

Hmm the comparisson to Diablo simplified the argument I see. Killing shit over and over again is awesome in its own right, that's not the problem. The problem is that the game hasn't anything worth mentioning besides the killing. No real... I wanna say context. "The nemesis system!" Ok maybe, though for some there's nothing "nemesis" to it. If you don't get killed by Uruks, the feature is shallow as a puddle.

I don't even see what your argument is. You seem to be saying that despite the fact that many of us have had 20+ hours of fun with the game, that somehow the game sucks and we didn't actually have fun, we were just tricked or something.
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56.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 13:34
56.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 13:34
Oct 8, 2014, 13:34
 
NegaDeath wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 12:55:
I think the wonderful violence of the game keeps the combat fun for me. I don't need a "shiny" after I win, the reward is all the creative and bloody ways you bring them to an end. I'll never get tired of the one move where you make the enemy fall onto your sword. Or exploding grog and watching them run away while on fire.

Some people need a deep inventory system, others just like to watch the world burn.

Hmm the comparisson to Diablo simplified the argument I see. Killing shit over and over again is awesome in its own right, that's not the problem. The problem is that the game hasn't anything worth mentioning besides the killing. No real... I wanna say context. "The nemesis system!" Ok maybe, though for some there's nothing "nemesis" to it. If you don't get killed by Uruks, the feature is shallow as a puddle.
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55.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 13:11
55.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 13:11
Oct 8, 2014, 13:11
 
HorrorScope wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 12:56:
NKD wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 12:06:

Yeah I don't really think every game needs to be some ultra complex and deep thing. Sometimes slaughtering the shit out of orcs for 25 hours can be fun. .

Not that I have a problem with your point, other than are there really a lot of overly complicated games? I find most are slaughtering the shit out of things.

Have you tried CK2?

Also, my favorite Orc slaughtering is far and away Orcs Must Die 2. I wonder if this could possibly hold my attention as long as that game did. Must... get... 5... skull... rating!
54.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 12:56
54.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 12:56
Oct 8, 2014, 12:56
 
NKD wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 12:06:

Yeah I don't really think every game needs to be some ultra complex and deep thing. Sometimes slaughtering the shit out of orcs for 25 hours can be fun. .

Not that I have a problem with your point, other than are there really a lot of overly complicated games? I find most are slaughtering the shit out of things.
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53.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 12:55
53.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 12:55
Oct 8, 2014, 12:55
 
I think the wonderful violence of the game keeps the combat fun for me. I don't need a "shiny" after I win, the reward is all the creative and bloody ways you bring them to an end. I'll never get tired of the one move where you make the enemy fall onto your sword. Or exploding grog and watching them run away while on fire.

Some people need a deep inventory system, others just like to watch the world burn.
Avatar 57352
52.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 12:11
52.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 12:11
Oct 8, 2014, 12:11
 
NKD wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 12:06:
Prez wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:31:
So I guess I like wasting my time, but I am a proponent of the saying "Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time". So I really want Shadows of Mordor in spite of what you say. I know I'll love it.

Yeah I don't really think every game needs to be some ultra complex and deep thing. Sometimes slaughtering the shit out of orcs for 25 hours can be fun. It was fun as hell for me. I wish more games had combat like Shadow of Mordor. In some games, the combat actually gets tedious and you just want to skip as much of it as possible. But in Mordor I would be on my way to a mission and I'd feel compelled to just rip this camp of orcs apart for no particular reason.

Sometimes a simple, tightly focused game can be more fun.

Yeah, like others said, Batman was fantastic but some of the non-direct game stuff got tedious. I suppose it kept the combat from being tedious, but I think I'd like this game a lot. Only, I don't think I'd like it as much on PC as a console and don't want a next-gen console yet, so by the time I get a chance to play it'll probably be a better fleshed out sequel.

As for these qualifications, I understand why a PR firm may feel a YouTube personality needs to be handled more (less accountability, more hits based on how much venom they spew), but this is clearly an impossibly dumb way to handle it. Regardless, I am too old to not buy a game I'd enjoy because the publisher's PR firm is impossibly wrong, just like I won't avoid a good article on a website just because they once said something I don't like or won't watch a movie on TV because I dislike an actor's politics. Good entertainment I'm in the mood for is something I'm ready to jump on regardless.
51.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 12:06
NKD
51.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 12:06
Oct 8, 2014, 12:06
NKD
 
Prez wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:31:
So I guess I like wasting my time, but I am a proponent of the saying "Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time". So I really want Shadows of Mordor in spite of what you say. I know I'll love it.

Yeah I don't really think every game needs to be some ultra complex and deep thing. Sometimes slaughtering the shit out of orcs for 25 hours can be fun. It was fun as hell for me. I wish more games had combat like Shadow of Mordor. In some games, the combat actually gets tedious and you just want to skip as much of it as possible. But in Mordor I would be on my way to a mission and I'd feel compelled to just rip this camp of orcs apart for no particular reason.

Sometimes a simple, tightly focused game can be more fun.
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50.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 11:53
50.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 11:53
Oct 8, 2014, 11:53
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:58:
UHD wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:37:
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 08:50:
There's really not a lot of fluff in between. It's basically just... killing Uruks and collecting meaningless shite.

I truly think a lot of enthousiasts today will look at this game in retrospect later and think "Blegh, it actually sucked.". I have enough respect for the PC gamer to believe this.

You're basically describing Diablo, though, so maybe not? Killing X things for Y shinies is addicting to some people.

Big difference is, beyond the obvious, that Diablo rewards the player for all the killing. This is what makes it addicting. SoM doesn't reward you beyond XP and some abilities that make the easy game even more easy. There's no gear drops, no "shinies" to speak of. "There's runes!"
Haha! Yeah.

Also, Diablo has dozens of different enemies. SoM has... well, Uruks, Ghuls, Caragors, Trolls. That's it. I'm stunned that the nemesis system so blinds people to the shallowness this game is; how little it really has to offer.

The perspective makes a big difference to. I like the standard ARPG top down/side, but I really like it when you take that and make it frist/3d pov a lot better. Borderlands for example. So SoM has that going on as well as part of the hook above Diablo for many players.
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49.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 11:51
49.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 11:51
Oct 8, 2014, 11:51
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:58:
I'm stunned that the nemesis system so blinds people to the shallowness this game is; how little it really has to offer.

As far as enemy variety, I'd take interesting NPCs over palate-swapped monster variety 3c any day.

The nemesis system isn't quite there yet, but it's pretty interesting.
48.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 11:49
48.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 11:49
Oct 8, 2014, 11:49
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 08:50:
Xero wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 07:59:
After watching a good 20 minutes or so from an hour long gameplay w/commentary video that IGN had posted, I was able to see this myself rather quickly. It looked highly repetitive of go here, kill him, choose a new target, go kill him, etc. I know there is a lot of fluff in between but that's the idea.

There's really not a lot of fluff in between. It's basically just... killing Uruks and collecting meaningless shite.

I truly think a lot of enthousiasts today will look at this game in retrospect later and think "Blegh, it actually sucked.". I have enough respect for the PC gamer to believe this.

It's not just killing Uruks though that's crappy. I mean, that's what God of War was and that's fine.

My problem is that so far (and I'm only 3 hours into the game so this may change) half my really nifty abilities are only good against single Uruks. Even all the nifty open-combat shit that I can do to stunned enemies and stuff I almost never do unless there's only one or two enemies left because the mob all charges and I have to interrupt what I"m doing to counter. So it's basically your basic attacks, alternating with your counters, and every 8 hits or so your sword turns blue and you get to perform an execution.

Which would be fine but I've gotten to the point already where most of the executions are repeating now. And that's not fine.
47.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 11:41
47.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 11:41
Oct 8, 2014, 11:41
 
By this logic all games suck where you only have a few things to fight. Battlefield sucks because you can only fight soldiers, tanks, planes and helicopters. Assassians creed sucks because you can only fight guards.

While I love games with awesome loot drops its more like iceing on the cake for a game thats all ready good.

P.S I do agree that the game is to easy even at the start.
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46.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 11:15
UHD
46.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 11:15
Oct 8, 2014, 11:15
UHD
 
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:58:
Big difference is, beyond the obvious, that Diablo rewards the player for all the killing. This is what makes it addicting. SoM doesn't reward you beyond XP and some abilities that make the easy game even more easy. There's no gear drops, no "shinies" to speak of. "There's runes!"
Haha! Yeah.

Also, Diablo has dozens of different enemies. SoM has... well, Uruks, Ghuls, Caragors, Trolls. That's it. I'm stunned that the nemesis system so blinds people to the shallowness this game is; how little it really has to offer.

Diablo has a ton of enemies but you handle them all in pretty much the same way: click until loot falls out. I'll grant you that the constant rewards help though; it's like they're all made of candy and you're a sugar fiend.

Admittedly I haven't played Mordor because LotR doesn't interest me in the slightest, but if the combat is satisfying enough I can see people playing it for its own sake.
45.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 11:01
45.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 11:01
Oct 8, 2014, 11:01
 
Jamil20 wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:39:
Reviewers were also told that they must “not mention LOTR or Hobbit movies, characters or books”

What's up with that? Why is this game distancing itself from the source material?

As seen in these threads, people can't wrap their mind around Mordor being green, and other 'disconnection's from the movies. Shadow of Mordor takes place before the LOTR movies, but I couldn't say how much before. If you assume these people know more than the average fan, the average fan would get even more confused.
Avatar 22996
44.
 
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations
Oct 8, 2014, 10:58
44.
Re: Shadow of Mordor Review Pressure Allegations Oct 8, 2014, 10:58
Oct 8, 2014, 10:58
 
UHD wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 10:37:
Quinn wrote on Oct 8, 2014, 08:50:
There's really not a lot of fluff in between. It's basically just... killing Uruks and collecting meaningless shite.

I truly think a lot of enthousiasts today will look at this game in retrospect later and think "Blegh, it actually sucked.". I have enough respect for the PC gamer to believe this.

You're basically describing Diablo, though, so maybe not? Killing X things for Y shinies is addicting to some people.

Big difference is, beyond the obvious, that Diablo rewards the player for all the killing. This is what makes it addicting. SoM doesn't reward you beyond XP and some abilities that make the easy game even more easy. There's no gear drops, no "shinies" to speak of. "There's runes!"
Haha! Yeah.

Also, Diablo has dozens of different enemies. SoM has... well, Uruks, Ghuls, Caragors, Trolls. That's it. I'm stunned that the nemesis system so blinds people to the shallowness this game is; how little it really has to offer.
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