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Shadow of War: Blade of Galadriel DLC Review - Does it Work Without The Nemesis System?

From IGN - February 12, 2018
By Dan Stapleton

If youre looking to put a new spin on a winning formula, you probably dont want to leave out your secret ingredient. Monolith does deserve credit for trying to make the Blade of Galadriel DLC feel like something other than just more of the same Shadow of War gameplay, but wielding Galadriels Light cant hold a candle to the domination and Nemesis systems it sidelines.

Blade of Galadriel picks up after the third act, with Eltariel recovering Celebrimbors ring on the tower at Barad-dur and heading off to fight the remaining Nazgul on behalf of Galadriel. Shes still as bland a character as youd expect a female elf version of Talion to be, so dont expect any big twists, turns, or character moments from her. What few interesting moments there are come from brief appearances by Talion, though they serve only to repeat things we have already seen in slightly greater detail and, of course, to retread more lines from characters from the movies and books.

Though Eltariel mirrors most of Talion's abilities from the outset, she has only a handful of upgradable powers to work with, so progression is limited. Her main distinguishing feature is that, instead of dominating uruks(which she refuses to do on principle), she can blast enemies with what is effectively a damage-hose: the Light of Galadriel. Build up enough of it on a single target and they will be stunned, and hitting them with another blast evaporates them into glowing mist. That does let you pull off some flashy mass-killingsI like to jump into the midst of a group, set off a Light bomb attack, and then hurl Light blasts at all of them to eliminate the entire group in secondsbut its fairly simple and repetitive once you have done it a few times. Swapping the Light cone to a Light radius or adding target-chaining to Light projectiles does not change it up very much.

The Light really is no substitute for the Nemesis system, which is all but absent in The Blade of Galadriel. There's no dominating, no managing your army, no sending them on missions, no custom sieges or defenses. Most of what makes Shadow of War special is missing here, and it makes it feel like a much more conventional action game.

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