So, I watched the first two episodes of Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power. That experience prompted me to A. Rewatch Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings-Trilogy, B. Replay Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor and C. Replay its sequel, Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War. The latter one especially being a masterful tale that I have detailed in quite a few posts.
Just like the main story of Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor the DLC is a simple tale of revenge. While it is rather short, I found it sometimes as infuriating as its insufferably arrogant protagonist.
Beware of SPOILERS.
Admittedly, of all of Tolkien’s works I have only read The Hobbit. I have no idea of Middle-Earth lore beyond that and what the movie trilogy offers. Anyway. The Bright Lord sets in after Eregion, the realm Celebrimbor ruled over, has fallen to Sauron’s hordes. While the elf manages to escape, he is hell-bent on making his nemesis suffer. Fortunately, he has just the tool for the job, which is the One Ring. Yep, that’s right, To challenge Sauron, Celebrimbor needs to assemble an army of his own, and to do so he has to dominate five warchiefs.
First, he has to gain enough followers in one region to be able to conquer it, kill or dominate the resident captain(s) and have a tower built. Once a region is conquered, he can challenge the war chief. Once all the war chiefs are dominated, Sauron will make his appearance for the final boss fight.
Celebrimbor possesses most of the powers the Ranger does, but only half his health. Which was why poor Celebrimbor died quite often in the beginning, because I had just finished Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War with a massively overpowered Talion, who did not really need to rely on stealth any longer.
So, yes, stealth is very important. But: Since Celebrimbor possesses the One Ring, he can easily dominate grunts, even dominate a bunch of them at the same time. That – and the fact that he can summon five followers to his side during battle – is the key to surviving said battles.
To heal himself, the ringmaker can drain dominated orcs, which does have the drawback that he will have less of them to fight with him. Dominating orcs will also grant power to the One Ring. And once the meter is full, you can activate it and Celebrimbor will be able to use unlimited Combat Executions to cut his enemies down to size.
Like the ranger, Celebrimbor uses sword, dagger and bow in battle, but forget about the bow, since – at least on my PS4 – this elf does not initially aim straight ahead, but to the left, and turning to aim at your target takes forever.
The Boss Fight
The fight against Sauron is tough and long. Why? Because Sauron deals heavy damage to you and your followers and you can only take him on when the One Ring is charged. Also, over the course of the battle the five war chiefs will stop fighting once they are down to a certain amount of health and later inconveniently turn against the ringmaker. Which means you now have to kill them, or rather let your followers do the killing.
I pretty much just ran around dodging Sauron’s attacks, branding Orcs and calling my five loyal followers to my side just to survive.
Once the five war chiefs are dead and you have again whittled Sauron’s healthbar down to the last tiny bit, he counters with resurrecting them once more. Not nice. So, start over and kill them. Also, the high ground is your friend since from there you are able to aim properly and explode fires and grog barrels.
It is tedious and frustrating, especially since you know Celebrimbor’s fate already and he is such an unlikeable character.
I had actually forgotten about the boss fight, but then, it’s been a few years since I last played the DLC. And while both Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor and The Bright Lord pale in comparison to the sequel, I enjoyed the challenge. Also, I really hate Celebrimbor, so having him brought down in the end is kinda satisfying.
Until next time, keep on playing!