There’s an Assassin’s Creed Easter Egg in Middle-earth: Shadow of War

October 5, 2017Written by Chandler Wood

Based on its movement system being quite similar to Ubisoft’s famed title, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was often compared to Assassin’s Creed. It seems Monolith had a little bit of fun with this comparison for the sequel, throwing in a small reference to Assassin’s Creed with this Shadow of War Easter egg.

You can see (or rather, hear) the Easter egg in the video above. While wandering through an orc outpost, I overheard one of them say, “I’m an assassin!” to which another replied, “We all are! It’s like a creed!” There’s a staggering amount of dialog around Mordor, and I’d be curious what other Easter eggs are hiding within idle voice lines like this one.

Our Middle-earth: Shadow of War review published today, calling it the best Lord of the Rings game to date. If you’re worried about the microtransactions, we never felt that they were unfairly pushed on players. The game was balanced to never feel overly grindy when earning gear or leveling up.

The ability to purchase these loot boxes may be controversial, but the system never felt balanced in a way that encouraged me to. I always had a good supply of gear otherwise. With so much else resonating player freedom in Shadow of War, it makes sense that players willing to spend money are free to do so in order to save some time that would otherwise be spent grinding out the same rewards. I personally felt like earning an orc or piece of gear in battle was much more rewarding than paying for the same content, but I also can’t call the microtransactions in Shadow of War a negative that in any way impacted the experience that I had.

An expanded Nemesis System creates fascinatingly interesting player stories, and the amount of freedom afforded to the player is staggering for a game of this scope. Microtransactions never get in the way of the game itself, so any objection to them is based purely on personal principles. Lore purists may find fault with Middle-earth: Shadow of War, but those willing to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the game Monolith built around Tolkien’s world will find the best Lord of the Rings game to date. With the immortal words of Samwise Gamgee at my lips, I smile and walk into Mordor, returning to the Gondorian boots of the Gravewalker: “Well, I’m back.”

Will you be picking up Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor when it releases next week to take on a creed of assassin orcs?