When comparing Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition vs Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the Slant community recommends Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition for most people. In the question“What are the best hack and slash PC games?” Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is ranked 10th while Middle-earth: Shadow of War is ranked 15th. The most important reason people chose Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition is:
You'll immediately notice how nice it feels to attack the enemies with each slash, strike and shot having an impact behind it. Enemies will flinch, get thrown back and get suspended mid-air from your attacks, making it feel like you're always the dominant force. It's especially amusing seeing an enemy flail about and slamming it into the ground with your demonic arm. Some of the stylistic elements add fun as well. The prime example is Nero's greatsword the Red Queen, which is equipped with a motorcycle-like gear shift. You can use the gear shift mid-combo to add a flame effect to your sword. This increases your damage and the range of your combos and also looks very nice. It's especially awesome to see your character ascend in a whirlwind of flames.
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Pro Fun combat
You'll immediately notice how nice it feels to attack the enemies with each slash, strike and shot having an impact behind it. Enemies will flinch, get thrown back and get suspended mid-air from your attacks, making it feel like you're always the dominant force. It's especially amusing seeing an enemy flail about and slamming it into the ground with your demonic arm.
Some of the stylistic elements add fun as well. The prime example is Nero's greatsword the Red Queen, which is equipped with a motorcycle-like gear shift. You can use the gear shift mid-combo to add a flame effect to your sword. This increases your damage and the range of your combos and also looks very nice. It's especially awesome to see your character ascend in a whirlwind of flames.
Pro Highest level of combat depth in any hack and slash game
An open-ended cancelling system (Jump Cancelling) stacked with individual character mechanics (Dante styles and style/weapon switching, Nero ACT and parries, Vergil being Vergil, Lady and Trish are the weakest in terms of combo-ability of the 5 but you can still style with them) and system physics create a combat masterpiece that rewards practice and creativity.
Pro Great soundtrack
Most of the battle music has the lyrical styling of progressive rock while mixing in dark electronica guitar riffs. It matches the rhythm and speed of the battles really well, spurring on your combos and devastating attacks.
The exploration sections and cutscenes have an entirely different style of music. It ranges from divine vocals accompanied with organ music to eerie pieces with harp and piano sounds creating a bone-chilling ambience.
Pro There's a bunch of stuff to do even after beating the game
You can replay the game on higher difficulties, try to find all the hidden missions or collect all the upgrades. You can even try to get the max style rank on all the missions. Doing any of these will award you extra collectibles or unlock new modes.
There's also the The Bloody Palace, which is an arena consisting of 101 levels. Each level contains enemies and bosses found within the main game. The first few levels are quite easy, but each level becomes increasingly more difficult. Only the most skilled players can reach the end, giving you another goal to strive for.
Pro Character connections make for a compelling experience
Shadow of War uses the Nemesis system to create a more immersive and alive-feeling world. Thanks to it, orc leaders have names, ranks, titles, tribes they belong to, and most importantly, connections to other orc leaders.
For example, an orc leader might be at war with another orc leader. This conflict won't end until one of them dies. There are also orcs that are considered blood brothers, having unwavering loyalty to each other. Because of this, don't be too surprised if you ever get betrayed by one of your followers that's trying to do right by his blood brother.
Additionally, the leaders you fight will also develop connections with you. Orcs that you've killed or spared, may come back with scars, recalling your previous encounter and vowing to exact vengeance. Orcs that you've escaped from will mock you for being a chicken, and so forth. The gradual creation of this web of connections is very enjoyable and sometimes even more compelling than the game's main story.
Pro Addictive gear collection fuels your thirst for orc blood
As you kill orc leaders, they'll drop random quality gear items, ranging from common rarity every-orc weapons/armor to legendary rarity artifacts with unique names. Each item serves to improve your character, providing various stat increases and damage bonuses. You can also upgrade gear with gems or via challenges that usually involve killing orcs, bolstering your strength even further. On top of that, there are set bonuses for legendary items, giving you special abilities such as your hits applying explosive poison on regular enemies. It's very exciting seeing what gear piece an orc leader will drop once you lob his head off, causing you to constantly seek out new victims.
Pro Satisfying combat
Shadow of War gives one of the better feeling combat systems in recent times, allowing you to be either stealthy or go for direct confrontations.
If you choose to be stealthy, you can skewer unsuspecting orcs from behind with your dagger, drop onto them from a building while impaling them with your sword, or just pierce them from afar with your bow.
If you choose a direct confrontation, it's a really quick-paced and brutal showdown against your enemies with your chosen melee weapon. You weave combos against enemies, dodging, parrying, and countering enemy attacks, which ends in a devastating finishing move, resulting in a mutilated or decapitated orc.
Whichever method you choose, the combat flows really well and you always feel like a force to be reckoned with.
Pro You can lead an orc army and expand your own dominion
As part of the Nemesis system, you can recruit orc leaders after you've bested them in combat. Each one has his own unique strengths and weaknesses, so making the best possible army for conquering enemy territories might take a while.
For example, an orc leader can be completely immune to ranged attacks, but can take increased damage from explosions. You should take such an orc leader on assaults against fortresses filled with archers but be wary of the slightest hints of any bombs.
Once you've finished building a sizeable force, you can assault a fortresses. If you succeed in the assault, you'll take over a territory, allowing you to install your own orc leader as the ruler. With enough effort you'll gradually take over Mordor and its surrounding lands.
Shadow of War makes you feel like a recruiter, general, and a ruler, which is very empowering and a lot of fun.
Con Occasional difficulty spikes
Upon reaching the first boss you'll encounter the first difficulty spike. The boss attacks a lot faster and stronger than the enemies leading up to it. Messing up means you'll die in a couple of seconds, which can be really frustrating. Especially because you have to switch gears so suddenly and adapt to a new playstyle, where the enemy stands on equal footing.
Con Recycled stage designs and lack of character-specific bosses
Capcom basically just slapped on the 3 new characters (Lady, Trish, and Vergil) and they suffer the same problems that Dante does, and that's lack of bosses designed specifically for their toolset. They run through the same bosses and levels instead of getting unique missions.
Con Can get repetitive
The overall gameplay formula doesn't change much over the course of the game. You fight orcs, take over strongholds, upgrade your character, and collect blips on the world map. After a while it can start feeling like a grind, especially during long play sessions. This is made worse in the final stretch of the game where you have to fight through 20 consecutive stronghold battles without any story segments or exposition.
Con Unskippable cutscenes disrupt the flow of the gameplay
Every time an orc leader enters the screen, there is an unskippable cutscene where he rambles a bit, focusing the camera on him and halting combat until the cutscene ends. This usually happens as you're fighting another enemy, potentially disrupting your rhythm, which can be really frustrating, especially if mess up your combo or take an unnecessary hit after the cutscene.