Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Posted:  December 22, 2022
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Cloud Saves
Disclaimer: This is an initial impression of the game. Our review and recommended settings will be updated when we've completed a full and thorough analysis of how it performs on Steam Deck. Check back soon for our full analysis!
SDHQ Settings
Review
Game Info

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
45 FPS
Limit
45
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
6
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
Disabled
Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Video:

Resolution: 80%

 

Advanced Options:

Lighting Quality: High

Mesh Quality: High

Motion Blur/Anti-Aliasing: Off

Shadow Quality: Medium

Texture Filtering: Medium

Texture Quality: Medium

Ambient Occlusion: Medium

Vegetation Range: Medium

Depth of Field: On

Order Independent Transparency: Off

Tessellation: On

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
10W - 12W
60c - 65c
3.5 - 4 hours

Review

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an action-adventure game set within the world of The Lord of the Rings. As Talion, a ranger who bonds with the wraith of an elf lord, you will set out to avenge the deaths of your loved ones. Utilizing a multitude of combat abilities, you will crush your enemies going through a unique Nemesis System, which allows NPC foes to remember actions against Talion and react accordingly. This could mean an enemy that you let run away will remember if you face them again and could change how they act. The combat system itself also takes a lot of inspiration from the combat in the Arkham series, which is fantastic.

Shadow of Mordor is a wonderful game and one I thoroughly enjoyed playing when it first came out. The combat and Nemesis System feels so addicting that I just keep going back to crush more Uruk andaweaken Sauron's army. I have fallen in love with the game and always come back to it wanting more, And luckily, this game is an absolute joy to play on the Steam Deck!

Starting up Shadow of Mordor auto-set all my settings to the lowest possible which makes 60 FPS with low battery very achievable. Going through it, I found some textures and meshes that looked a bit more on the lower quality side, so I decided to try pushing it up. Through this, I found that 45 FPS felt great, a mix of high and medium settings worked really well, and a TDP of 6 kept battery drain around the 12W mark at most. Put all of this together and you are getting a near-perfect experience in the palm of your hands.

There are some areas that still dip framerate periodically, but these don't last long at all. I did also notice some actions in-game, like executions, that could sometimes increase framerate to 47, while some areas dipped down to 43 when running fast through a stronghold, but it doesn't affect enjoyment of the gameplay.

Shadow of Mordor is a First Look due to me wanting to make multiple builds and needing to test other areas, but it has the makings of a Best on Deck game. It can technically be played right out of the box with no issues, but you will have low settings across the board, which can feel less enjoyable when getting up close and personal to enemies.

In the end, these are all small grievances I have to be as nit-picky as I can. Shadow of Mordor runs fantastic, but before I crown it a Best on Deck title, it needs a little more testing. But if you are looking for an incredible action-adventure game with some addicting gameplay mechanics, this is the one to get.

Screenshots:

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

If you enjoyed this first look, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back!

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an awesome action-adventure game with addicting combat, which you can enjoy to the fullest on your Steam Deck.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Noah Kupetsky
Steam Profile
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$19.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

Review

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an action-adventure game set within the world of The Lord of the Rings. As Talion, a ranger who bonds with the wraith of an elf lord, you will set out to avenge the deaths of your loved ones. Utilizing a multitude of combat abilities, you will crush your enemies going through a unique Nemesis System, which allows NPC foes to remember actions against Talion and react accordingly. This could mean an enemy that you let run away will remember if you face them again and could change how they act. The combat system itself also takes a lot of inspiration from the combat in the Arkham series, which is fantastic.

Shadow of Mordor is a wonderful game and one I thoroughly enjoyed playing when it first came out. The combat and Nemesis System feels so addicting that I just keep going back to crush more Uruk andaweaken Sauron's army. I have fallen in love with the game and always come back to it wanting more, And luckily, this game is an absolute joy to play on the Steam Deck!

Starting up Shadow of Mordor auto-set all my settings to the lowest possible which makes 60 FPS with low battery very achievable. Going through it, I found some textures and meshes that looked a bit more on the lower quality side, so I decided to try pushing it up. Through this, I found that 45 FPS felt great, a mix of high and medium settings worked really well, and a TDP of 6 kept battery drain around the 12W mark at most. Put all of this together and you are getting a near-perfect experience in the palm of your hands.

There are some areas that still dip framerate periodically, but these don't last long at all. I did also notice some actions in-game, like executions, that could sometimes increase framerate to 47, while some areas dipped down to 43 when running fast through a stronghold, but it doesn't affect enjoyment of the gameplay.

Shadow of Mordor is a First Look due to me wanting to make multiple builds and needing to test other areas, but it has the makings of a Best on Deck game. It can technically be played right out of the box with no issues, but you will have low settings across the board, which can feel less enjoyable when getting up close and personal to enemies.

In the end, these are all small grievances I have to be as nit-picky as I can. Shadow of Mordor runs fantastic, but before I crown it a Best on Deck title, it needs a little more testing. But if you are looking for an incredible action-adventure game with some addicting gameplay mechanics, this is the one to get.

Screenshots:

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

If you enjoyed this first look, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back!

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an awesome action-adventure game with addicting combat, which you can enjoy to the fullest on your Steam Deck.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Noah Kupetsky
Steam Profile

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
45 FPS
Limit
45
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
6
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
Disabled
Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Video:

Resolution: 80%

 

Advanced Options:

Lighting Quality: High

Mesh Quality: High

Motion Blur/Anti-Aliasing: Off

Shadow Quality: Medium

Texture Filtering: Medium

Texture Quality: Medium

Ambient Occlusion: Medium

Vegetation Range: Medium

Depth of Field: On

Order Independent Transparency: Off

Tessellation: On

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
10W - 12W
60c - 65c
3.5 - 4 hours
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$19.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

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