Stalemate is Victory


I finished Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and I have a few things to say.

  1. I hated the ending(s?)
  2. Two of the achievements made me very angry.
  3. I hesitate to return to the game for the DLC story expansion.

Lets start with the ending(s?). It ended with a stalemate of sorts, for me. At the end of the Eltariel campaign, there is a disagreement between you and Calebrimbor. Your ghostly host stabs you in the back, which for me was a true surprise moment, and joins forces with Eltariel. She takes the ring and together they go on to confront Sauron. Shelob saves you, luckily, from dying, and you become Undead. You raise an Undead army of your own, to confront the Witch-King in Minas Morgul.

Then, you switch, unexpectedly, and now you’re playing as Calebrimbor. You fight, defeat, and then betray Eltariel and merge with Sauron.

So there is like a stalemate, with Calebrimbor merged with Sauron in one tower, and the undead ranger at the other tower. All for the sake of balance. I understand that there’s more to the game with DLC, and the Siege Missions, but the two final boss fights just felt really sudden and un-original.

That also brings me to the two final achievements I got in the game. Both of which would have you think you would unlock through progression.

Forged By War – Unlock all Player Skills.

I had unlocked all the skills, and each skill also has 2-3 alts that you can unlock and assign or switch. I figured I’d have unlocked the achievement as soon as I unlocked the main sets of skills but it never did. Then I figured probably all the alts had to be unlocked as well, but that was a HUGE grind. But at the end of the game, this actually unlocked once I became Undead. With no real explanation.

The Stuff of Legend – Equip a full Legendary Gear set as Talion.

I unlocked this as soon as I got to play as Calebrimbor, in the final boss battle. The gear sets are locked behind collectibles and challenged, and boss frights. There’s 9 different gear sets, and 6 items per set. I had unlocked an assortment across all the sets, but as soon as I played as Calebrimbor, in the final boss fight, it unlocked automatically. So not only did I not have to work to unlock/find a full gear set throughout the game, but I didn’t even equip it as Talion. The game just did it for me as Calebrimbor.

I’ve decided to just leave the game as is. At least for now.

Will I come back to it some day to clean up some achievements and play the story expansions. Maybe.

Did I do that for the first one? No.

This week Forza Horizons 5 releases, so get ready to see lots of car photos. Ha. No Seriously. Also It Takes Two is available on the gamepass, and I’d like to play through that with the Wife.


I’ve made a bit more progress with my final Drawtober piece. Flats/base colours. Super slow going, as I’ve been struggling with the background.

I have one idea which has her in the foreground on the top of some cliffs, and the background, cliffs and ocean. Open, airy, scenic. This would require quite a bit of work and rendering, and I’m not really sure I have it in me.

Another idea is simpler, black background with a light source in the center, and just a textured, reflective floor. Like inside a temple or something

What I’m Reading

So I’ve been thinking more about what I wanted to do for a comic section, and one thing I will start showcasing is my weekly pull list. I read a combination of Image, DC, and Marvel. In that order. Primarily single issues, and a few trades, if that was how my collection started with that book. I used to collect exclusively trades for years, but my shelves became very full, so going back to single issues, and boxes. Plus its adds more variety to me week, and they’re easier to consume weekly.

This week’s pull list:

Batman Reptilian #5
Crossover #9
The Me You Love in the Dark #4
Radiant Black #9
Spawn #323
The Walking Dead Deluxe #26
Mirka Andolfo’s Sweet Paprika #4
Wonder Girl #4
(not pictured) Dark Knights of Steel #1
(not pictured) The Human Target #1

Going forward, this section will be dedicated to Wednesdays, as that’s comic book day, and will help break up the week.

And speaking of trades, I currently have 130!!! unread trade paperback/graphic novels on my shelf. Plus about 20 large format collections, like omnibuses/collected versions. So I’m going to challenge myself to start picking away at this huge backlog. Like a weekly challenge to read 7 in a week. Sunday – Saturday. And at the end of the week, maybe include it in my Wednesday post, my read list, and if I succeeded or not :p.

See you then.

Be Good.
G 305226

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