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Buying a new console is a costly investment, especially when you factor in the cost of your first games. However, Amazon is making a new PS4 a bit more affordable by throwing in two free games.
The first game in the Amazon bundle is a boxed copy of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. This open-world action game is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The player is a ranger named Talion who has been brought back from the dead to get revenge on Sauron's forces. His stealth and combat skills are supplemented by a number of magical abilities. For example, he can turn members of the orc army into his secret servants and call on them to help in battle.
What really made Shadow of Mordor stand out was its Nemesis system. The officers in Sauron's army each have distinct sets of strengths and weaknesses. They'll also remember their previous encounters with the player. If they manage to defeat Talion in battle, they'll grow stronger and potentially get promoted in Sauron's army. As Ryan said this fall, it's a feature that more games ought to emulate.
I'm not sure if I would consider Mordor my favorite game of 2014 but it's certainly up there. Talion's a bit of a blank slate and the final act of the game feels way too short but everything else works really well. The combat rides the line between challenging and accessible and steadily improves as the player gains new abilities. I really enjoyed the process of turning orcs and using them to set up assassinations on other leaders, too. It didn't surprise me at all when Mordor won a bunch of D.I.C.E. awards last week. I'm glad a bunch of players will be able to try it out for the first time with this Amazon bundle.
The other free game offered with the PS4 is a digital copy of The Last of Us: Remastered. This remake of the PS3 survival horror game includes all of the post-launch DLC along with technical improvements, a Photo mode and audio commentary. Last of Us: Remastered has been a freebie for PS4 at several retailers for the past month. I'm curious to see whether other retailers will start offering a second free game as well to keep pace with Amazon.
It's unclear how long this deal will be in effect. There's likely a limited supply so if you want to get the console and two games, you should probably be quick about it.
The Shadow of Mordor freebie is accompanied by a discount on the game itself. The PS4 version has been marked down to $40 at Amazon and its Xbox One counterpart is now $35. The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are both $30. Again, it's unknown how long these sales will last.