This review contains spoilers from the core campaign of Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Proceed at your own risk.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War provided an excellent conclusion to Talion’s journey, with an emotional ending that gave the skilled Ranger a worthy farewell. Now Blade of Galadriel seeks to extend the story by providing context into some of the plotholes left behind while giving players the chance to try out Eltariel and her abilities. It’s a short expansion that will delight only the most dedicated Shadow of War fans.

A New Journey With A Familiar Face

Blade of Galadriel takes place after the events of the core campaign, with Eltariel lamenting on her failures after Sauron and Celebrimbor’s fight. Galdriel appears to her and denies Eltariel’s request to return home, instead, she must make amends for her failure and obtain Talion’s ring before it consumes him.

New Powers, Not Much Else

Blade of Galadriel contains much of the gameplay found in the core campaign. Players will explore various areas within Mordor to help Talion repel the invasion against Sauron’s forces. Eltariel isn’t Talion and while she does share some of the Ranger’s abilities such as Spirit Step and Talon Strike much of her talents are unique to her. For example, instead of throwing knives Eltariel can use her bow for quick shots that do significantly more damage.

A unique power Eltarinel wields is Galadriel’s light. The Cone of Light allows her to blind Uruks and expose them to critical attacks. This new power doesn’t make her invincible as Uruks can still become resistance to Galadriel’s light thanks to the Nemesis System.

Unlike Talion Eltarinel doesn’t want to dominate Uruks, instead, she gains their loyalty. Eltarinel has only one chance to gain the trust of Uruks, and if successful they will join her cause. This limited engagement, while fitting to Eltarinel’s character, feels like a handicap. After being exposed to the full Nemesis System when playing as Talion Blade of Galadriel’s version is much more narrow.

A lot of Potential, Not Much New

Blade of Galadriel attempts to refine the Shadow of War structure by providing unique abilities and boss fights tailored to those talents but this does little to give the campaign its own persona. Much of the content is recycled from Shadow of War with little variation. The things that Blade of Galadriel does provide are handicapped versions of established mechanics from the core game.

Blade of Galadriel attempts to give some solid answers to specific plotholes within Shadow of War’s campaign, and it does. However, the limited access to the Nemesis System, short campaign, and lack of unique situations provides little reason to dedicate time to this expansion unless you’re hungry for more Shadow of War content.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Blade of Galadriel DLC Impressions
The Pros
  • Exciting Boss Battles
  • Unique Abilities
The Cons
  • Limited Nemesis System
  • No New Areas
  • Similar Gameplay
5.5Overall Score
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