Shadow of Mordor is a fairly large open-world game that has a fair share of small hiccups and glitches to find across the plains of Mordor. While this is nothing new for video games, open-world projects often have more corners for developers and testers to miss, therefore leading to some interesting bug hiding spots. What makes these seem memorable is when the glitches happen in completely inappropriate, awkward or almost impossible scenarios, and many recently released titles still offer prime examples of glitching entertainment.
The header picture above was taken from the Playstation 4 version of Shadow of Mordor and came from nowhere. After slaying an Orc Captain, protagonist Talion grabbed the dropped rune and began sprinting towards his next objective when he carefully stepped up the side of a slanted cart. This, apparently, sent his internal gyroscope into frenzy, turned his entire world sideways and put his ankle at a painful angle. Running in circles from this position, coupled with some Three Stooges-style “whooping,” brought plenty of smiles. The only way to free Talion from this sideways landscape was to roll repeatedly, bringing his body back into gravity’s grip and ending his nightmare.
Speaking of nightmares, Shadow of Mordor is not the only recent title that has glitches bringing nightmares to players and game characters alike. Alien: Isolation is a survival-horror title based upon the original Alien movie, giving players a lengthy trek through a recreated space station with one Xenomorph constantly imposing its presence. Amanda Ripley, the player’s avatar basically, seems to be afraid of much more that the creature in a new video that has her approaching an innocent door and screaming in terror. The “scary door,” as it has been named, brings her to scream for a short burst when she approaches, but it does not seem to affect gameplay in any other way. For players already on edge, her sudden yelp is probably none to welcome.
Titles following the same open-world concept as Shadow of Mordor have experienced massive glitches, some game-breaking, through the gaming generations. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, although one of the best games of all time to a lot of gamers, is riddled with bugs that cause systems to crash, saves to erase or other hilarious maladies. Dragons will sometimes fold in on themselves repeatedly while stuck in mid-air, for instance, leaving the player with a sight to behold but little else. Even more linear games such as The Last of Us cannot escape with a present glitch that can turn the lights on and off within the “sky box,” or art work used to depict the static background in a game, leaving Ellie in the dark for a moment based on the camera’s position.
Shadow of Mordor comes from Warner Bros. Interactive, who has a reputation for being a little lax on their glitch and bug finding standards. Nintendo, who occupies the complete opposite side of the spectrum, rarely has a glitch make it to players, but even they are not immune. The original Super Mario Brothers, in fact, contained one of the first glitches ever recorded with the infamous negative world, where Mario and Luigi would be doomed to repeat the same water level until their lives ran out. That title, and many since, set up a legacy for hilarious glitches to find their way to quality games such as Shadow of Mordor on a 2014 home console.
Opinion by Myles Gann