The spear thrust is aimed perfectly, it smashes through my guard and rams home into my stomach before being savagely ripped out. The Warchief bellows in victory as he throws his spear at me only for it to get knocked aside. I am a blur of motion, almost invisible to the naked eye as I smash through the mob of Uruks that had penned me in as their commander launched his attack. The last Uruk is claimed by my blade before the first casualty hits the ground. It is just me and the Warchief now, and I hold the power of The One Ring.

I am not Talion, heroic warrior, devoted father, Ranger and walking undead, I am Celebrimbor, the ancient Elf and the forger of The One Ring. I have played through Shadow of Mordor’s new Downloadable Content (DLC) offering – The Bright Lord” and hereby invite all Men, Dwarves and Elves to hear my tale.

The Bright Lord DLC takes place thousands of years before the time of Talion and the events of Shadow of Mordor. You play as Talion’s Wraith spirit Celebrimbor, before he was cursed and banished from the afterlife. The Bright Lord begins with Celebrimbor stealing The One Ring from Sauron and follows his tale of revenge. It is no secret to anyone who has played Shadow of Mordor what has happened to Celebrimbor, but in this DLC we get to play it first-hand.

The gameplay is largel the same as the main game with various abilities and powers that you can use to defeat, intimidate or dominate your enemy. Other than the change in your playable character the biggest difference is the ability to slow time by using The One Ring. The ring is charged by branding Uruks and when the power is full you can activate a slow motion mode that allows you to glide through enemies and is also kind enough to provide you with invulnerability, the cherry on top is that while the ring is active you have unlimited finishers. It’s a wonderful mechanic and is essential in the major boss battle that the DLC concludes with.

Another noticeable difference is that Celebrimbor doesn’t have the ability to focus or slow time when using the Bow as Talion does, it means that those tricky long range headshots take even more skill than before. To counter the more difficult aiming conditions Celebrimbor doesn’t need to charge his shot meaning that a group of enemies can be harassed more easily, even if the kill is harder.
The Bright Lord DLC opens up several new story missions as you play through Celebrimbor’s quest for vengeance against Sauron but ultimately these missions aren’t anything new in terms of gameplay. You have to brand and dominate the Warchiefs before taking on Sauron himself. The missions objectives do have a fair degree of variety that range from creating a small army of Uruks and keeping them alive for a certain amount of time to rescuing captured followers to flush out the enemy commanders. It is a nice twist on what Shadow of Mordor has offered us so far however it doesn’t exactly break the bank.

Aesthetically The Bright Lord lives up to its parent game although Celebrimbor’s lip sync isn’t the best in some of the cut scenes. I had a few glitches while playing through the short story where Celebrimbor would either get stuck on a slightly raised surface like a ramp or set of stairs during combat that and I am man enough to admit that it got me killed a fair few times. I had some issues while climbing the environments of Mordor that were a little frustrating but aside from these occasional problems The Bright lord runs just fine.
The Nemesis system is still in place although spending time building up your own forces to fully utilise it is somewhat redundant when you have the ability to simply brand everyone in sight with an area effect special and letting them simply filter through as the various captains and Lieutenants get killed off. Without putting in any particular effort or going out of my way to create my own hierarchy by the time I came against the Dark Lord Sauron, I dominated almost every member of Uruk society. I wasn’t a big believer in the Nemesis system in the main game, in my opinion it was a nice gimmick but didn’t really lead anywhere, so I wasn’t that bothered with the lack of impact The Bright Lord DLC pack offers in this regard. I’m sure that if you are the kind of player who spent hours building your army, then you will still enjoy doing it in this addition, but for me, it’s not the be all and end all.

I really liked The Bright Lord DLC and felt that the combat had been made weightier and the enemies more dangerous. Being able to play more and new missions for Shadow of Mordor can only be a good thing and with various side missions also available there is enough gameplay here to warrant visiting it again. The end battle is an epic struggle that was truly challenging and also a good homage to the epic battles that the Lord of the Rings franchise has become known for.