The Lord of the Rings IP has had an interesting and surprisingly balanced history when it comes to video games. For every dud (2009’s Lord of the Rings Conquest), there’s been a solid and genuinely fun experience (2002’s Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) to balance it out. Given this history (and the somewhat overprotective nature of both the Tolkien estate and die-hard Tolkien fans), developing a Lord of the Rings-themed game naturally comes with no small amount of risk. Developer Monolith has faced that risk, taking on the added challenge of developing an original game set between the events of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. But how well does Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor fare when stacked up against other entries in the Lord of the Rings video game legacy?