Middle-Earth: Shadow of War • Complete a Vendetta Mission • 15G • 59.36% of gamers unlocked this

I’m going to attempt to going back to adding in more detail about my achievements in the initial leader line because I think, in some instances, that context is useful. In some ways, differentiating between a Bronze or a Gold trophy, or understanding it’s difficulty in terms of earn-rate (percentage) provides a rich picture about the achievement beyond my usual musings and often over-tired and shoot-from-the-hip style of writing.

If I’m perfectly honest, I’m not sure if this achievement is glitched or not, but from what I could tell, it unlocked while I was still in the middle of the titular Vendetta mission. While I did complete it in the end, I was actually in pursuit of my Orc target when it unlocked – which caused me to raise an eyebrow, briefly, before resuming my chase and eventually cutting down the tricky little blighter who had killed me twenty minutes prior.

It seems that I have progressed far enough in Shadow of War now so that my time is to be split between managing my army and playing the game itself. I am still having my hand held by a lot of the tutorial and help screens for this part of the game – but from what I can tell, it’s a good evolution of the already-excellent nemesis system.

One of the more emotionally-charged moments of the game came this morning when ‘Tarz of the Black Gate’ came on me and decided to taunt me with his admission he was there on the night that Talion’s (the protagonist) family were killed in an Orc attack. I’m not sure if this was a dynamic or scripted introduction into the game, but I loved it. Loved it. It triggered just the right of emotion into the battle that I felt like Tarz needed more than a simple sword-to-the-face. I wanted him to be properly punished. I wanted him branded.

So I did.

To add insult to injury (for Tarz), the delightful war troll, Brûz – who is best known for his appearance in the original gameplay reveal – rolled in shortly after I dominated Tarz and suggested that I make him my bodyguard. Great suggestion, Brûz. With a couple of controller clicks, I had converted Tarz, the taunting, family-killing orc captain into a minion under my control.


I’m still slowly working my way through this region of the game, and pretty much just undertaking quests if-and-when they occur. There is a method to working through the quests in sequence, but – to be honest – I’ve just been having fun levelling up Talion and, now that I’ve unlocked it, branding Orcs to fight for me.

Now if only they have the brilliant mechanic from Shadow of Mordor that allowed me to explode their heads en masse, we could have some real fun!


Elite Status

World of Tanks • You’ve completely researched a tank! • 5G • 30.61% of gamers unlocked this

I’ve been playing the odd game of World of Tanks on PC, and I thought there might be some connection between the console version and PC. I had hoped that some cross-play might be evident, but considering my PC server (Asia) isn’t even on the console list – that optimism quickly left.

I have to say – the console version isn’t nearly as fun as the PC version. I can’t work out if it’s been scaled-back feature-wise (it doesn’t necessarily seem to be), but the controls seem slow and clunky and there’s not a great deal of love in the graphical detail.

I actually earned an achievement for completing the tutorial before this achievement, something that I thought I’d already done – but it seems like, judging from the achievement list, that I’d actually only played a few campaign missions, and had never completed the main ‘boot camp’ mission. Using that experience (as in XP, not the verb ‘experience’), I was able to buy a few different tanks before I logged off tonight, earning me a lazy little 5G for my effort.

My skim of the achievement list showed me a few other quick achievements that I might be able to pickup over the next few weeks, but by-and-large, the meaty achievements come from playing multiplayer online. I don’t think I’ve got the energy or the inclination to do that – but you never know, stranger things have happened. If anything, I have been finding myself scrolling down my game library list with a blank expression on my face simply convincing myself that there’s got to be something worth playing on there. I suspect an inevitable gaming ‘rut’ is about to hit me – something that I’ve been hearing a lot from friends about lately, and I’ve experienced myself once or twice.

In the meantime – there’s a solid five weeks of gaming to get through before I can allow myself a ‘break’. The end is in sight – I’m going to give this final push a red hot go.