I put off getting Middle-earth: Shadow of War for a long time because of the initial loot box issues, which I believe are gone now (at least in the PC version). And, of course, waiting on a Steam sale.
My first impression while playing is that “more of the same” of this formula is a good thing, whether you have another of these games, an Arkham Batman game, Assassin’s Creed, whatever. I like the stealth and combo gameplay with collectibles and quests.
My next impression was that the game has inelegant complexity of the “let’s throw in everything” sort, starting with all the complexity of the original and embellishing it at every point possible, such as adding specialization options to each skill, adding loot with quests and unlocks and levels, adding several categories of variables to orcs, and adding several new subsystems including a follower grind. But then I got enough practice and character capacity to murder my way out of most issues, which is what the game is about.
Just yesterday I got to the kaiju fight. Amongst the things I was expecting in a Middle-earth game, a Pacific Rim-style kaiju fight against a balrog was NOT on the list. But you know? That was an amazing moment. Half of that quest/fight amounted to an extended quicktime event, but I will forgive that for a kaiju fight against a balrog.