Why? Because he hasn't played the game and this thread is based on his assumption based on a passing comment in one review out of dozens that either say the opposite or don't think enough about it to mention at all?
What's not to trust?
Reviews that I've read definitely pointed out that the "4th act" is extremely grindy. It seems like a bit of a leap to say that it forces you to buy lootboxes though. From what I've seen, essentially buying better orcs isn't going to let you skip the numerous giant battles you'll need to participate in without the distractions you'd find while playing the campaign.
Edit: Just read that last excerpt of the Polygon review and I'm still kind of torn. I suppose someone who really wants to see that "hidden" ending might be super tempted to spend real money there. Otherwise it just seems like a neat way to continue playing the game, even if it is a bit of a grind. I take more issue with the fact that they put a tiny morsel of extra story at the end of that mode than the fact that extra purchases speed it up.
It's probably just a dumb cutscene that leads the game into the start of the LoTR trilogy anyway.
When you run out of in-game money, you have two choices: Make a huge time investment by hunting down orcs in your game world and earning chests via vendetta missions, or spend some real money to get the more powerful orcs you need now.
What I'm saying is that they've made (allegedly) made the game more grindy/tedious/unsatisfying/less rewarding in an attempt to get more dollars out of their $60 (or more!) game. You were the one trying to compare it to grinding in any other game like there's no difference whatsoever. I never said the lootboxes are a necessity at all, microtransactions never are. They're just the end goal of a physiologically manipulative system that prays on susceptible people, and WB are the masters of it.
You're free to use the tired excuses but what we're seeing is hardly surprising to me at least. It's WB after all.
I found it really interesting to see so few reviews actually talk about this part of the game, seems pretty important to mention. Now it does seem like it's an option post story mode, so it's not something everyone will do so there is that.
Also this comparison to Batman is silly. In batman if I recall correctly to get the secret ending you had to 100% the game, which is something many players do naturally when they play these games. I got 100% in every batman game before that and loved it. It's part of the MAIN GAME.
In this it seems there is a brand new objective that unlocks only after you beat the game at it requires lots of repetition of defense battles to get the secret ending. It's an extra mode where batman was just stuff you do during the game.
Sounds like a real slog. It's like every time there's news about this game, my interest dwindles. I think it's gone from "bargain-bin it" to "don't bother". A real shame, since I'm a fan of the Tolkienverse.
OP, why not go to the source instead of crediting that scumbag Totalbiscuit. Here is their review:
However, Shadow Wars is spoiled by two major issues.
First, its not just postgame content. While the main plot of Shadow of War wraps up in relatively tidy fashion before act four begins, Monolith has confirmed that there is a true ending hidden behind Shadow Wars. I love the idea of offering dozens of hours of grindy yet fun content for players who really adore this game to sink their teeth into. But that works better as an option rather than a looming obligation for completionists. Having the games real finale locked away behind those dozens of hours hours that, while fun, are devoid of story missions, side quests, cutscenes or other distractions that help mix up the pace is a disappointment.
When you run out of in-game money, you have two choices: Make a huge time investment by hunting down orcs in your game world and earning chests via vendetta missions, or spend some real money to get the more powerful orcs you need now. Does the game ever force you to spend money? No. Im sure you can get to the end of Shadow Wars without spending a dime, as long as youre patient and persistent. But locking progress through this mode (and, again, toward the games true ending) behind either spending more money or doing tons of tedious busywork feels at least greedy if not predatory.
They've verified that the game has a grindy postgame with a 'true ending', but TB's posts are wildly misleading & reactionary. He refers to Shadow Wars as the '4th act', as if an entire quarter of the game is gated behind a paywall. In reality, it seems like there's just an ending cutscene at the end of this grindy side mission - closer to AK's 'true ending' requiring 100% completion.
He also insinuates these reviews have been coerced into not making a bigger deal out of this, despite zero evidence to this claim. As he's done in the past, he's invoking GG-esque boogymen of corrupt games journos - just to get attention on himself in the name of 'consumer interests'.
I play videogames for 20 year now but some days I just hate my hobby and everything that happens around it. Today is one of them.
A game with such a business model should get the biggest shitstorm possible. For once, not from their buyer, from the reviewer. This should get denied immediately. How will Videogames look like in the future if this gets a pass?
So to be clear, the last act of the game requires you to have Legendary orcs in your party. These can either be taken from boss battles through domination - or randomly scored through loot boxes. The boxes can be grinded out through game play, or bought directly with cash.
I mean the game has daily challenges, community events and asynchronous Pvp.
I really don't think you're supposed to be trying to finish the post end grind in a single sitting.
I think the loot boxes are fucking stupid but I'm glad to have something to do in the post game. I remember letting myself die a bunch of times just to make some powerful Orcs to fight in the first one.
As I may have played more of this than Johnny, a word of warning about the microtransactions: if you want to complete the endgame and see the *true* ending, be prepared to buy the XP boosts from the store while you're playing the campaign or face a 40-50 hour grind. I finished the story in about 15 hours (and agree that it's awful), and have been grinding for 8 hours a day for the past four days just to level up enough to finish the "Shadow of War" endgame content, and it is indescribably tedious.