The Lord of the Rings is a story that focuses on some unassuming hobbits and discusses issues of power corrupting and the ultimate value of self-sacrificing. Sometimes, though, what you want to do is defeat a lot of orcs, and there's rarely a better opportunity to do that than right now: the action RPG game Middle-earth Shadow of War is on sale on Steam for 85% off.
Shadow of War is the follow-up to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which was the debut of Monolith's clever Nemesis System. These were custom-built orc captains that our dual heroes, Talion, the undead Gondorian ranger, and the spectral elf Celebrimbor, must spy on, defeat in battle, and ultimately deploy in his quest to avenge the killing of Talion's wife and child.
The dynamic duo returns in Shadow of War, and this time the stakes are higher: the pair intends to raise troops across Mordor to recapture lost citadels across the region. Some impressive gameplay includes real-time siege battles in which Talion leads his marked forces up to and over the castle walls.
It's a lot of fun, although its public release was hampered by controversy over its loot box-based monetization scheme. While you could turn it off if you didn't want them (and Warner Bros. Studios eventually shut down the in-game microtransaction marketplace altogether), players' displeasure for the move dominated the conversation about the game for months after its launch.
The base game is $7.49 / £5.24 on Steam, while the definitive edition is available for only $8.99 / £5.99.
As you progress to the Bright Lord, the Middle-earth: Shadow of War skills guide will give you valuable information, and our list of the best medieval games has plenty more sieges if you want more castles to storm.