PC Gamer

The real reason Shadow of War's loot boxes are bad: they make the game boring


The growing ubiquity of loot boxes continues to stoke outrage. And while concern over microtransactions is warranted, I think the weeks of anger we saw directed at Middle-earth: Shadow of War was focused on the wrong thing. Yes, it's uncool that loot boxes have oozed into singleplayer games, and yet another of the major games of 2017. That sucks.

As Wes argued in our staff discussion last week, loot boxes threaten to homogenize the reward systems of dissimilar games into a samey, randomized mush. But buried under the internet fury about Shadow of War, was the fact that, actually, you don't need to interact with loot boxes at all in order to enjoy or complete it, as multiple reviewers made clear. This anger even drowned out arguably more egregious microtransactions, like the two-hour booster 'potion' you can purchase to double the rate that Talion earns experience, pure heresy in a grindy, open-world RPG. The real reason these loot boxes are repulsive is that they allow peo

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