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EW discusses the derivative-yet-original brilliance of 'Shadow of Mordor'

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While plenty of The Lord of the Rings games have been released, few have taken so much mind-share of the industry as Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has—and the game hasn’t even come out yet. The game promises an interesting spin on the third-person action genre, which has recently been dominated by games like the Batman: Arkham series—which is published by the same company as Mordor, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Mordor comes from Monolith Studios, however, who are no strangers to J.R.R. Tolkien’s world. The studio has aimed to make a game fun enough for both die-hard Tolkien fans and players who may have only gotten around to Peter Jackson’s film adaptations.

So is Mordor a good, or even great, game? EW‘s Aaron Morales and I, who have both played a sizable chunk of the game, shared our thoughts on the journey so far. While neither of us has finished the game, we’ve made enough progress to discuss what makes this trip into Middle-earth so special.

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Chris Pratt plays Word Sneak, explains his first headshot on 'Fallon'

Chris Pratt stretched his improv skills ahead of his Saturday Night Live hosting duties this Saturday, Sept. 27 by appearing on The Tonight Show. And if his game of “Word Sneak” with Jimmy Fallon is any indication, Pratt is more than ready for any off-the-cuff moments Studio 8H might require of him.

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Lindsay Lohan grasps for lines in first night of stage debut

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Lindsay Lohan’s first night on stage in the West End production of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow was a little rough, to say the least—though some are saying her performance can still be salvaged. READ FULL STORY

'Lion King' musical has the top box office in entertainment

No waiting necessary—The Lion King musical is the king. Disney’s Julie Taymor-directed stage adaptation of the 1994 film has accumulated $6.2 billion worldwide, meaning it now has the “most successful box office total of any work in any media in entertainment history,” the Associated Press reportedREAD FULL STORY

Miss America responds to hazing allegations on 'Good Morning America'

The tales of Miss America getting kicked out of her sorority for torturing pledges are not true, according to Miss America herself, Kira Kazantsev.

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The most ridiculous stories from iPhone 6 release week

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You may not know this, but there is a hot new gizmo on the market. It’s called the iPhone 6, and it is the must-have tech product of the season. It’s “bigger than bigger.” It’s the best thing ever. According to Apple, at least.

According to everyone else, the iPhone is many things. It instills passionate devotion and inspires the human spirit, moving us to make grand gestures of true love. Do you scoff at such notions? Then pull up a chair, and enjoy these stories from iPhone Release Weekend, because it only happens once a year.

In a moment that could only be described as poetic, Jack Cooksey of Perth, Australia, became the first person in the world to purchase Apple’s new smartphone. He immediately dropped it on live television. The crowd immediately winced in collective sympathy, not for Jack, whose blunder could have been costly — but for the phone, because it had to go home with Jack. READ FULL STORY

Ubisoft announces 2D 'Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China'

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Ubisoft already has not one but two Assassin’s Creed games planned for release, with Assassin’s Creed Unity for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, and Assassin’s Creed Rogue for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. So, Ubisoft’s announcement of a season pass for Unity–a bundle of downloadable content available for purchase that will be released following the game’s launch–was no surprise.

The inclusion of an all new Assassin’s Creed spinoff game as part of that season pass, however, was an unexpected addition.

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A look inside Nigeria's very own Comic-Con

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Comic books have some of the most active and involved fans of any medium, and comics conventions are a big part of that. Despite the immense popularity of comics-inspired movies in theaters every year, the majority of published comics don’t sell very many copies—the average number of copies a book at both Marvel and DC, the biggest names in the business, tends to sit at 50,000 or less, with the top 10 clocking in six figures and the rest less than half that. Because of this, comics heavily rely on the support of a small and passionate fanbase. Comic cons are an important part of the industry, and they just don’t happen in San Diego and New York.

Case in point: Nigeria’s Lagos Comic-Con. READ FULL STORY

Introducing Batman villains to 'Gotham,' one cheesy line at a time

Fox’s new series Gotham has the difficult task of introducing a number of famous and lesser-known Batman villains before they officially don the costume and alter ego. The show’s pilot accomplishes this in its own special way: by hinting at appearances by the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and the Riddler with some very, very obvious bits of dialogue. For example: “If I want riddles, I’ll read the funny pages.”

With so many possible criminals just waiting in the back alleys of Gotham, the show will have to clock in some overtime in order to showcase them all; if the show lasts for several seasons, the producers may have to resort to Crazy-Quilt and Film Freak. How exactly will the show handle hinting at these and other criminals? Subtle (read: not at all subtle) dialogue clues, of course.

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British Museum to be re-created in 'Minecraft'

Players of the build-what-you-want game Minecraft have specialized in re-creating the locations of famous fictional worlds. From Westeros to Middle-earth, there’s no shortage of well-known locals to explore. So why not create real-world locations?

That’s probably the question the British Museum in London asked before launching a project to have players rebuild the museum and its exhibits, brick by Minecraft brick.

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