It's only been out (officially) for less than 24 hours and already gamers are poring over Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, trying to discover all the secrets Monolith's game holds. Most of those searching through Shadow of Mordor, however, are looking for references to Tolkien's work, not unexpected nods like the one found this week.
While not entirely unexpected given that Warner Bros. is the publisher on Shadow of Mordor, this latest Easter Egg is still quite clever. After completing a specific objective in the game, players are then treated to a short screen that makes reference to none other than Batman.
In order to unlock the Easter Egg, all players need do is kill one of the Morgul Bats that take haven in the caves around Mordor. Doing so unlocks a new entry in the Nature section of the Appendices, which reads:
Those Uruks that get poisoned become horrbily diseased and bloated, wearing their deformities as marks of honor. The poison slowly eats at their minds, sending them nightmares of a demonic man-bat who preys on fear.
Obviously, this is not a direct reference to Batman, but rather a roundabout way of paying homage to Warner Bros' cash cow. It might also be a nod to the Arkham Series, whose combat system has no doubt influenced Shadow of Mordor's. In fact, some might go so far as to say that Monolith lifted combat in Middle-earth wholesale from Rocksteady's games.
While this is but one of many Easter Eggs peppered throughout Shadow of Mordor's campaign, it's easily one of the cleverer things to have been found. Most expected the game to go deep into Tolkien lore, but to throw a nod to Batman is wholly unexpected. Not surprising once players think about it, but still worth checking out nonetheless.
However, based on early reviews of Shadow of Mordor, it seems that a Batman Easter Egg isn't the only reason to play this latest game. Almost all of the reviews that have surfaced prior to and after the game's launch have been nothing but glowing, praising everything from the game's design to its next-gen mechanics. One of the major points of praise for the game has been the Nemesis System, which adds a new wrinkle to combat. To read more about said system, make sure to read our preview of Shadow of Mordor from back at E3 2014.
As far as a full review, we're making our way through the game as quick as possible, and we should have full thoughts very soon.
Have you noticed any other clever Easter Eggs in Shadow of Mordor? What do you enjoy most about the game?
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina