These days, it seems impossible for any self-respecting AAA game to catch the attention of the gaming world without a jaw-dropping, spectacle-filled CG cinematic trailer. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the latest to get the cinematic treatment, and while J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy source material may not be known for its violence, paranoia, or orc-sympathizing, Shadow of Mordor‘s new ‘Gravewalker’ trailer is filled to the brim with it.
The title ‘Gravewalker’ refers, of course, to the game’s hero Talion, a Ranger who has been forced to watch his family killed before his eyes, but robbed of death himself by a mysterious Spirit of Vengeance. If Talion hopes to ever rest, it seems, he must first seek out the men/creatures responsible and get his revenge. What the Wraith that has grafted itself to Talion wants out of the mission is still a mystery, but the trailer shows yet again that the pair will make a dangerous duo.
Typically, cinematic trailers like the one above are taken with a grain of salt, given that the CG action and drama bear little resemblance to the actual gameplay. In this case, the graphical fidelity might be far from the game, but the systems and drama implied mesh fairly well with the game experience the developers at Monolith have been pitching. Specifically, that players will rely on more than just their weapons to take on Sauron’s Black Captains – they’ll rely on fear as well.
The trailer shows – like the extensive gameplay walkthrough previously released – that Talion’s Wraith abilities will change up the typical third-person action significantly. Instead of killing the underlings of Sauron’s forces, players can choose to intimidate, humiliate, or even outright control them for his own purposes. In this case, the bald enemy (who appears to be closer to man than orc) has been sabotaged by forces under Talion’s influence. It seems that the villain is personally responsible for killing Talion’s wife, but prior trailer have explained that it is the mastermind known as The Black Hand (voiced by Nolan North) who is Talion’s ultimate target.
On the subject of intimidation and paranoia, the developers have also announced two exclusive Runes (which can be used to increase Talion’s influence and abilities) available to those who sign up for Warner Bros.’ WBID program. Simply sign up for an account by heading here, and download the game’s Palantir app on your smartphone, and unlock the following two Runes:
- WBID — Orc Hunter Rune: Talion can overcome Sauron’s captains by increasing terror from his stealth takedowns.
- Palantir — Gravewalker Rune: Talion spreads fear among Sauron’s army when his Captains are defeated.
Hopefully more of the game will be shown during E3 2014, so stay tuned to Game Rant for our impressions.
For now, what are your hopes for the game? Does Shadow of Mordor continue to look promising, or are there other next-gen games that have your attention? Sound off in the comments.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor releases October 7, 2014 for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
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