With a little over a month left until release, WB and Monolith are preparing to go big with its follow-up to the acclaimed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The developer is planning a bigger story, more unique orcs to fight, and an expanded Nemesis System. Even though Monolith may have stepped into a bit of controversy lately with its inclusion of microtransactions and loot boxes into the predominantly single player Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the team is using DLC to help a family in need and honor a fallen member of the studio.
The latest trailer shows protagonist Talion getting downed by an orc. While this typically means the player is about to die, this time around he’s saved by a mysterious savior known as Forthog Orc-Slayer. As it turns out, Forthog is a DLC character based on former Middle-earth: Shadow of War Executive Producer, Mike “Forthog” Forgey who passed away during the game’s development due to brain cancer. Not only is Forgey now immortalized within the game he helped create, but WB is planning to donate $3.50 from every purchase of this DLC pack directly to his family through December 31, 2019. In game, Forthog can be encountered out in the wild, lending aid on occasion to the player as seen in the trailer.
Forgey was a big presence in the franchise, serving as Executive Producer on both games as well as being the one to officially unveil Shadow of Mordor to the public for the first time at E3 2014. According to Monolith developers, Forgey also has a musical background, forming a band called Orc Slayer. Using these elements, Monolith was able to immortalize Michael Forgey as Forthog Orc-Slayer, who utilizes a mythical lute axe to slay his enemies. In another nice touch, the trailer that introduces the character also uses one of Forgey’s original songs in the background.
While support for this initiative appears to be very positive from the community, the developer faced a lot of backlash last month when it was announced that loot boxes and microtransactions have been added to the game. While the developer was quick to confirm that the game’s balance won’t be affected and that all content can be unlocked through normal play, players are worried that those willing to spend real money to unlock legendary orcs faster, may tip the scales in their favor especially when playing the new online Conquest modes.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War releases October 10, 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Source: Monolith Twitter