The Middle-earth: Shadow of War marketing campaign is heating up, and today’s contribution is a brand new trailer introducing the voice talents of Kumail Nanjiani. Nanjiani will be voicing an orc known as The Agonizer in the game. The Agonizer is a startlingly intelligent orc that appears to struggle with confidence issues. As such, he’s more than willing to stick players’ heads on a pike, but he might struggle delivering the quip telling them he’s going to do so.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War‘s Nanjiani is an increasingly popular actor in Hollywood these days, starring in five different movies this year including his self-written autobiographical film The Big Sick. Yet while many may recognize his voice from cartoons like Adventure Time, where he voiced Prizmo, Nanjiani is also well-versed in video games. And not just in terms of acting. Ninjiani’s voiced Reggie in Telltale’s second season of The Walking Dead and Jarun Tann in Mass Effect: Andromeda. Nanjiani’s greatest experience, however, may come from from simply being a player.
Going back to Nanjiani’s stand-up comedian days, he was well known for dropping commentary on the latest games into his sets. In one set he breaks down how Call of Duty set a level in the Pakistan city where he grew up, but put the wrong language on the street signs. In another set he talks about Heavy Rain, because just explaining that game’s premise is good for a few laughs. The guy loves games, and that’s one of the best parts of this trailer. It’s easy to tell Nanjiani is genuinely excited to be voicing this ridiculous Middle-earth: Shadow of War orc.
Nanjiani, fittingly, gives his thoughts on the orc he’s portraying in Middle-earth: Shadow of War in the video. In a weird sort of way, real life Nanjiani and The Agonizer are surprisingly similar well beyond just their voices:
“I hope being in the game doesn’t ruin the game for me, because I really want to play it. It’s gonna be tricky, right? ‘Cuz I’ll be like this guy doesn’t look like me, but he sounds like me, so I don’t want to kill him. Or maybe I do want to kill him? Maybe I’ll just murder myself.”
The Agonizer is an example of how Middle-earth: Shadow of War orcs will feature much richer personalities than those from Shadow of Mordor. Warner Bros. describes him as just one orc of many that players may or may not encounter through the updated Nemesis System. Bruz the Chopper, introduced during E3, is another example of these more interesting orcs that players can face in the open world. There’s clearly a goal here for players to have opponents worth battling against, rather than entirely RNG orcs that can often be underwhelming.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC starting October 10.