Warner Bros must be very happy about the amount of buzz surrounding Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The title, which is set to bridge the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has been picking up a lot of interest in recent weeks, thanks in part to the release of a CG trailer last week and the announcement of some industry heavyweights joining the voice acting cast.
It looks as though the in-game action itself is going to be as enticing as the story. According to this newly released video, the Monolith Productions title will allow gamers to help create their own enemies through player actions, with a little help from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system.
The new trailer, released by publisher Warner Bros, gives a brief glimpse at just how this dynamic Nemesis system is going to work, and it certainly looks impressive. Every Orc enemy will remember their unique encounters with the player character, a ranger called Talion who was brought back from the dead and given powerful Wraith-like abilities. If an Orc kills you, it gets stronger, and your death doesn’t mean a reload from a checkpoint. Talion will be revived again, and that Orc will remember their last encounter — and their defeat of the undead ranger.
Different Orcs also have different character traits, and these different personalities mean they will react in different ways in future clashes. A cowardly Orc will try to flee from battle if they see you return from the dead, whereas a loyal second-in-command will staunchly defend his master.
Talion’s Wraith powers will also help shape the game world. Although they are useful in an immediate sense — allowing Talion to jump from great heights and survive, or become invisible — they also serve a great purpose in the progression of the story. The Wraith powers will allow players to influence the Orcs they fight through a power known as branding, and then use the controlled Orcs to disrupt Sauron’s war machine. Different Orc factions can be made to fight each other for power, taking down Mordor from within. Eventually, players can apparently use Talion’s abilities to build up an Orc army of their own to help combat Sauron.
So far, Monolith’s Lord of the Rings title has mostly been compared to the Assassin’s Creed franchise, due to the similarities in gameplay and controls. However, dynamic story-building mechanics such as the Nemesis system give Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor a huge scope, and the possibility for creative gameplay from players to truly shape the game world could help this title stand out from the crowd.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be released on October 7th, 2014, on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, and PC.