As Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor edges closer to its September 30 release, Warner Bros.’s new trailer explains everything you need about the next The Lord of The Rings game. This open world fantasy title will take place between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Players will take on the role of Talion, a ranger of Gondor brought back from the dead by a mysterious elven spirit, which bonds him with the ghostly wraith of Celebrimbor, the elf who forged the rings of power. The story will also involve Gollum and other recognizable Middle-earth characters, and is written by Christian Cantamessa, lead writer and lead designer on Red Dead Redemption.
The title brings a range of new gameplay additions to the Middle-earth franchise including a variety of mind-control powers, provided by Celebrimbor, which will allow the player to build their own army of Uruks to fight against Sauron. Celebrimbor also gives Talion the ability to cheat death, and what’s most interesting about this is how it seamlessly blends story with gameplay.
The Nemesis System, outlined in the trailer, explains that each enemy Uruk will have a distinct personality, and that Uruks who previously killed Talion will remember doing so and will taunt the player because of it. This system has the potential to make Shadow of Mordor stand out from the crowd and give players reasons to go back and play some more after the story is over.
This also plays a major role in the power hierarchy of the different bands of orcs — enemies who successfully kill the player will be instantly promoted. Orcs are led by warchiefs and a group of captains, and it appears a lot of attention has been given to making these power structures change in a dynamic way depending on how the player decides to wage war on the enemy. For instance, players can cause power struggles between greedy Orcs, weakening Sauron’s armies from the inside.
Long time fans of The Lord of the Rings may also be happy to know that the developers are working with Peter Jackson and others to ensure that the story of the game will be consistent with the films. Lovers of the books and Tolkien’s expanded universe, however, may be disappointed that the game will not be consistent with that lore.
Also note that, as we reported earlier this year, there will be a significant difference between current-gen and last-gen versions of the game. The Nemesis System will be reduced on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. As those versions of the game have also been delayed, it seems that the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the title will be the definitive version of the experience Monlolith has set out to achieve.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be released on September 30, 2014 in North America for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions arriving November 18.