Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor from Warner Bros. was announced today and already a lot details are flooding in about the brand new Lord Of The Rings game. Here’s what we know about the upcoming adventure:
Shadow Of Mordor takes place between the end of Bilbo Baggins’s adventures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and the beginning of Frodo’s in “The Fellowship Of The Ring”. The game is heavily influenced by both Tolkien’s work and the visual cues from Peter Jackson’s films. The main character is a ranger called Talion who is murdered alongside his family during Sauron’s return to search for The One Ring. However, Talion is brought back to life and becomes bonded to a wraith who works alongside him to find retribution and redemption for Sauron and his army’s crimes. One of the main features of the game is the Nemesis system. It is used to create a personalized story based on who Talion kills and who he leaves behind. The player himself can create the villains of the game dynamically.
Talion’s story will be told throughout the game and we will learn more about his previous life and the reason for his bond with the wraith. The wraith itself allows Talion to transport to the “wraith world”. The wraith world is a grey, windblown landscape that was shown in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy whenever Frodo wore the One Ring. Talion uses the wraith world to help him find his next enemy. By combining gameplay, technology, AI, character art and storytelling, each enemy of Shadow Of Mordor is uniquely crafted. One enemy of Talion was left burnt horribly before he escaped from Talion’s attack. The same enemy is now hunted by Talion and is now stronger and skillful from the previous battle yet has a phobia of fire.
Combat in Shadow Of Mordor takes a cue from another Warner series: the Batman Arkham series. Talion attacks his enemies with his sword in a combo focused manner and uses counters for incoming attacks and powerful special attacks for when his combo increases. One special attack allows Talion to focus on a body part of an enemy with his bow and arrow before firing a fatal arrow, resulting in a graphic and bloody injury. The main villains of the game can be used to your advantage as a spy or can be let go. By allowing the main villains to run away means that future enemies will be terrified of Talion based on the stories the villains will tell. Talion’s wraith powers can also be used in a more “support” fashion. It can allow Talion to take control of spared enemies and make them take down their boss. Also a “shadow strike” move can be used to cause “death from anywhere”, which can be useful to take down enemies quickly from any point.
Talion’s weapons are a sword for main attacks, a dagger for sneak attacks and bow for ranged attacks. When a main enemy is defeated, a “rune” is given to Talion. The rune allows Talion to add attributes to his weapons and make them stronger. Stronger enemies wield stronger runes so it can be beneficial to allow main villains to escape. The game will have a skill tree based on the main 3 weapons and another for the wraith powers.
Shadow Of Mordor is an open world game. The environment of the game changes as the story does and there are many trolls and fellbeasts populating the lands. The whole story of the game changes based on what Talion does during the encounters he experiences in the game. The game is heavily inspired by the film’s use of duality between the main world and the wraith world as seen by Lady Galadriel’s sudden change from normal to wraith in Fellowship Of The Ring. It does seem there’s a lot here for someone who is a fan of the films to like.
So there you have it. The game sounds extremely promising and it sounds like Lord Of The Rings fans will be extremely impressed by what the game has to offer. A dark tale of a character bonded with a wraith where you carve the enemies and world around you, set in the Lord Of The Rings universe that follows the source material and films heavily through its content, themes and images? You have our sword, our bow and axe.
Shadow Of Mordor will release on PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. No release date has yet been given but it seems like the project still has a long way to go. Stay tuned to OnlySP for more details leading up to the game’s launch.
Source: Gameinformer Issue #248