It’s always nice to hear about something stirring in the lands of Mordor. Tolkien’s perfect example of a beautiful, intricate fantasy universe has been captivating minds of all ages for longer than most of us have been alive. Even after all this time, we gladly prepare to welcome Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor with open arms, we are again allowed to explore this beautiful land that has seen much conflict and development over many years.
Shadow of Mordor is an Open-World action-RPG developed by Monolith Productions that delves into a chapter of Tolkien’s universe that has been long overdue for detail. Players take on the role of Talion; a Ranger of Gondor assigned to be the guard the Black Gate of Mordor. Talion and his entire family were murdered by the armies of Sauron, but he alone rose from the dead in a wraith-like state. The player will assist Talion in exacting revenge for the murder of his family, augmented with the powers of a wraith and the ability to cheat death.
Abilities are sorted into two categories, Ranger abilities and Wraith abilities. Ranger abilities focus on stealth and dexterity in combat, while wraith abilities allow Talion to control the battlefield by spreading fear, gathering intel, and creating confusion and deceit among enemy ranks.
In addition to a large, open area full of sidequests to complete and enemies to defeat, there are some very interesting and fresh gameplay elements in action; the most interesting of which being the Nemesis system. As you play through the game, the enemy Uruk grunts, generals, and commanders will advance through the ranks, fighting their own battles for supremacy as you explore Mordor. Enemies can also hold grudges, which means you’d better watch out for the grunt you threw off a cliff earlier in the game. He might come back for you, promoted, capable, and ready to exact his own revenge.
As Talion, you can influence the outcomes of the enemy Uruk’s power struggles, challenging their leaders, interrupting their battles, and generally wreaking havoc amongst enemy forces. It should make for quite an interesting experience as power shifts and tides turn. Due to the system’s intricacy, the Nemesis system will be dumbed-down on the PS3 and XBOX 360 systems. There is an obvious focus on next-gen development present in this game.
Already showing good reviews across the board, we are a very short time away from the public release of the game, and everyone is excited to dive head-first back into Mordor. Get ready to accompany Talion on his quest for vengeance in inarguably one of the greatest, most in-depth fantasy universes of our time. DLC has already been announced as well, set for release in upcoming months, and a season pass will be available for purchase. The game will drop for PC, PS3, PS4, XBOX 360, and XBOX One (with a slightly dumbed-down version of the Nemesis system in place on last-gen consoles) on Tuesday, September 30.