Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

By Jon Scarr

If you are as big a fan of The Lord of the Rings based Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor as I am, then get ready to jump for joy. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to the epic original Middle-Earth game and has you back in the boots of Talion—a slain ranger who is resurrected through bonding with the spirit of an Elf, Celebrimbor, in order to cheat death.

This game takes place between the events of The Hobbit® and The Lord of the Rings®, and is an open-world action RPG that continues the original narrative of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. I can hardly wait to get lost in the bigger and more expansive world filled with epic heroes and villains, iconic locations, original enemy types, and new cast of characters.

Multiple Nemeses

In the official 16-minute gameplay walkthrough video released this past March, Talion and Celebrimbor, now known as the Bright Lord, lead a full orc army into battle against a Nemesis Fortress. In this video, we see fire tipped arrows streak through the sky as they storm the gates of the castle with their forces—a siege sequence fit for the silver screen. The showdown inside the fort features multiple nemeses to face off against, which is an interesting change from the first game where you would face off with a single nemesis the majority of the game. Though it might seem as if the odds are stacked against you, I was delighted to see that followers can intervene in the midst of battle to shift the showdown in your favour. By landing a blow or arrow, you can potentially save your life and move a step closer to victory.

Next generation Nemesis system

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War brings back the ground-breaking Nemesis System with a far deeper reach than the original. It gives you far more power in numbers against the forces of Sauron. In the original game, the Nemesis system randomly generated mini bosses. These Warchiefs would spawn within the game for you to defeat or control via Celebrimbor’s other worldly powers. Now, in Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, the Nemesis System is taken to the next level, which allows you to not only infiltrate a single orc chain of command, but also you are now able oversee your own customized army.

A new winged ally

A change in gameplay that I am super excited about is the ability to take possession of a rideable fire-breathing dragon! As shown in the gameplay trailer, the now friendly dragon is able to fly around the fort providing fire support to friendly forces below. I was amazed how the gameplay transitioned to dragon riding flawlessly—with no technical hiccups at all.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War launches later this year on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Judging by the scale of battles, level of strategy in building your forces and the enhanced next generation Nemesis System—Middle Earth: Shadow of War is going to be one of the hottest games this fall.