Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions finally has a few glimpses into its vision of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world, Middle Earth, and it is not pretty.
Shadows of Mordor shows the cohabited land of men and hobbits left in total ruin. Forests burned to the ground, towers aflame, castles under siege, and orc corpses being piled up by the dozens by the protagonist Talion. The man has a grudge against Sauron, the one responsible for murdering his family and throwing Mordor into chaos after his long delayed return to power.
Developer Monolith Productions explains each of the screenshots and their certain meaning within the game.
• Talion – Players take the form of Talion, a ranger who loses his family and everything he holds dear, only to be returned from death by a mysterious Spirit of vengeance.
• Mordor – Set between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor begins on the night of Sauron’s return to Mordor, throwing the region into turmoil.
• Nemesis System – Discover a powerful and dynamic next-gen gameplay mechanic that allows players’ actions to shape enemy relationships and characteristics, creating personal and unique stories and gameplay arcs that remain persistent even after death.
• Wraith abilities – Players command Wraith Powers to orchestrate and execute their vengeance to outwit enemies, infiltrate the ranks, and dominate within an adaptive world.
• Melee combat – A multitude of enemies will require different tactics, encouraging the player to advance their skills, abilities and weapons to become legendary through a system of rune rewards crafted according to the player’s strategy.
It also explains the game’s Nemesis system a little more in-depth. Using the power of some fancy pants technology, each random enemy Talion runs into has a name, personality, strength and weakness. Enemies can level up in the background of the world, and will rise in power and haunt Talion later on in his journey.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor will be released for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC in 2014.