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Middle-earth: Shadow of War gameplay takes us to Minas Ithil, aka “Decapitation Town”

My wife and I just started watching Lord of the Rings again, and I don’t think my heart will ever be truly free from the alluring bonds of Middle-earth. When I start having little Hobbits of my own, I have my Rankin-Bass Hobbit and Return of the King DVDs waiting for them.

However, Monolith’s reinterpretation of this fantasy world might have to wait until later. Once again, this violent spin on Tolkien’s lore will be loaded with horrifying decapitations and scenes of gruesome dismemberment. This latest footage from IGN shows off the land of Minas Ithil, the tower of Gondor before it became corrupted and transformed into Minas Morgul.

A much-deserved sequel to the sleeper hit

Monolith caught the world off guard with the previous Shadow of Mordor game, creating an open-world action game that broke free from the generic bonds that usually hold the games back. Its amazing Nemesis system is a mechanic that none have been able to emulate, so we’re hoping that the studio can deliver some refinement and additions to the idea.

So far, it looks pretty good, but I’m worried about the size of the game. Recently, “make it bigger” has become the defacto way to improve upon an open world video game, but one of Shadow of Mordor’s most alluring features was its reasonably sized map. Just Cause 3 certainly didn’t improve the game by tacking on extra size, and I hope Monolith can keep itself in check, focusing on the mechanics and combat instead.

It’s already putting up warning signs with that awfully generic title.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War will launch for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Aug. 22.

IGN

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Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...


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