Back in 2014, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor was my favorite game of the year. While it is true that Shadow of Mordor borrowed heavily from other titles such as Assassin’s Creed and the Arkham series. What made this game special, however, was the original and unique Nemesis System, which has yet to be recreated by other studios. Monolith Productions knows how well this system worked, and is looking to expand it in an even more ambitious and epic way for Shadow of War in their new gameplay reveal.
Shadow of War is taking its name very seriously as this an all out war for Mordor. While in the first game, you focused mainly on taking down armies by cutting down its ranks. Shadow of War’s new Nemesis System sets out to not only defeat armies, but create your own. War-chiefs can now be recruited rather than slain using the game’s new ring of power to bend others to their will. As the trailer states, war-chiefs each can have their own abilities and advantages, which will be used once you start a siege. It looks like sieges are where all aspects of the game truly come together.
In terms of gameplay, Shadow of War doesn’t look all that different from its predecessor. While of course there are some new brutal animations for Talion to use, but that’s about it. It seems Monolith is taking the, “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” approach. The engine looks to be the same as well. There aren’t any new groundbreaking graphics, but instead the developers are expanding the layout and scope of the world. From the map we saw in the trailer, Shadow of War looks massive. Players will need to spend time building their armies to conquer everything.
Overall, it seems Shadow of War is focusing mainly on the Nemesis System. I’m completely okay with this. In the first game, the Nemesis System is what made it so memorable by creating your own stories. You may have had that one uruk who kept defeating you in battle and got cockier each time, basically creating your own arch enemy. In the sequel, even more stories look to be created as you’ll also be making allies on the way. Shadow of War definitely has a lot to live up to. When the original game was released in 2014, nobody expected it to be a game of the year contender. With many awards under its predecessor’s belt, Shadow of War has some high expectations come August.
Let’s hope Monolith stays true to it’s ambition.
Find out more about Shadow of War on their official website.