Monolith Productions is hard at work bringing us a AAA Lord of the Rings action game. That in itself is a hard task considering the franchise’s history with action games. In other genres The Lord of the Rings has made a successful jump to games (the rather good Battle for Middle-earth RTS series springs to mind) but the most obvious fit (an action adventure game) has always turned up lacklustre experiences.
Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive looks well on the way to breaking that disappointing streak. In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, players take on a human character called Talion. The game takes place between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, so it’s largely unexplored territory that gives Monolith some freedom to muck around. And they’ve certainly grabbed hold of that chance considering Talion is a human-wraith hybrid – something that has never existed in Tolkien’s Middle-earth before.
The biggest and possibly most exciting mechanic in Shadow of Mordor is the Nemesis system, which sees enemies changing in personality and skills as the game progresses. If you have an encounter with an orc warrior who survives, he’ll remember you the next time you meet. Each encounter has the potential to alter the ranks of Mordor’s army. It’s intriguing, and you can watch the whole thing in action after the jump.
There’s a definite Assassin’s Creed meets Batman: Arkham City vibe going on here. Count me in.