Monolith Production’s upcoming action RPG Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor previewed at E3 with spectacular style. Our protagonist, Talion, a ranger of Gondor charged with protecting the Black Gate, is slaughtered along with his family at the hands of Sauron’s armies. He is later resurrected (by whom we’re not sure) and possesses abilities not unlike those of the Wraiths, and travels to Mordor to exact his revenge.
Perhaps the biggest feature of this open world epic that spans the 60 years between J.R. R, Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, is its adaptive Nemesis System; as the player progresses through the story, each enemy that Talion meets will remember their previous interaction and adjust accordingly for their next encounter. This system has the potential to allow for massive replay value, as the player may decide one day to flee the battle only to have his nemesis taunt him for doing so, or maybe next time he’ll be taught a lesson he won’t soon forget – the options seem practically limitless.
Another very interesting aspect of gameplay is Talion’s Wraith abilities, and how they are used to disrupt Sauron’s army by imposing his will on the creatures around him. The player can choose to create minor power struggles within the rank and file, allowing the massive war machine to start crumbling to pieces, or simply just to go straight in with the traditional hack’n’slash. The player is also working with their own Orc forces, growing in power by helping their own army complete missions or by helping Talion disrupt Sauron’s forces from the inside by assassinating Orc commanders or gathering covert intelligence.
Each game creates its own Orcish microcosm, with ever-evolving enemies and allies that react to your decisions and commands. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is slated for release on Oct. 7, 2013 and will be available on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.