Middle-earth: Shadow of War will be crawling with monsters. As well as the legions of orcs we saw in Shadow of Mordor, Talion will be beset by huge spiders, elemental graugs, and far more powerful adversaries.
A recent video from Warner Bros UK aims to show off some of the new monsters coming to the game, and there’s a lot to unpick, with barely an orc in sight.
A lot of what was shown in the trailer should be familiar if you played the first game. You’ll be able to take control of caragors and graugs, using them to attack your enemies or as mounts to move around the game’s open world. What’s new is that you’ll have the ability to lead entire packs of caragor, and some sort of ice graug that freezes an unsuspecting orc with its cold breath. You’ll also be able to jump to your new mounts using your wraith abilities. Ghouls also seem to be making a return, and it looks like they’ve grown up a bit since the last game.
There are also some other details we’ve seen in previous announcements. Shelob, in both her spider and human forms, will be an important part of the game’s narrative. You’ll be able to ride dragons, and they’ll be able to breathe fire down onto the battlefields. The video also exhibits trolls, which will be included among Sauron’s armies in the sequel.
But the trailer doesn’t stop there as it introduces two new characters who fight alongside and against Talion. The first is Tar’garoth, a Balrog who has lain hidden in Mordor since the first age, and who is summoned by a collection of orcs at the beginning of the trailer. As in the films, Balrogs are incredibly powerful, and Tar’garoth is no exception.
The second new edition is the spirit of Carnán, who is awoken by the presence of Tar’garoth. Carnán is also tremendously powerful, able to shift at will into a variety of forms. She and Tar’garoth are ancient enemies, and the trailer shows her assisting Talion and Celebrimbor in their battle with him.