Game Informer have just revealed their December cover, and with it a good reason to return to Middle-earth. With Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, developer studio Monolith will ditch their first-person norm and delve into the open world. Set in between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, players will follow a lone ranger by the name of Talion. Specifically aimed at the next console generation, Monolith will take advantage of their new Nemesis System: each enemy is uniquely named and can learn and adapt if they survive their battle with you.
Taking their inspiration from the Arkham series of Batman games, Monolith understood what they needed when approaching a licence of this scale. Next up was to pick up a setting which hasn’t been thoroughly explored, while still yielding exciting content. The gap between Tolkien’s two epic tales still has a lot of untapped potential. “Mordor is such an exciting setting to be able to show it in a way that it’s never been seen before” said a statement from Monolith in Game Informer.
Players will take control of a ranger named Talion, who according to Game Informers interview with Monolith is “part ranger, part wraith”. What this exactly means is still unknown, but by looking at the artwork it’s clear Talion has some sort of innate power. We learned that Talion’s family was murdered by Sauron and his forces in Mordor, before it becomes the wasteland it was in the trilogy.
What’s probably the most interesting take on this foray into Middle-earth is Nemesis System. The idea behind it is that every enemy you face is meaningful, and less of the cannon-fodder we see today. Each foe will have their own unique name, but it doesn’t stop at the aesthetics. Not only can they grow stronger and more deadly just as Talion can, but they can also act on the world in the same way.
According to Monolith “there’s nothing more important than this project right now”. If they can recreate the same success as the Arkham series, then our long awaited encore in Middle-earth couldn’t come sooner.