Following on the heels of the successful Shadow of Mordor, Middle-earth: Shadow of War is set to be a major expansion upon the features of the first hit game in the series. Developed by Monolith, this game seeks to create something more than a simple open world game – and in the process, seeks to create the definitive Middle-earth experience.
While the game still has several months until release, Monolith’s team has decided to show off a few of the game’s upgraded returning features as well as some entirely new game mechanics.
As one can tell from the recent live stream of the game, the goal of Shadow of War seems to be the overall improvement. While much of what gamers already enjoyed is still there, there are a number of enhancements shown in the hour-and-a-half long Twitch stream. Thus far, Monolith has shown off not only an enhancement of its hit Nemesis system, but a handful of new features including the much-anticipated addition of fortress captures.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is still very much an open world game, but it’s also a game that has learned the lessons of the past. There’s a huge world to explore, which Monolith has promised will be even more dynamic than that explored in the first. The game seems to be going out of its way to strike a balance between old and new features, with a strong slant towards improving everything that made the first game so popular among players. Those seeking more concrete evidence of the developer’s intentions should take a look at the most recent trailer for more proof of how far the game has come.
Taking place between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, Shadow of War occupies a unique place in the Middle-Earth mythology. It has players facing down Sauron and his orcish legions, though in a manner that is perhaps contradictory to the beloved novels. Players will still control the human Talion and his ghostly elven companion Celebrimbor as they seek out revenge against the creatures that ruined both of their lives.
The closing moments of the first game suggest a path towards the future that is unlikely to stay true to the novels, but that might provide a great deal of excitement to players who have always wondered about the many alternate paths the novels could have taken.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is slated for a fall release after being briefly pushed back for more polishing. The game is now due for a worldwide release in October of 2017 and will be available on the PC, XBox One and Playstation 4.