Shadow of Mordor 2: The sequel to 2014’s epic action RPG Shadow of Mordor that was earlier assumed to be called Shadow of Mordor 2 now has an official name and a release date. The upcoming title, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, is due to come out later this year, and we felt like this was a good time to chart the upcoming game’s background and what it might shape up to be.
The Future is Rooted in the Past
The 2014 original, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, was released in September as an action RPG that was based on Tolkien’s fantasy novels, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The game made fantastic use of the mythology of the books and also took inspiration from Peter Jackson’s representations on celluloid. It featured an original story that was placed in between the events of the novels and focuses on the story of revenge of Talion, a ranger, whose family was murdered. The title’s impressive myth reconstructions and gameplay won Shadow of Mordor critical acclaim along with a number of accolades. Needless to say, those who became enamored with the game started hoping for a sequel. And not long after the release of Shadow of Mordor, we started hearing whispers about Shadow of Mordor 2 being in development, thanks to the work credits of an actress involved in the project. While the internet exploded with the news of Monolith Productions secretly working on a sequel, not much was heard about the project in the months that came after it. But the fact that the information was quickly taken down was a telling hint. The next
The next time we heard about the upcoming game was when something titled Middle Earth: Shadow of War, ended up being listed on US retail site Target. It was done by mistake, no doubt, and after the posting went viral, those involved with it once again tried to eliminate all proof of its existence. But that is hardly possible in the age of the internet, and details of the posting were duly picked up by noted publications. However, now that the cover was blown, the developers proceeded to formally unveil the sequel. And this time we were rewarded with a cinematic announcement trailer.
So now that we have established all the drama surrounding Shadow of Mordor 2’s announcement, let’s get down to the details.
Shadow of Mordor 2 (Shadow of War) Release Date and Platforms
The Target listing of Middle Earth: Shadow of War had revealed a late August launch of the upcoming sequel, but we chose to take that information with a grain of salt; for who can trust unofficial sources to ever be true? And right after that those exact dates were confirmed by publishers Warner Bros. Interactive. So as it stands now, Shadow of War is currently scheduled to be released on August 22, 2017, in the United States, with a European release happening a few day later on August 25. The game will be playable on the Windows PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
Shadow of Mordor 2 Story and Trailer
At present, story details are sparse. But thanks to a NeoGAF member who dutifully put up all the details in the ill-timed (not for us, though) Target listing, we got an early hint at what the sequel will bring forth. Take a look below.
“Experience an epic open-world brought to life by the award-winning Nemesis System. Forge a new Ring of Power, conquer Fortresses in massive battles and dominate Mordor with your personal Orc army in Middle-earth: Shadow of War.
“Go behind enemy lines to forge your army, conquer Fortresses and dominate Mordor from within. Experience how the award-winning Nemesis System creates unique personal stories with every enemy and follower, and confront the full power of the Dark Lord Sauron and his Ringwraiths in this epic new story of Middle-earth.”
All this is very exciting to someone who is acquainted with Shadow of Mordor. It gives us great joy to see that the Nemesis System, arguably the best gameplay feature of the 2014 title, is being revamped and brought back. As the listing reveals, “In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, nothing will be forgotten.”
A lot more was revealed with the official announcement, however, and we now know that the events of Middle Earth: Shadow of War will continue on from those of its predecessor. Talion is still the central protagonist alongside Celebrimbor, the wraith who brought him back and shares his grudge against Sauron. They will travel further into Mordor and face off against fierce enemies while trying to build an army against Sauron avenge his evils. In the new game, Talion forges a new Ring of Power which can be used for the greater good. Together, the two use their powers and abilities to weaken Sauron’s hold on his men so that they can be used against him.
Have a look at the announcement trailer for Middle Earth: Shadow of War below.
Shadow of Mordor 2 Gameplay Features
Even with Shadow of War’s announcement, the upcoming title’s gameplay aspects were left sketchy. But just as promised, the creators published a gameplay walkthrough on March 8, which revealed that the aim is “to conquer Mordor from within”. Here are the things that we learned.
Open World: Like Shadow of Mordor, Middle Earth: Shadow of War will also be an open world title playable from the third person perspective. But the new game will also involve increased levels of RPG elements over its predecessor. The maps will offer different regions for the player to conquer, and each will come complete with their own distinct environments. There will be different overlords for each, and the player will challenge these characters and defeat them to be able to take hold of their region.
An Improved Nemesis System: By their own admission, the creators have only just explored a fraction of all that can be achieved with the Nemesis System in the first game. With the next game, they aim to expand it much further to deliver a much more immersive, and challenging, experience. So in Shadow of War, expect the Nemesis System to extend not only to the Orks (Uruks, as they are known within the game) but a whole lot of other NPCs, including “Followers,” which will react in accordance to how the player interacts with them. The Followers can be useful allies to the player when he faces his enemies, but some of their attitudes might differ based on your interactions with them in the past. Be aware that they are perfectly capable of betraying you, and you will have to defeat them before moving on to larger missions.
In fact, the experience will not just be relegated to the NPCs and will extend to the world of the game in its entirety. This, in turn, will help shape a different world that will be unique to each player based on every decision they take within the game.
The creators also add: “The Nemesis System is also expanded to create a unique personal world through Nemesis Fortresses, which allows players to utilize different strategies to conquer dynamic strongholds and create personalized worlds with their unique Orc army.” So as you can tell, Shadow of War will be way more satisfying to play than the 2014 entry.
In addition, more immersive RPG elements mean that defeating enemies will let you gain new armors and equip them. Below is the 15-minute gameplay walkthrough that details many more notable aspects of the upcoming game.
Shadow Of Mordor 2 Wishlist
Shadow of Mordor was an epic game, and we can see enough hints that the sequel will be even bigger than its predecessor. So here are a couple of things that we think could make Middle Earth: Shadow of War a more awesome game.
Multiplayer: Both Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War have been developed as single player titles, and the first game’s immersive experience tells us that the new game will expand upon this aspect in much more depth. However, we would have really liked to see the addition of an online multiplayer, if only just to get a feel of a slightly different experience. We don’t expect this to actually arrive in the upcoming title, but it does find a respectful position on our wishlist for Shadow of Mordor 2.
Huge Maps: We know that the new game will retain the open world quality of Shadow of Mordor, but what’s a sequel without giant improvements? Monolith has already expanded on a number of the features that we saw and loved in the first game, including the awesome Nemesis System. But one thing that we are really looking forward to is the addition of a massive map system.
All in all, Middle Earth: Shadow of War is going to be a huge game. For fans of the first title, the new entry is definitely going to be a treat, and for those among us who haven’t yet tried it, we can’t imagine that it will be any less enjoyable. We have discussed all that excite us the most about the upcoming game, but there are obviously a lot more that the new game will pack in. Tell us why you are looking forward to Shadow of Mordor 2 in the comments below.