As promised, the first glimpse of the newly announced Middle Earth: Shadow Of War has been revealed. While the sequel’s title to the 2014 hit may not be as catchy, it certainly builds upon the main feature that has yet to be seen in other open world games of its ilk: the Nemesis System. The idea that the orc hierarchy you need to kill or subdue to reach Sauron in the last game is made even more impressive as the orcs are all dynamically affected based on player’s actions. We certainly loved the system in our review.
In Shadow Of War, the system is cranked even further. As Talion and Celebrimbor, you now have to raise an army to take on the war against Sauron. Now instead of just having the Nemesis System affect the rank and file of the opposition, there is now a local hierarchy at each of the different zones, plus your own hierarchy of orcs you can recruit as followers. Interestingly, their allegiance can change over time as well, so expect backstabbing to happen.
The 15-minute gameplay snippet shows off how to take a fortress. If this was like any other open world game you probably get the same idea, but the game promised to offer unique and many dynamic sequences as you storm into it to take down the overlord, which will be dynamically determined by the Nemesis System.
The idea of installing your own overload after taking the fortress is nifty as well. The person you put into power can greatly affect how you can gather resources and defend from invasions. If the system is as dynamic as it wants us to believe, that is one really bold move. Imagine having a captured stronghold being flipped after a betrayal.
While the combat and movement remains true to the first title (which is a lot like Assassin’s Creed and Batman Arkham games), there’s now a full blown RPG system with colour-coded loot. There’s also a strategic layer once you’ve in control of the fortress. And you get to ride a dragon too.
Middle-earth: Shadow Of War is set for release on August 22 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.