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The first 'Middle-earth: Shadow of War' expansion is out this November

Official Shadow of War Expansion Pass Trailer
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is an exceptional action-adventure game, and with its Shadow Wars epilogue, it can easily take you about two dozen hours to reach the final cinematic. But if you’re still not ready to leave Tolkien’s world, the game’s expansion pass has plenty of content to keep you busy.

The Slaughter Tribe expansion will be the first add-on for expansion pass owners — as well as those who purchased the game’s $100 “Gold Edition” — and contains the titular tribe of orcs as well as all-new missions. Hunting down the tribe can also earn you a new Legendary gear set, and the expansion even introduces a new fortress to conquer. The Slaughter tribe is particularly aggressive, and will launch ambushes on Talion — you’ll be able to fight them in November.

In December, the Outlaw Tribe expansion will release. As with the previous expansion, it includes access to new gear, a new fortress, and new missions. The Outlaw tribe has “a deep contempt for all those who would rule them,” so don’t expect them to go down without a hard fight.

The first story-focused expansion for Shadow of War will be available next February. Blade of Galadriel allows you to play as the dark assassin seen in the main campaign as you go up against the spectral Nazgûl, with access to her special abilities and dual blades. You’ll be able to battle all-new orcs, including eight new Legendary ones, and you’ll even unlock a special Eltariel skin for use in Talion’s campaign.

The final story expansion, Desolation of Mordor, will release in May, and allows you to take control of Baranor. Unlike the other sections of the game, you won’t have access to an orc army, but rather one made up of human mercenaries, and you’ll be able to create new gear such as a shield and even a glider. Without the power of a wraith to protect Baranor, combat should carry a new sense of desperation and urgency. As with Blade of Galadriel, you’ll also receive a skin for Talion with the expansion.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The expansion pass will set you back $40.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
Here’s what you need to know before starting ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of War’
middle earth shadow of war dlc timeline review 014209

Middle-earth: Shadow of War expands on its predecessor Shadow of Mordor in nearly every way, including strategic siege mechanics, a more complex combat system, and more varied orc war chiefs to fight or "dominate." All of this makes the game more engaging but all these systems can be overwhelming for newcomers. Over dozens of hours, we have spent time mastering Shadow of War and we’re here to help if you’re just getting started. Here is what you need to know to go from a beginner to the master of Mordor.
You spend a large portion of Shadow of War battling lowly orcs and trolls, as well as more powerful orc captains -- named characters who like to chat Talion up before initiating a fight to the death. From the start, you have access to a sword, dagger, and a ranged weapon. Like Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham series, combat in Shadow of War puts a premium on countering and evading attacks, but if you want to take down packs of orcs in a hurry, you should play the game a little bit differently.
Research your targets
Shadow of War: A Tribute to Az-Laar the Demolisher

The captains and war chiefs you find scattered throughout Middle-earth: Shadow of War each come with their own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing how to fight your opponent before engaging them begins makes the ordeal significantly easier. Normally, entering Wraith mode and clicking on a captain will let you know his strengths, but in order to learn his vulnerabilities, you need to seek out "worms." These messenger orcs are spread out among the forces of Mordor and marked with a small green diamond-like symbol above their head. By sneaking up behind them and “interrogating” one, you can get a full dossier new on any captain or war chief in a given region, or simply find out the weaknesses of one you already encountered.

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‘Middle-earth: Shadows of War’ Forthog Orc Slayer DLC is now free
Forthog DLC

The newest downloadable content package announced for Middle-earth: Shadows of War features a tribute to an executive producer at Monolith who died from brain cancer during the game’s development. The Forthog Orc Slayer DLC is based on Mike “Forthog” Forgey, who passed away in 2016.

Although the developers originally intended to charge for the DLC and donate the proceeds to Forgey's family, they have instead decided to offer the DLC free to anyone who owns the game and make a donation directly to the family instead. If you bought the DLC, you'll receive a refund for the purchase. Monolith has also set up a YouCaring page if you'd like to donate to the family directly. Some of the developers paid tribute to Forgey and discussed the new character in a video stream.

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Earlier this month, Warner Bros. Interactive and Monolith Productions revealed the Forthog Orc-Slayer content pack for the upcoming game Middle-earth: Shadow of War. At the time, the publisher said that all proceeds would be going to the family of late executive producer Mike Forgey, but after struggling to find a legal solution for international donations, the content will instead be free to all players.

"Our decision not to promote the donation outside the United States (even though we intended to donate the money) caused many to question where funds from other territories were going," Warner Bros. said in a forum post. "Answering that direct question itself could have triggered compliance obligations or put us in violation of marketing laws in some of the 241 territories in which the content was available."

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