‘Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor’ tells a brand new story in the LOTR universe

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is set to return to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings universe with the Monolith Productions-developed third-person action game, Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor. The game sends players off on a brand new adventure set during the time of the Rings trilogy, starting off with a ranger named Talion, who is murdered alongside his family on the night that Sauron and his army return to Mordor.

Talion may be dead for most of the game, but that doesn’t mean he’s done fighting. The ranger is resurrected as a Spirit of Vengeance and granted the abilities of a Wraith – you know, those creepy robed skeleton dudes who are in constant pursuit of the One Ring – as he sets out to exact his revenge on those who wronged him. The press release gets a little cagey at this point, suggesting there’s more to Talion’s resurrection than simple revenge: “Through the course of his personal vendetta, Talion uncovers the truth of the Spirit that compels him, learns the origins of the Rings of Power, and ultimately confronts his true nemesis.”

See?

The announcement notes that every enemy players encounter is unique, each with its own personality, strengths, and weaknesses. There’s also mention of a “Nemesis System” in which “enemy relationships and characteristics” are shaped by the decisions that players make. These are the big picture ideas, at any rate. We’ll have to wait for a more detailed reveal to really get a sense of how the game works. 

Monolith is perhaps best known for its work on the first two F.E.A.R. games, as well as Gotham City Impostors, and the Tolkien-inspired MOBA Guardians of Middle-earthShadows of Mordor is in development for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, though there’s no release date or window confirmed at this time.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Gaming

After a bit of a delay, 'Metro Exodus' is just around the corner

Metro: Exodus, the sequel to first-person shooter Metro: Last Light, takes players across the nuclear wasteland. Here's everything we know so far, from the story and setting to its emphasis on open-world gameplay.
Gaming

Still have holiday cash to blow? Grab one of these awesome Xbox One games

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Verizon video game streaming service leaked, currently testing on Nvidia Shield

Verizon is currently testing a video game streaming service that is already running on the Nvidia Shield set-top box, according to The Verge. The platform, named Verizon Gaming, will also eventually launch on Android smartphones.
Gaming

Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.
Gaming

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.
Gaming

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.
Gaming

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.
Gaming

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.
Gaming

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.
Gaming

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.