‘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.

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