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

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.

“We lost Mike to cancer during the development of Shadow of War, and we want to remember and honor him with a little bit of immortality in Mordor,” said WB Games in a statement. “The legendary Forthog Orcslayer is our way to continue having Mike leap into battle and save us when we’re down.”

Forthog will not be a playable character — instead, he’s a murderous nomad who may show up when you’re in the midst of battle to lend a helping hand. With his guitar-shaped axe, Forthog will dispatch any nearby foes and then wander off in search of more orcs to slaughter. The music in the Forthog trailer featured above was performed by Forgey himself.

“The idea of him jumping in to save the day is something we wanted to capture,” explained developer Kevin Stephens in the live-stream video. “Forthog Orc Slayer is basically a savior that’s just in the world, and if you have this DLC, randomly, it doesn’t always happen, but randomly he can jump in and save you when you most need it. That really represents Michael’s personality.”

Shadow of War is the upcoming sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, a story-based adventure that introduced the revolutionary Nemesis System, which cultivates rivalries with specific enemies and turns each melee into an intensely personal affair. The new game promises even more expansive environments and the Nemesis feature has been expanded to include entire armies.

We’ve has our eye on Shadow of War since it was announced, and we’ll have lots more as the orc armies draw closer. Middle-earth: Shadow of War will be available October 10 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Revised October 1, 2017 to reflect that the DLC is now free.

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