Middle-Earth: Shadow of War takes the Nemesis System to new regions in first gameplay trailer

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Shadow of War grows in interesting ways

Shadow of Mordor was a surprisingly great game, cemented down by the use of its fantastic (and confoundingly still unique) Nemesis System. It allowed your actions around the ashen fields of Mordor to carry some weight, as you recruited Orcs to your side and played games of political chess with its war chiefs. It was smart but limited – which is exactly why its sequel, Shadow of War, is blowing out the system in ways that might surprise you.

In this first, lengthy look at Shadow of War’s gameplay, you’ll see that the core pillars of protagonist Talion’s abilities haven’t changed. Shadow of War still looks like Shadow of Mordor when it comes to sneaking and combat, so it’s the stuff around that which is more interesting. With the ability to travel to different regions and capture strongholds, Talion is able to rally up an invasion force composed of friendly Orcs. Each one brings something different to the table, which has a tangible impact on the siege.

Some might bring with them a force able to knock down walls and create new entry points, while other bring legions of archers to give you an edge from afar. These relationships are created in the same way too, but the broader structure of the Nemesis System allows for them to interact in clever ways. One of the stronghold’s chiefs, for example, used to side with Talion – before our player left him on a mission together and soured the relationship.

Read  Shelob and Balrog await in new Shadow of War story trailer

These connections between Orcs is the crux of what makes this new iteration so interesting, as they remember actions that both you as a player and other AI allies have inflicted on them. Orcs within your ranks will also build friendships and rivalries with one another, which can play out dynamically at any given time. Should two of you allies be sieging alongside you, it’s not uncommon for one to try take the competition out in the confusion of battle.

Shadow of War is using this system to make your battles unique to your play, and inject a sense of agency into the moment to moment politics that others games just don’t get near to. it’ll be exciting to see how this plays out in a less scripted manner, but we won’t have long to wait. Shadow of War is out this August.

Last Updated: March 9, 2017

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Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff's a bastard.

  • Dutch Matrix
  • Viking Of Science

    The Beacons are lit! GONDOR CALLS FOR AID!

  • Captain JJ

    All the games on the nemesis system have felt so samey. Animations and all that. Not that it’s a bad thing, it just feels like you’ve done it before.

    • Viking Of Science

      You Mean all 1 of them?

      • Captain JJ

        Hehe. Sorry, I meant the fight system and animations. Batman, Mad Max, Shadow of Mordor. They all felt samey.

        • Viking Of Science

          I Dunno man, to Me SoM felt faster and a touch more Fluid than Arkham, And Mad Max felt a bit Choppier and heavier, if that makes sense.

          • Captain JJ

            Yea, it was more fluid. For sure. They just felt so similar. The art style, the movements, the character designs.
            Look at something like the movement animations of the orc, put it right next to the thugs from Batman. It’s almost identical.

          • Viking Of Science

            In The AAA industry, that’s called “Synergy” Remember WB published all 3, So I’m sure some Assets were shared between studios.

          • Captain JJ

            I know. That’s the issue. And that’s why it felt samey. Which I didn’t like that much. Still really enjoyed the game though.

          • Viking Of Science

            Which Reminds me, I Need to Avenge you in SoM. Some punk orc Will pay! (Another feature I hope gets expanded a bit)

          • Captain JJ

            I loved going after the orc captains, but I feel like it was a bit of a bad choice to have them respawn. I understand it makes the game last longer, but it took away the special idea about actually eliminating that captain.

        • Dutch Matrix

          They should have made one game: Mad Batman in the Shadow(s) of Mordor

          • Viking Of Science

            Well, Remember the jokes from 2014: “Assasin’s Creed Mordor: Shadow of Arkham”

          • Captain JJ

            Yea. I never got that. They’re not really that similar to me at all.

          • Dutch Matrix

            I only remember the Great Joke of 1976. My birth.

          • Captain JJ

            Hehe

  • TJames47

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