I liked Shadow of Mordor. Or rather, I liked elements of it. The combat was amazing, and the vaunted Nemesis system was a particular highlight, as it enabled a more personal sort of narrative. The rest of the story, and the open world that accompanied it were less appealing. The main narrative was largely uninteresting, and the open world became frightfully repetitive. Still, I had a good time clearing out hordes of orcs and earning all of those fun-to-use wraith powers.
So yes, I’m excited for its impending sequel, as long as those lacking elements are improved upon. And that’s precisely what Monolith plans to do. So says Monolith’s VP Creative Michael de Plater, speaking to EDGE (via wccftech) – who says that the sequel will deliver on the first game’s promises.
“The things that worked were the Nemesis system and the combat. The things that didn’t work were the scale and payoff of the story, and because we’re so focused on combat, there was a level of repetition.
I think sequels in videogames are sometimes easier. Things are so complex and hard that you’re going to leave a lot of stuff on the table on the first one. Number two is often the fully realized vision of the ideas you had in your head.”
I think he could be right. Probably the most famous examples are Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed; two games whose sequels made good on their predecessors’ goals.
Even the good bits are getting upgraded. As De Plater said last month to Gamespot, the Nemesis system is set to be smarter
“What were the most emotional? The strongest emotions are the most resonant stories; what do people remember or what do they identify with and how could we really double down on that? What were the things that make those stories stronger and also ensure that everybody had a really good experience? Some people had these amazing Orcs that they remember, they build these relationships with them, and they just love to hate them.
And then they get up and they kill this Orc and then they feel sad because they’ve developed this relationship and now that was lost. But then other people, especially people who are very skilled and didn’t die, basically didn’t get to experience that at all. Or players that were more casual and who died a lot would have their enemies grow too powerful, and they’d drop out.
We wanted to make the whole system smarter to ensure that everybody gets these memorable, personal stories so. The other focus was to create a lot more variety. Ultimately, we had a few things that bubbled up, like poison weapons or Orcs who were immune to everything, but we wanted to create more variety in terms of how they behaved and how they fought and what abilities they had.”
Middle Earth: Shadow of War is coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One in August.