Shadow of Mordor is shaping up to be one of my most anticipated RPGs of the year. During a new reveal at Gamescom, developers revealed new details on the story of the game, specifically the role of Gollum in advancing the plot.
For those who aren’t aware, Shadow of Mordor takes place after The Hobbit. The entire story is set in Mordor and the power of the rings that we saw in the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are bestowed upon Talion by Celebrimbor. Gollum is also searching Mordor, only he is more interested in finding his lost precious that was stolen.
By following Gollum, the player can find lost relics and artifacts that unlock memories. Each of these memories give us greater insight into Celebrimbor’s character, as well as Sauron. Remember, even Sauron didn’t start out as evil. Unlocking memories also unlocks more of his powers, making Talion more powerful.
This is necessary as areas are awakening and becoming more evil in the same way that Celebrimbor’s memories are awakening. Could Celebrimbor actually be the root of evil in this game? I’m basing this on complete and utter conjecture, but it could be so. When Gollum realizes who Talion is possessed by, he becomes convinced that Celebrimbor could help him recover his precious. As a result, he promises to help Celebrimbor find more relics, merging their goals together.
This session showed off a more specific mission and cave. While the game features a fantastic open-world to explore, one that changes depending on the day/night cycle and reveals hidden landmarks when in Wraith mode, there is also a rich story and more traditional dungeons to explore.
I already raved to you all about the Nemesis System after I got my hands on it at E3. However, what I found particularly interesting about it here was that we learn that there is no such thing as cannon fodder in the game. While it’s probably a bit of a lie (c’mon, not every orc can really matter), I like the idea that the lowly pleb who escaped your rampage in a fort could go on to level up, get promoted and become a boss himself.
It’s an interesting and excellent take on a game mechanic, especially as they will remember previous encounters with the player, and you can learn more about their strengths and weaknesses over time. Should you die, time doesn’t stop and simply reset. While you’re dead, orc hierarchy continues to change as they challenge each other to duels, level up, go on raids and other activities. This helps to add continuity to the game, as well as make your nemeses more meaningful.
Finally, the developers drew some interesting parallels between the characters. Much like Saruman, seeking to build an army to compete with Sauron’s, Celebrimbor also wants to bend the more repulsive creatures to his will. Branding your enemies will help you as your progress through the game, as well as give you the reinforcements that you need to take on Sauron’s forces. Similarly, Celebrimbor is compared to Frodo from Lord of the Rings – tempted by evil but also determined to destroy it.
Talion is much like Sam – wishing he was never involved in this whole matter to begin with.
Last Updated: August 14, 2014