Over in the US of A, previews recently went live for the upcoming Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. We weren’t invited unfortunately, but that’s because Zoe started a riot at a Lord of the Rings convention last year when she arrived in Star Wars garb and a full battalion of the 501st Stormtrooper division and oh gods so many nerds died that day. While I go seek help for my PTSD, you can read more on the upcoming fantasy sandbox.
One of the big features of Shadow of Mordor, is the Nemesis system. According to to the game’s director of design Michael de Plater who spoke to Polygon, enemies will be procedurally generated and will hold one hell of a grudge.
“We wanted to make it feel like a dynamic society, [we wanted it to] feel alive, and to make it so that as you’re traveling, you’re really able to have an affect on that world,” de Plater said.
We didn’t necessarily start with the idea of making it procedural. I think the starting idea was we wanted to do something new and next-gen with our enemies. There are villains in every game, but how do we make the player create their own personal villain?
When players can create their own stories, it becomes so much more meaningful and memorable. In every game, you fight so many nameless grunts, and we didn’t want to do that. We wanted to make those more interesting and give them more possibility without creating scripted villains.
As a recently resurrected Ranger by the name of Talion, players will also find that he has access to Wraith abilities. These two aspects form two unique skill trees for Talion, with the Wraith skills in particular opening up mind-reading abilities. Examples given of this power include Talion reading the mind of a spy in a town, and dominating that minion into fighting for him as he discovers how the Orcs operate.
This is where the Nemesis system comes into play, as proper planning can lead to victory, but your enemies will remember all of your actions and battles. “You could be meeting some of these guys four, five or six times if they kill you, or if a fight is inconclusive, or if they’re injured. Those scars are going to mark your enemy,” de Plater said.
They’re going to remember you. They’re going to hate you even more, and they’re going to level up and hunt you down.
Sounds like a cool feature actually. The open-world game drops sometime in 2014 for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Check out this alpha footage of the gameplay in the meantime.
Last Updated: January 24, 2014