Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Countdown

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

I remember when Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor came out a few years back. It had been forever since I was truly excited about a video game coming out. I was a kid all over again waiting for Christmas morning. I did research, I watched videos, and I counted down the days until I was finally able to play it. And it was worth the wait! If you didn’t know already, the sequel, Shadow of War, is coming out on August 22 of this year. And it looks even more amazing than the first! Just like before, I’ve been watching those YouTube videos and doing my research. The trailer looks simply stunning and the gameplay looks flat out epic. Check out the trailer here. Check out the gameplay here.

Picture from the gameplay video. So it begins…

With this being a new game, there are several new aspects of gameplay that I am really looking forward too. Just when you think they couldn’t possibly make an even better game, the good people at Monolith Productions go above and beyond and create a masterpiece… well, potentially. But who am I kidding, it’s going to be amazing! Here are some of the things that I am most excited about for this new game. I’m drooling already.

New gear

New armor and weapons allow for different looks and tricks. In the first game you could only pick up rune upgrades for your weapons. And there was nothing wrong with that. The runes in the first game could be used for some serious combos, allowing you to recover arrows and health while slaughtering waves and waves of orcs and warchiefs. Near the end of the game, if you had quite a bit of epic ruins attached to your weapons, you were basically unstoppable.

But now, it looks like you will be able to pick up other ruins and gear, including armor. In the gameplay demo video, you see Talion pick up Rohirrim armor, and it looks baller. With new gear, ruins, and stat tiers, I’m sure the abilities and combos will be oh so very entertaining!

New stat tiers

Speaking of stat tiers, there will be quite a few new exciting abilities that Talion and Celebrimbor will be able to perform. The first game had some pretty epic abilities. Shadow-step allowed for Talion to teleport from one enemy to another, executing them as he went. The executions are some of the most brutal fighting choreography I have ever seen in a game.

Picture from the trailer video.

The stat tiers allowed for a lot of flexibility in the way you wanted to approach your enemies. You could sneak into any enemy camp, poison the orcs food, stealth kill a few archers, and get out of the area before anyone knew you were there. Or you could go in shooting fire arrows, blowing up campfires and grog, and jumping into a large group of unhappy orcs. Or you could brand the orcs, turning them over to your side, and creating your own personal orc army to fight for you.

The gameplay video shows some cool new moves that the Ranger-Wraith duo can perform. One of the moves that is seen is another version of Shadow-step, where the orc is pulled over to Talion, rather than teleporting to the orc. There is also another scene where both Talion and Celebrimbor split apart to take out two orc archers, silently and simultaneously.

New enemies (or allies) and monsters

There are orcs and caragors, just like before. But now it looks like there are a whole lot more familiar faces for those who have read the books or seen the movies. There are now trolls that you can either fight or turn to your side. But you must be careful. You have to keep your soldiers and warchiefs happy, otherwise they might just defect to the enemy. Once again, this creates your own unique personal stories between you and the characters in the game.

Also, in the gameplay video, there is one part where Talion releases an enemy fire Drake. Talion shadow-steps onto the drake and brands it to make it his own. If I just saw that part of the clip, I would want to buy this game. Oh and also, during the trailer video, a Balrog makes an appearance. So there is that, potentially. Trolls and Dragons and Balrogs, oh my!

Picture from the trailer video. Fly you fools!

Larger map

The map sounds like it will be much larger than the first. Instead of two areas to travel around, you will be able to travel all across Mordor, and even into Gondor. The trailer shows the fall of Minas Ithil, which later becomes Minas Morgul, the home of the Wraiths. The gameplay video shows the Nemesis system map view, which allows for an overview of the entire area and the fortresses that reign over those areas. From the Plateau of Gorgoroth to Osgiliath, it sounds like there will be a lot more room for activities…

Capturing fortresses

This is completely new gameplay, and it sounds awesome! There will now be fortresses that you must lay siege, capture, and overthrow the Overlord of the fortress. And each fortress is different in appearance, based on the Overlord and warchiefs inhabiting that fortress. So basically, you will never experience the same fortress siege as someone else. They will always be different. Tribes, another new feature, will also play a role in the appearance of fortresses and enemies. Tribes will create more special abilities for enemies and warchiefs.

Picture from the gameplay video. Overlord Ur-Hakon the Dragon.

However, you will not be laying siege to these fortresses alone. You will have your own followers that you will be able to pick and customize to create your own personal orc army. There are several instances during the gameplay video that show just how awesome it will be to have followers. In the video, Talion is saved quite a few times by some of his allies, creating epic personal stories of loyalty. Once a fortress has been captured, you can then assign your own orcs to the fortress, changing the appearance and the bonuses received from that fortress.

Seriously, can not wait for this game to come out. It looks absolutely epic and way better than the first. And the first game was amazing! So excited!

Thanks for stopping by, nerds!

Much love,

Matt “Donoran” Fuhrmann

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