Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Middle-earth: Shadow of War which focuses on the vast and varied open world of the game. Monolith Studios released the groundbreaking Shadow of Mordor in 2014, earning critical acclaim for its never-before-seen Nemesis System. It was widely celebrated, releasing to commercial success and earning a number of gaming awards, yet it wasn’t without its notable flaws. Some complained that it leaned too heavily on this dynamic scripting system at the expense of other staple gameplay aspects. With Shadow of War, Monolith has promised to rectify those issues by expanding enormously on the previous game in every way.
The first gameplay trailer explored the new siege mechanic which will allow players to conquer fortified locations across Mordor and beyond. Now, Warner Bros. has released a new trailer which takes players outside those city walls with a look at the varied environments of Shadow of War’s open world.
The video offers brand new footage of familiar locations such as Cirith Ungol and Seregost (which was assaulted in the first gameplay trailer), as well as some that have never before been rendered from Lord of the Rings lore, from Gorgoroth to the lush Island of Nurn. It also gives a few brief glimpses of the game’s improved wilderness and new weather mechanics. Take a look at the video above.
In Shadow of War, players will step back into the ghostly boots of the ranger Talion and his wraith-counterpart Celebrimbor the Bright Lord. The story trailer showed the premise of the sequel, but the game’s real promise is its expanded Nemesis System, which now affects the open world as well as the Uruks you’ll come up against. The environments and locations featured in this latest trailer are merely one example of how they might look in a given play through, with varying factors changing the architecture and atmosphere of the world map. Player’s actions will determine the visuals of fortresses and the wildlife that they’ll come across while exploring Mordor and its outskirts.
Monolith Studios has made Shadow of War into a manifesto of the Nemesis System’s potential, painstakingly creating a variety of visuals for different tribal factions that control areas of the world map. It’s the player’s responsibility as Talion to wage war on Sauron and his forces, changing the Uruk status quo by installing their own followers in places of power. These decisions will change the landscape of conquered areas, allowing players to explore a Middle-earth that’s unique to them.
The studio has described their sequel as “richer, more personal and expansive world full of epic heroes and villains, iconic locations, original enemy types, more personalities and a new cast of characters with untold stories.” With a host of extended gameplay mechanics and an enormous open world (which Monolith has promised will dwarf the original), Shadow of War is already looking like an early Game of the Year contender.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is available from August 22nd, 2017 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One, Project Scorpio, and Windows 10 PC.
Source: Warner Bros.
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