As movie audiences gear up for the next installment of The Hobbit, gamers now have their own Tolkien project to get excited about. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is on its way to a game screen near you on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, we feel the upcoming game showcases some of the gameplay innovation potential now possible on next-generation consoles through its groundbreaking Nemesis System.
While many previous games set in Middle-earth have revolved around the major events or characters depicted in Tolkien's books, Shadow of Mordor offers a new chapter that fits comfortably between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Players control a lone ranger by the name of Talion as he journeys deep into the heart of Mordor in the days before it transforms into a blasted hellscape. Along the way, developer Monolith is exploring a fascinating next-gen approach to enemies, encounters, and storytelling, one in which every player shapes their own story through the choices they make. The Nemesis System assures that every enemy you fight is a named foe, and if they survive their battle with you, they continue to grow, improve, and act in the world, even as you attempt to do the same with Talion. Our cover story recounts our extensive look at the game in action, from combat and leveling to story and setting.
Summary of the GI Cover Story:
Seemed to me it was more concept although it was in gameplay form, like the camera was in the right spot if you were to actually play it but if it was real then it looked rough. But it's still early so I'm not worried about that. The gameplay seems really ambitious though.
-> Every enemy has a name, rank and memory. If you don't kill them in an encounter for whatever reason they will remember you later on and change their tactics, not only getting stronger in level but learning new immunities. Enemy dialogue changes because of your previous encounters as well.
-> Enemies have their own jobs to do and their AI allows them to do certain things on their own. For example an Orc you have to kill may be dueling another at one point or he may be doing whatever his higher ranking officer assigned him to do. It all progresses in real time with or without your interference.
-> If an enemy kills you in battle you don't "die" in the traditional sense. You do eventually respawn but time in the world passed (they didn't say how long). During this time the enemy that killed you was likely promoted because of him killing you or he could have been killed somehow (like losing one of the duels I mentioned above).
-> If your objective is to kill a high ranking warlord you can do it in several ways. One way would be chipping away at everyone under his rank and either killing them or making them become "agents" for you which will enable you to launch ambushes on their base or possibly even assassinate the warlord by making his 2nd in command your agent. However it's not guaranteed, the 2nd in command can fail and be killed but he may have partial success as well which takes a chunk of the warlord's health away to make your battle easier.
-> The combat seems like it takes cues from the Batman games. They mentioned there was a rhythm to it and you get to keep a combo multiplier going.
-> It's fully open world so it has all of the stuff you'd expect. XP, skills, sidequests, random events (hell the whole game is basically a random event with that nemesis system and the AI working on their own even when enemies aren't on screen).
-> You get to use normal melee combat, stealth with a dagger or ranged with a bow. How you level those up depends on what you took the target out with. A stealth kill will get you a special rune to use on stealth skills, direct combat will get you a melee rune and so on.
All in all I'm impressed by what I read.
This one excites me the most:
The Lead Designer (and writer) of Red Dead Redemption is working on it!
Developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros.
Few more pics: