The Lord of the Rings is one of the most successful film franchises in history. Between the three films in the original trilogy and the first two movies based on The Hobbit Peter Jackson and company have grossed more than $1.5 billion while sparking increased interest in the source material.
Understandably, there have been attempts to capitalize on the success of the cinematic adventures in the the form of video games. Lord of the Rings games have come in every shape and size since the release of the first film, spanning every multiple console generations, handheld devices, smartphones, computer operating systems, and Gambling.com even has a review of a slot machine based on the series.
The first attempt at a LotR game on the newest console generation comes in the form of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The game was announced way back in November, but an October 7 release date was just announced earlier this month.
Developed by Monolith Productions, the company behind F.E.A.R., the game is an entirely original story set between the events of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In addition to an original story, players will be privy to some truly unique gameplay elements that the developers are hoping will set the game apart.
First and foremost is what the game makers are calling the “Nemesis system.” In an attempt to bring a different element to how users approach the title, a system wherein players can shape the very nature of their opponents was created. Instead of being forced to kill everything in sight like these games normally demand, players can encounter various enemies and choose to let them live or die. There are advantages to both approaches, as allowing them to live can supply gamers with extra information regarding future quests and enemies, but also allows those enemies to return later in the game leveled up and looking for revenge. It is an intriguing idea, letting players craft their own game narrative as they go. Unfortunately for those playing on the Xbox 360 it appears they may not get the full measure of the feature. The game’s director has stated that while the game will be playable with the Nemesis system on the 360, their focus has been on the newest console generation, and the technical differences between previous and current generations mean players on the Xbox One will experience a much richer experience throughout the game.
Another innovative feature to the game is their companion iPad app, called Miidle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Palantir, which can be downloaded now. The app will be constantly updated by community members with information, tips, and walkthroughs of the game, among other features.
Whether these features will help make Shadow of Mordor the first truly great Lord of the Rings game on the newest console generation is yet to be seen, but for now their ingenuity is enough to make it a game to keep an eye on as we creep closer to it’s release date.