Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor Screenshots Bring the Grit

Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor Screenshots Bring the Grit

middle-earth shadow of mordor

More details on the upcoming Lord of the Rings game get revealed.

Last month, Warner Bros. Interactive announced Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, an open-world RPG game set between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series. We were told that it's to be a personal story of vengeance by a ranger who's been resurrected by a mysterious spirit after being murdered along with his family. Now, Monolith Productions has revealed screenshots and artwork that show off its gritty take on the LotR universe.

The art direction wouldn't look out of place in a Dragon Age title: burned out ruins, a lone hero in a tattered cloak, and lots of swords. The glowing eyes and ghostly image show that Monolith will likely be playing up the whole spirit of vengeance part as a gameplay mechanic. The gorgeous landscape shot gives an idea of the open world it's aiming to be, something that's pretty popular right now. They don't show any blood, but this is the studio that gave us F.E.A.R. and it will be an M-rated game, so it's only a matter of time.

Shadows of Mordor looks to be one of the few original stories set in Middle Earth that doesn't simply crib from the books (here's looking at you, Third Age). Expect it for current and next gen consoles sometime next year.

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Hey man. I liked Third Age.

I give most LotR stuff the benefit of the doubt. Please don't make me and my childhood sad, Monolith Productions.

Compatriot Block:
Hey man. I liked Third Age.

I give most LotR stuff the benefit of the doubt. Please don't make me and my childhood sad, Monolith Productions.

Third Age was kinda ridiculous, but the combat got a bit repetitive for my tastes. Not to mention the two rohirrim were practically useless because you got them 66% into the game... But it's K, cause even if they were, the other 4 would out-class them anyway.

Compatriot Block:
Hey man. I liked Third Age.

I give most LotR stuff the benefit of the doubt. Please don't make me and my childhood sad, Monolith Productions.

I was going to say the same thing! I really liked the Third Age as well. Granted, I was really into LotR at the time and had never really played an RPG before. Maybe it doesn't hold up but I still have fond memories...

JaceArveduin:

Compatriot Block:
Hey man. I liked Third Age.

I give most LotR stuff the benefit of the doubt. Please don't make me and my childhood sad, Monolith Productions.

Third Age was kinda ridiculous, but the combat got a bit repetitive for my tastes. Not to mention the two rohirrim were practically useless because you got them 66% into the game... But it's K, cause even if they were, the other 4 would out-class them anyway.

Yeah, but you got to punch the Eye of Sauron. Everything I've ever enjoyed about reading Tolkien's work cried out in anguish, but it was so worth it.

Hey, I never said Third Age was a bad game, but that wasn't one you played for the story. It would be like a Star Wars game where you had a princess, smuggler, and young jedi who just happen to be following the original cast through Tatooine, the Death Star, the trench run, and so forth. Not the most engaging use of the universe there.

God damn it, the story of this thing looks like the most heinous thing ever, I don't understand why it's so fucking hard to make something good that's still faithful to Tolkien's work, Arda is one of the grandest, most meticulously built worlds in the history of fiction, there is PLENTY of good shit to base video games around without making shit up. Set something in the War of Wrath for fuck's sake.

I'd say that Tolkien was turning in his grave, but between this and The Hobbit trilogy it's seems more likely that his casket will dig itself out of the grave from the sheer force of Tolkien spinning at 6000 RPM.

I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. I enjoyed The Third Age and I enjoyed War in the North so I'll give this one a shot too.

I like Third Age too but there have been so many mediocre/terrible LOTR games at this point that it's hard to get excited any more.

The Tolkien licence has been abused so much that it's become the new Star Wars, at least as far as games go.

How long into the game do you think you will get before Gandalf turns up? because lets face it he will show up at some point.

So far my favorite Tolkein-Universe games have been LOTRO (even though it is just a WoW clone), Two Towers and Return of the King (both were fun as hell) and War in the North. I really liked WitN.
Also if you really wanna go old school, there's War in Middle-Earth for DOS which I think is abandonware now but is one of the more interesting strategy games I've played, and it was a lot of fun... cleaving Gothmog asunder (you'd get it if you played).

IanDavis:
Shadows of Mordor looks to be one of the few original stories set in Middle Earth that doesn't simply crib from the books

Or, indeed, acknowledge that they exist at all. Seriously, what the hell is this supposed to be:

IanDavis:
We were told that it's to be a personal story of vengeance by a ranger who's been resurrected by a mysterious spirit after being murdered along with his family.

How does that have anything whatsoever to do with Lord of the Rings? The entire reason people come up with different fantasy worlds is because they want things to work differently from how they do in existing worlds. Tolkein's Arda has already been established as working in a particular way, so if you don't want your game to work that way don't set it in fucking Arda. Name recognition is not in any way necessary. For an example of a fantasy story that was successful without having to glue Tolkein's name on top of it, see every single fantasy world you have ever heard of. Sticking a popular name to a new invention simply does not work. The people who know the original will only be annoyed because you're not actually following the original, while people who don't know the original won't care in the first place. Your game will have to stand on its own merits no matter what, so just let it do that from the start.

Please be good.

War in the North is an underrated gem and really fun with friends, I want this to be good, since the last universally accepted "good" LoTR game was Return of The King, which is EIGHT YEARS OLD.

The Lord of the Rings, now with added GRIMDARK!

This makes me appreciate The Lord of the Rings Online all the more. Sure, Turbine have taken some liberties, but nothing that compares to the dross that gets churned out by the other franchise holders.

It's stuff like this that makes me think Christopher Tolkein has a point when he refuses to let The Silmarillion be used for anything else.

If they pull off the nemesis system, this game sounds like it should be a blast.
The LOTR name seems like more of a hindrance based on these comments.

Snowblindblitz:

The LOTR name seems like more of a hindrance based on these comments.

The thing that makes me laugh is the thought that if this game were actually its own thing, most of these same people would be writing it off as "just another generic LotR clone".

I reserve judgement until I see more of the game. The fact that for once they're hopefully not hamstringing themselves by tying in to the Fellowship storyline makes me hope something interesting will actually happen, though the fact that it's still so close chronologically worries me.

I find it hilarious that people are bitching at the fact this new game appears to be set in the same universe as LOTR, but isn't directly tied to Tolkien's works. So what? Attempting to smother a new story in the Hobbit or the Lord of The Rings isn't the best idea (though the Third Age was fun); instead these developers are using their common sense and are telling a story about some characters in Arda.

For once, gamers will be able to experience the massive expanses of Arda with a proper storyline, and that is something I'll look forward to.

Ooh I hadn't heard of this. Looks interesting. But then, so did War in the North so let's not get our hopes up here.

(I liked the Third Age too but that may just be nostalgia speaking, honestly.)

G96 Saber:
I find it hilarious that people are bitching at the fact this new game appears to be set in the same universe as LOTR, but isn't directly tied to Tolkien's works. So what? Attempting to smother a new story in the Hobbit or the Lord of The Rings isn't the best idea (though the Third Age was fun); instead these developers are using their common sense and are telling a story about some characters in Arda.

For once, gamers will be able to experience the massive expanses of Arda with a proper storyline, and that is something I'll look forward to.

It's not that it's not directly tied to the universe that irks people, it's the fact that it's set in a universe that's "laws of most things" are fairly well fleshed out, and appears to just ignore them.

Akichi Daikashima:
Please be good.

War in the North is an underrated gem and really fun with friends, I want this to be good, since the last universally accepted "good" LoTR game was Return of The King, which is EIGHT YEARS OLD.

Actually, you forgot BFME2 and it's expansion. They were pretty damn fun, and got decent reviews if memory serves.

 

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