Middle Earth: Shadow of War from Warner Bros released a brand new gameplay trailer, and everything looks incredible, to say the least. Watch below, and keep in mind that this is alpha gameplay, and the gameplay shown is on “god mode” (infinite health, infinite arrows, infinite combat finishers), so do not be worried if the game looks too easy.
The biggest star of this trailer was the Nemesis System, just as it was the star in the previous game. Many thought that it would be impossible to improve so much on the previous Nemesis System, but this trailer promises that the game will do just that.
Improvements to the Nemesis System shown revolve around allies mostly. In the first game players have limited relationships with the orcs that they dominate, but this trailer promises that the game will allow players to give them more jobs, use them in attacking strongholds, and develop more complicated relationships with them. They appear to also be able to betray you, as well as step in to save your life when being attacked by an enemy captain.
Many other interesting new elements are shown off in the trailer. The open world seems to be much bigger, judging by the map, and there seems to be many other areas in Mordor that are now open to explore, including Cirith Ungol and Minas Morgal from the movies (although, I already talked about how Minas Morgal will probably appear first as Minas Ithil in my analysis of the cinematic trailer).
Another improvement is the RPG elements. Equipping new armor is shown, as well as XP leveling up. There was some leveling in the first game, but it was limited. Let’s hope that more RPG elements don’t ruin the great hack-and-slash gameplay, but I doubt that they will.
Of course, the entire trailer shows off taking a fortress, and this appears to be an event that will happen several times throughout the game as the player takes over the many fortresses within Mordor. There are armies to lead and defenses to overcome. The trailer also mentions that fortresses need to be defended as well. How much control we have over our attacking armies and our fortresses’ defenses remains to be seen.
And I can’t write this without mentioning the drake.
You can ride flying fire drakes now!
Do I sense potential aerial combat with the Nazgul on fell beasts that we saw in the cinematic trailer?
All things considered, it is important to note that this is alpha footage, and this means two things: first, the graphics and animations will likely improve, and secondly, the gameplay elements will probably change.
Hopefully we don’t lose too much of what we see in this trailer in the final game.
The trailer also announces different versions of the game that can be pre-ordered with a pre-order bonus of a sword and some special orc captains. The Standard Edition is the pre-order of the basic game. The Silver Edition comes with the game plus two future expansions to the Nemesis System. The Gold Edition comes with the game and the complete season pass, the two future Nemesis System expansions and two story DLCs. There is also a Mithril Edition that includes everything in the Gold, but also a statue, a collector’s steelcase for the game, and other collectibles.
The game releases on August 22 of this year, so we have five months to wait and see if the game can live up to the promises made by its trailer. If it turns out to be as good as its trailer, I think we have a potential game of the year on our hands!
Thank you for reading, and God bless!