The drastically scaled-up sequel to 2014’s surprise hit, this time with Dynamically engineered fortress sieges and friendly war-trolls. the first game’s Nemesis system – which generates long-term rivalries with enemy Orcs based on gameplay outcomes – is now being applied to all facets of Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Friendships and alliances will now be fuelled by the way you play, but most importantly, so will your huge great, castle-cracking army. You’ll take down and take over a whole swathe of Helm’s Deep-style forts across Shadow of War’s map, but every battle will be defined by the systemic interactions between your units, just as your units will be defined by your history and relationships with them.
You mess with Talion in Middle-earth: Shadow of War? Fine, so does everybody else. You mess with his caragor? Oh, buddy. You’ve had it now. That’s the lesson we taught orcish warmonger Ar-Benu in our hands-on time with the game, part of which you can watch above in our full 9-minute playthrough of the Mounted Massacre mission. And scroll on for the highlight reel.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War isn’t just a stunning siege simulator – it’s also a damn creepy,quietly terrifying horror game. It will once again star Talion and Celebrimbor, but its first DLC will let you take control of a new character with an interesting tie to the established lore: The Blade of Galadriel, an assassin sent to Mordor by the eponymous elven lady to hunt down the Nazgul and anyone corrupted by the rings of power. We first met her in a new cinematic video released last week, but now you can get to know her a bit better thanks to a new cinematic debuted at the PC Gaming Show.
Since Shadow of War starts with Talion and Celebrimbor making and losing their own ring, they have an, er, complex relationship with the assassin. We don’t have a release date for The Blade of Galadriel yet, but Shadow of War is set to arrive on October 10 and we probably won’t have to wait too long after that.
The release date has been delayed, but only by about a month and a half. According to a post by developer Monolith Productions on the game’s official forums, Middle-earth: Shadow of War is now set to arrive worldwide on October 10, 2017. It was originally announced with a release date of August 22 in the US and August 25 in the UK.
Monolith says the delay will ensure that it can deliver “the highest quality experience” with Shadow of War. Hopefully the game just needs a little more time for polish and bug squashing because seven weeks ain’t much in terms of big-budget development calendars.