Why We're Excited (And Hesitant) About Middle-earth: Shadow Of War

Jeff Cork

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions formally announced a sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The game, Shadow of War, begins right after the events of the first game, following Talion as he continues his revenge-fueled plan to stop Sauron and his gathering forces. Like a lot of players, Matt Miller and I enjoyed the first game, and we’re optimistic about the sequel – with some slight reservations. Check out our conversation to see why we’re excited, as well as some of the hurdles Monolith is going to have to overcome with this new game. Jeff C: Hey, Miller! You’re a big ol’ Lord of the Rings nerd, right? Matt M: Yep.

I am a fan of world-building in all its incarnations, and there are few worlds as intricately constructed as Tolkien’s Middle-earth. I also wrote our cover story on Shadow of Mordor and our review, so I’m pretty clued in about this series. We don’t know a whole lot about Shadow of War, but with an official sequel finally announced, it seemed like an appropriate time for some conjecture. What should we talk about first?   Jeff C: This reveal has me torn. I enjoyed Shadow of Mordor, and I’ve had a lot of great times with the various Lord of the Rings games and movies over the past decade or so. But at the same time, the last few Hobbit films sucked a lot of the enthusiasm I had for that world right out of me. I’m at a point where I feel like I’ve explored every corner of Middle-earth and met everyone I could possibly want to meet.

Am I excited to see a refined version of the Nemesis system? Sure. Do I want to walk around a volcanic wasteland again? Not really. What do you think? Is there a chance we’ll see anything fundamentally new here? Because looking at that trailer, it seemed like a remix of characters, creatures, and moments I’ve seen before. When a Balrog is boring, that’s a problem.

Matt M: I think Monolith is a really…

Read full article