Games based on Tolkien’s enormous mythology come and they go. In various guises they’ve swarmed consoles and PCs ever since Peter Jackson crafted his masterpiece trilogyThe Lord of the Rings in the early 00s. Coming next isMiddle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and this one has captured my imagination more than anything that’s come before it.
In the first gameplay trailers released in late January, we were allowed a glimpse at the general gameplay, the nature of the plot, the chronological placement of the tale the game will tell in the context of Tolkien’s writing and the movies and perhaps most interestingly of all, the innovative ‘Nemesis’ system. Nemesis is utilised in game to procedurally generate orcish foes and give the game a living, breathing and adapting hierarchy of enemies, each with their uniquely distinguishing qualities, looks and agendas.
Well now, in an official trailer from the WBGamesUK Youtube channel, new details concerning the game’s weapon and rune systems have emerged:
Runes collected through gameplay can be applied to our protagonist Talion’s weapons, acting as buffs and giving special abilities to particular items, the runes delivered as loot when enemy captains are vanquished. They can be interchanged to exploit the weaknesses of Talion’s foes and so it follows that having a comprehensive selection to hand will make him a preeminently robust force for vengeance when it comes to dismantling orcs limb by limb.
By fulfilling ‘death-threat’ challenges, engaged by dominating a captain and compelling him to deliver the threat to his war-chief (all explicated in the video above), especially difficult battles can deliver epic runes with victory, though we’ve been promised that completing these challenges will prove no mean feat.
Release date is set at 7/10/14. It can’t come fast enough.