Recently, Monolith studios released a gameplay trailer of their new IP Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor. This is pre-alpha footage, but so far, I am rather impressed with how the game is coming along. In the video they show the movement style of the game, the combat gameplay and they even delve into the new Nemesis enemy/storyline system that is unique to ME: Shadows of Mordor.
They put down the base storyline of the game in the video. You play as Talion, a Ranger of Gondor who was left for dead by Sauron’s forces and has is soul melded to that of a wraith both occupying his body. A big part of the storyline will be who the wraith is and what its purpose is. I have a feeling that while the wraith may not be so much pro-Sauron, it is willing to sacrifice Tailon’s body, and his soul to achieve its ends. Hopefully as the game progresses, the struggle over control of Tailon’s body will become more apparent.
The focus of the video is the Nemesis system, which is quoted as being “a next-gen living world which creates unique, personal enemies on every playthrough.” If the Nemesis system can follow through on that, I see the replay value of this game going up. One of the cool things they added is with every unique (non-generic) enemy; there is a personal experience or memory with Talion. They show an example of this in the video. Hopefully, they don’t overdo it too much, because having every unique enemy say “I remember you!” can get old.
The movement style of this game is straight out of Assassin’s Creed. It looks like they are even building on its code. The animation style and the way the physics work in the parkour sections look just like an Assassin’s Creed title. Now, my guess is that during the development they will adjust the code and make it more to their styling, but modeling it after Assassin’s Creed certainly isn’t a bad thing. Also, when Talion goes into Wraith mode it looks a lot like Eagle Vision from Assassin’s Creed as well. Hopefully, they make it a bit more ethereal like by the time the finished product comes out.
The combat style reminds me a lot of the Batman Arkham games. The counter indicators and the movement style look like they were based off the Arkham code. It has traces of Assassin’s Creed it in (but then again, so did Arkham) and when Talion takes control over an enemy it reminds me of the close ups with enemies in the Arkham games.
To me, there is nothing wrong with using these functions as a baseline because of the quality and tightness of these aspects of gameplay. I just really hope that Monolith will put a uniqueness to it that feels more Tolkein-like and less like a rip off of the other games. As long as I don’t feel like I’m playing Middle Earth: Shadows of Arkham’s Creed, I’m good. I highly recommend checking out the video (it’s posted above) to find out more about this game. Also, remember, this is pre-alpha footage. A lot can change between now and release.