Shadow of Mordor Features an Impressive Cast

May 24, 2014 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment

Shadow of Mordor screenshot 2

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, one of the many big-name games coming this October for the PS4 and Xbox One (as well as the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC) has quite an impressive cast. Not only is it based in the Lord of the Rings universe (set between The Hobbit and LotR), but Red Dead Redemption writer Christian Cantamessa is in charge of the story. Then we have the characters themselves…

The main protagonist, Talion, is voiced by Troy Baker. He’s joined by Nolan North as Black Hand, Alastair Duncan as the Wraith, Laura Bailey as Ioreth, and Liam O’Brien as Gollum. All of these voice actors are quite talented and high-profile. We’re starting to lose count of the number of great voices Troy Baker alone has done recently, not to mention the others.

With a strong cast, an interesting premise, and unique gameplay features, Shadow of Mordor has the potential to be one of the biggest games of the year. Some people have cast criticism on it for too many similarities to the Assassin’s Creed series, but design director Michael de Plater assured fans through GameSpot that all of the game’s code was built specifically for it, and it’s Rocksteady’s Batman series that has influenced them more than anything.

Are you ready to take on Talion’s quest for revenge?

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This New Shadow of Mordor Trailer Highlights Runes

May 19, 2014 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment

Shadow of Mordor screenshot

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is set to release on October 7 for the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. So far, gameplay previews have concentrated on the open world environment and the Nemesis System, in which minor enemies will change through your interactions with them and potentially show up later in a completely different role.

The newest trailer, however, focuses on another aspect of gameplay. Take a look to see how you can use runes to affect weapons and combat.

You’ll be able to get more powerful runes by meeting certain criteria, and several runes have been announced as retailer-exclusive preorder bonuses.

  • Amazon – Deadly Archer Rune (more damage when you inflict a ranged headshot)
  • Best Buy – Flame Arnor Rune (Talion’s flaming sword helps you get higher combos)
  • GameStop – Hidden Blade Rune (more damage when you use a stealth attack) and the purely cosmetic Captain of the Watch alternate skin
  • Steam – Orc Slayer Rune (more damage when you use special attacks)

Shadow of Mordor screenshot 2

What do you think? Share your thoughts on Shadow of Mordor and runes in the comments below.

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You’ll Visit Barad-Dur and More in Shadow of Mordor

April 30, 2014 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment

Shadow of Mordor
One of the highly-anticipated titles coming to the PS4 and Xbox One (among other consoles) this October is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which despite being a licensed game has the potential to be an intense fantasy adventure that appeals to Lord of the Rings fans and non-fans alike, with innovative gameplay elements such as the Nemesis System.

Although Mordor is, in some ways, the iconic location of Lord of the Rings, the novels and movies don’t really spend a lot of time there. Additionally, Shadows of Mordor takes place long before Sauron’s reign, so the Mordor we’ll see in this game isn’t exactly the same as the one we’re familiar with. This should open up great atmospheric and exploration opportunities, as the developers craft this dark landscape.

In an interview with Examiner, Director of Design Michael de Plater discussed some of the locations visited in the game, mentioning the Black Gates, Barad-Dur, and Mount Doom, although they aren’t quite “the blasted hell-scape seen by Sam and Frodo.”

It’s true, we all tend to think of Mordor as a “blasted hell-scape,” but it couldn’t have always been that way. De Plater addressed this issue in further depth, saying:

“Additionally we get to travel deeper into Mordor to locations that have never been seen before in games. This lets us explore Mordor as a real ecosystem and living world, answering questions such as how Sauron could feed his massive armies in a land where we have previously only seen arid plains of ash.”

If you’re one of the many LotR fans who is concerned about how this game will fit into the series canon, de Plater also touched upon that, as he explained the team is “directly inspired by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings literature,” and Shadows of Mordor falls in “the decades between the Battle of Five Armies and the War of the Ring.” The game will “[combine] creative freedom with authenticity to the established canon.”

While he didn’t directly address the issue of the wraith powers, a core element of the game and the part that seems to conflict the most with canon, it sounds as though they’re taking care to remain true to the universe. What we find more interesting is de Plater’s emphasis on literature, as Shadow of Mordor draws from the original novels, rather than Peter Jackson’s movies.

Share your thoughts on Lord of the Rings, Shadows of Mordor, and the balance between creativity and canon when it comes to licensed video games, in the comments below.

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Shadow of Mordor Releases October 7

April 2, 2014 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment

Shadow of Mordor

Middle-Earth: The Shadow of Mordor is one of the more unusual spins on the Lord of the Rings universe, as it stars a ranger named Talion who is bound to a wraith and gains special powers as a result. Talion’s quest for vengeance will feature a dynamic open world, and today Warner Bros. released a new trailer.

Shadow of Mordor will release on October 7 for the PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. That’s the same day as Alien: Isolation and just a week before Batman: Arkham Knight, so October is going to be quite the exciting month!

If you preorder Shadow of Mordor, you’ll receive the exclusive Dark Ranger pack, which includes the Dark Ranger skin and the “Test of Power” mode, in which you fight Sauron’s Captains for powerful runes.

Shadow-of-Mordor-preorder

Right now, you can check out the game’s iOS companion app, Palantir. Shadow of Mordor looks pretty interesting, and if it lives up to its promises, it should be quite an experience. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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