The upcoming action-packed video game, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is said to reveal untold stories of the fantasy realm created by The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien. The title is a very ambitious project being brought forth by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Shadow of Mordor is an original story that falls in between the events after The Hobbit and before the beginnings of The Lord of the Rings. Players are taken on a journey with two protagonists that are being newly introduced to the limelight of Middle-Earth’s heroes. The enticing new story follows a ranger named Tailon who is brutally slain by the Dark Lord Sauron’s forces. A wraith named Celebrimbor resurrects Tailon for a second chance at life and for the opportunity to destroy Sauron. Celebrimbor, as a spirit, joins Tailon on his quest, granting him superhuman abilities along the way.
Tolkien was known for creating one of the most famous literary pieces in history with his creation of The Lord of the Rings and the world of Middle-Earth. One can tend to be skeptical when creators other than Tolkien himself attempt to add to his fantastical world. Developers at Monolith Productions, creators of Shadow of Mordor, fully understood the daunting task of following in Tolkien’s footsteps. The developers are reportedly very big fans of the Middle-Earth books and films, but turned to the Tolkien experts to make sure their game was as authentic as possible.
Developers actually dove deep into the Middle-Earth history and drew forth Celebrimbor who was an actual character mentioned in Tolkien’s literature. Celebrimbor was mentioned very little in Tolkien’s work. The character was an Elven Blacksmith that was tricked by a disguised Sauron to forge the rings of power, thus having great responsibility in contributing to the War of the Ring. The Shadow of Mordor developers have not gone against any of Tolkien’s text, they have stayed extremely true to what was written and have simply filled in the gaps of passages that were either unknown to the public or not written at all. The Monolith developers stated that there was a very rigorous process in cross-referencing all of Tolkien’s text to make certain there were no continuity errors in the game.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor will reveal many untold stories upon its release, but will also feature intriguing variations of gameplay. Players’ actions in the game will sometimes determine the outcome of Tailon’s story, a la Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. As players advance through Tailon’s journey, they will have choices to face such as killing an enemy, gathering information from them, or turning them to become an ally. Doing so will also affect the enemy control within each area and relationships with characters later in the game. An example was made by stating that an orc can be killed immediately and the relationship is severed forever, but if the player simply burns the orc without killing him, that orc will reappear later in the game with burn scars and also have a phobia of fire that players can use to their advantage.
With the immense amount of untold tales and story customization revealed with Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, players can be assured that no two gaming experiences will ever be the same. The game releases on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on September 30. A cinematic trailer featuring Tailon and Celebrimbor can be viewed below.
By Cody Collier