After an initial leak, Warner Bros. has officially announced a sequel to 2014’s hit title Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War, also from developer Monolith Productions, will follow the original’s heroes, Talion and Celebrimbor, as they take their vendetta into Mordor and to Sauron himself. Together, they forge their own ring of power, suggesting some new ring-based powers and mechanics.
In the announcement trailer, it appears Sauron will feature as a central antagonist for the sequel, with fearsome creatures like balrogs making their debut in the series. From the trailer, it looks like Talion might be spending a significant part of the game trying to find his wayward wraith companion, as Celebrimbor is taken away by a mysterious shadow. A similar shadow helps the Ring-wraiths travel.
The critically acclaimed Nemesis system will also return for Shadow of War, albeit in a much broader way. Per the official announcement, “the robust personalization from the first game is now applied to the entire world where the environments and characters are all shaped by player actions and decisions, creating a personal world unique to every gameplay experience.”
The Nemesis system allowed enemy orcs in the original game to survive encounters with the player and form grudges. Ordinary orcs could become captains by killing the player, or captains could become more powerful and achieve new ranks. The player could also interrupt battles between competing captains. While it remains to be seen how Monolith will expand on this system, one can assume the gameplay debut on March 8 will answer some of those questions.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War is slated to release on Aug. 22 in North America and Aug. 25 in Europe on PS4, Xbox One and PC. It will be an Xbox Play Anywhere title and will release on Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio later this year.