Preview (First glance) of the game Middle-earth: Shadow of War – “Fortress under siege”

At one time, when they talked about Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor for the first time, they noted two main details that the developers from the Monolith studio distinguished in their project. The first stunning detail is the combat system, which migrated straight from Batman: Arkham Khingt. The second outstanding detail is the elements of parkour from the Assassin’s Creed series of games, to which the so-called “Nemesis” system was literally screwed.

Moreover, the last “feature” was a rather cunning mechanic that generated a variety of interesting events around the main character, orcs and other orcs. You could have a good fight with some leader of the clan, throw this vile muzzle into the fire, and then leave with a calm mind and chop the next “pack” of freaks to pieces. Although, if he did survive after the attack, he could remember the old insult after some time, and the next time he already had a much more significant status, for example, a commander. So the bestial rage of revenge did not go anywhere. Although, of course, the situation could have developed differently if the lazy player still returned and finished off the fried carcass. As a result, the leader would never return from the afterlife and take the path of revenge.

Otherwise, apart from battles and more battles, the world of Mordor from the Monolith studio had no other entertainment. Even the existing tasks and riddles, one way or another, boiled down to the fact that we had to fight again.

And just recently there was a closed presentation of Middle-earth: Shadow of War in London, thanks to which the editors of decided to share their first impressions of the game. In short: in the second part there will be even more action from “Batman”, even more parkour from the Assassin’s Creed series and a more intricate system “Nemesis”. What, in fact, was to be expected from the continuation, but more on that below.

Siege of castles

The authors of Middle-earth: Shadow of War promise a really huge world, which will be divided into spacious regions, although they have so far refused to name the exact, total number and number of square kilometers at the show. Each region in the game will control a different kind of rabble that has settled in the majestic buildings. The main thing that is required from the main character – who is the familiar Talion – is to take the castles by siege and appropriate them to himself. Then, not only will there be a little less evil in the world, but new regions will also open up. And this suggests that players are waiting for new tasks, stories and even meetings. Speaking of the meetings: the developers promised to surprise the players with a couple of familiar faces on the screen.

Moreover, the capture of the fortress is not a ten-minute affair. As a rule, the capture of the fortress lasts about twenty minutes, but provided that you have well planned everything, so the siege can last much longer. Although even with a good plan, help is indispensable. And then the updated, modified Nemesis system enters the scene. Although it would seem that there can be anything new here? Once again, you recruit regular companions, as in other RPGs. But the main difference is that in the new part the changes are ambiguous, quarrelsome and can now not only take offense at you, but also at each other: the developers have twisted the generator of random events to the very limit.

►A hailstorm of arrows on the head is a common occurrence during the assault on the castle. Nobody will surrender the fortress just like that.

Orcs, whom it is customary to kill in whole “packs”, can now sign up as friends. But such is fate, what can you do. Of course, in any team during a siege, a conditional “tank” is needed, which will be able to break through the castle gates with its powerful fists. You can’t do without a sentinel who would be responsible for reconnaissance. The same goes for an archer who would skillfully cover his back. Although, on the other hand, Talion with a personal curse, in principle, does not care about death, moreover, if you successfully complete the QTE during the battle, then it will be possible to repulse the enemy “fatality”.

At the presented demonstration, the situation was surprised when Talion was about to make a hole in his chest, but suddenly an archer intervened in the battle, to whom no one had given a command, and thus, in general, saved his comrade-in-arms. Artificial intelligence figured out everything on its own, there were no commands – a sharp-sighted comrade noticed the enemy and saved the main character from a couple of problems.

► Apparently, the players will have an interesting story related to the Balrog.

Friendship inevitably

It will be possible to replenish the team with new fighters in several ways. One of the methods was demonstrated as an example, when the enemy leader was converted to the faith of the protagonist before our eyes. This method of treatment is quite simple, because all you need to do is put your hand to the skull of the victim in order to blow smoke from the ears, thereby subordinating the enemy to your will. And then, if he gets bored, he can easily be exchanged for trophies. Whats wrong with that? Armor should always be in the latest Mordor fashion.

When the team is fully formed, the moment will come when it is time to advance. Capturing a fortress takes place in several stages. The first is intelligence and infiltration. Before the final battle with the main commander, there are several intermediate battles with interesting and sick leaders, whom you just want to recruit into your army.

►The events of the game Middle-earth: Shadow of War continue the events of the previous part – Shadow of Mordor.

You will get to the commander, of course, not immediately, but a little later, so for now you have to play “assassin”: deftly climb the steep walls to the observation deck – at such moments the hero feels even a little better than before. Actually, acrobatics in Middle-earth: Shadow of War looks quite natural and believable. In addition, the authors stated that they finally fixed the jam in the walls, which spoiled all the “raspberries” in the last part.

Further, the hero found himself on the fortress of the wall, where he quietly crept up to the orc sentries, chopping off the heads of both of them at once. The main character cut off the head of one orc personally, and the other was blown off the head by the ghostly essence of the hero – the spirit of Celebrimbor. In general, a bloody and at the same time beautiful double murder. At times like these, it seems like Batman’s mechanics have been pushed to an absolute level.

►In the presented demonstration, Tugog Flame of War was very much remembered. Imechko, of course, is traditionally tricky.

At this time, the AI ​​comrades-in-arms, who took the side of the main character, were already cutting down the remaining orcs in the central courtyard of the castle. The limbs flew “deliciously” in all directions, and the blood was just the sea – the rigidity in the game has an equally high level of performance. In general, this is far from the “Lord of the Rings”, which was customary to see in the cinema. A tougher, darker and more bloody war story is presented to the players.

Born to crawl can still fly

The next interesting point was that the main character decided to free the flying dragon. And without thinking twice, he jumped on the winged one and set off to circle over the huge castle. Yes, and not easy flying, but burning all the enemies around. Moreover, the scene was not even scripted, which means that it is quite possible that the dragon could break free and destroy everyone he sees, turning the castle into a solid brazier. According to the developers, this is far from the only creature that can be ridden in Middle-earth: Shadow of War. By the way, the Karagors also stayed.

While the courtyard was blazing during the battles, Talion, meanwhile, broke into the throne room and there was not a laurel wreath waiting for him, because it was time to fight the commander, whose height was tens of feet and a weight of about a ton. The ugly death machine, clad in armor, put on a real fire show in the throne room. It turned out that this leader was trained to command the flame, which, however, cut off the main character’s escape route. Therefore, the orc had to be sent, like everyone else, to the forefathers.

► Making a shish kebab of Sauron’s minions while riding a dragon is a real delight. However, it is impossible to go very low, because a “large-caliber” enemy can easily catch a winged predator.

The main character coped with it pretty quickly. Although at first it seemed that the hero was about to die the death of the brave, before finding the right approach in the battle with the beast, in fact it turned out that it was enough to find the “pain points”. In general, in the end, Talion effectively pierced the head of the giant through and through in “slo-mo”.


This is how the first demonstration battle for the fortress took place. The authors should be given their due, because what they see is really impressive. The developers managed to create something incredibly epic with an ocean of blood and cruelty under a hail of arrows and severed limbs. I was also surprised by the tactical component, planning our own actions, on which the success of the assault now depends. It should also be noted the multi-stage principle of locking the locks. And most importantly, what is pleasant, the players are assigned the role of a commander: you need to direct the hordes of orcs in the right direction, complete tasks and much more. Now it remains to be seen, will there be anything else in the game that will make the players fall in love even more?

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