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Shadow of Mordor Gameplay


It took me a while to recover after watching it because I was so excited, but a Shadow of Mordor gameplay video has been released showing some of the gameplay mechanics. In an 8 minute long video we’re given a taste of the combat, stealth, wraith abilities, and the nemesis system. This is all pre-alpha gameplay but it looks sick so far and I’m very encouraged by it. The combat and stealth look very similar to an Assassin’s Creed or Batman Arkham game, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You can use the environment to your advantage as the video shows the capability of throwing enemies into the fire causing damage to them. However the wraith abilities add an entirely new element to not only combat and stealth, but to how you can approach situations. Of course there’s the ability to identify enemies but the wraith dash attack looks awesome as Talion vanishes and instantly appears next to enemy finishing him off quickly. He also has pinpoint accuracy as he shoots an arrow as a wraith into the leg of a fleeing enemy instead of killing him. This highlights the nemesis system, which has the potential to make Shadow of Mordor an extremely engrossing game unlike any other because your enemies remember what you personally do to them and future encounters reflect that.


At 3:18 we’re shown how incredibly powerful Talion is as a wraith and the options on what he can do to an enemy, whether that enemy is used to assassinate, used to spy, terrorized in order to spread fear, or sacrificed. But that’s not the only thing as you’re able to see that enemy’s connection to others as well as a success rating on the task you want to send that enemy to perform. I’ll let the video speak for itself but the Nemesis system is very impressive to me and the ability to control multiple enemies with your wraith abilities as an option to approach a situation is a beautiful thing to watch. The way to approach a situation is entirely up to you and this is way more than just a simple hack and slash with a LOTR-themed story. You’ll truly have to become engrossed in this original story in order to make the best decision while keeping in mind that the game, or rather individual enemies remember your actions. As a LOTR fan I love this concept because I want to be engrossed in the game and feel like my actions are actually affecting this world, and even just as a gamer the Nemesis system has the potential to be revolutionary. And if you’re concerned about the story then you might be reassured to learn that Peter Jackson advised Monolith regarding the story, which won’t be based on his movies, and also that Middle-Earth Enterprises has some involvement too. Warner Bros doesn’t seem to be holding back in terms of including those who are extremely knowledgeable about Tolkien lore and this should satisfy even the biggest fans. I know I’m definitely looking forward to this game even more. Check out the video and let me know what you think


  1. Pingback: Shadow of Mordor Updates - Hulking Reviewer

  2. fantasywind - February 3, 2014 7:23 AM

    Well no, I haven’t played Mass Effect though I heard a lot about it read a review or two (apparently many fans didn’t like the ending of third part, :):). Oh and I wanted to ask what was your opinion on Hitman: Blood money and Absolution? I played only first three (Codename 47, Silent Assassin, Contracts). And returning to lotr universe, had you any info on the now-cancelled White Council game? It sounded interesting (the supposed open world with sim-like npc’s). And what’s your opinion on strategies Battle for Middle Earth?

    • Kareem Ali - February 3, 2014 12:29 PM

      Hitman Absolution was one of the first reviews I put on here – . The next one is supposed to be more open world and so I’m very interested in that. I loved the Mass Effect series and it’s one of my favorites of all-time but the ending to the third part was somewhat weak and it’s the promotion of it as a personalized ending based on all the choices one made was false. I did enjoy it because of my interpretation of events but I understand the anger. And honestly I don’t have any strategies Battle for Middle Earth. I preordered ESO so I’ll have 5 days early access

    • Kareem Ali - February 3, 2014 3:58 PM

      Also, Monolith just confirmed that Shadow of mordor won’t have multiplayer or co-op. Honestly not disappointed about that at all

      • fantasywind - February 6, 2014 10:46 AM

        Well it’s understandable that co-op or multiplayer isn’t necessary right now, first they have to succeed with single player 🙂 and maybe later if they will carry on with Middle Earth rpg’s (hopefully) they may try but for now they are on new unexplored waters so to speak :). Anyway I was wondering recently whether there will be more applications in-game for the Unseen, the wraith world besides those shown in video and how they’ll treat magical elements. In book lore bad guys did lots of magical stuff (Nazgul had sorcery, enchanted morgul-knife, other powers, enchanted battering ram Grond with ,,spells of ruin” on it, Witch-king flaming sword :), one of my favourites was this cool magical barrier at Cirith Ungol empowered by stone statues (Watchers or Silent Watchers as they were called by Tolkien 🙂 filled with malevolent will and vigilance, able to detect intruders at distance, recognize friend from foe and sound the alarm if the invisible barrier was breached or alarm the unwanted presence outside (also Sam Gamgee couldn’t enter at first despite remaining ivisible due to wearing the Ring :). Oh and it would be cool if they put various damage from poison for example (as orcs use poisoned weapons) or fire arrows and for your hero to use against opponents (the developpers said something about runes to upgrade your weaponry).
        As for Hitman Absolution I found the review after I posted hehe looks nice but unfortunately for now I just replay the Silent Assassin recreationally 🙂 maybe in the future I’ll finally get to the 4 and 5 part. Oh did you get the witcher books? Ever thought about reviewing books it could be interesting, whole spectrum of media (not to mention that it’s a great way to introduce others to interesting bits), though probably you already have not much time for such activities :).

        • Kareem Ali - February 7, 2014 8:51 AM

          I agree about succeeding with the single player first. I have MMOs I can play so I prefer to have an excellent story based LOTR game just like Shadow of Mordor is shaping up to be, and I really want them to nail the nemesis system because if that’s successful it can be revolutionary in ways. I think with Talion being part wraith they’ve committed to at least some of those magical elements since in order to explain how that’s possible they’ll need to include some of these things. I highly doubt that Talion will be the only character in the entire game that will have special abilities or enchanted weapons or cloaks. I’m wondering if we’ll get to see some characters that have been left out such as Glorfindel or if something like the history of the Ainur will be mentioned. There’s so much material that doesn’t even have to fit in one story or one game and so I agree about wanting more Middle Earth RPGs hopefully if this one is successful.
          I preordered the Elder Scrolls Online and I’ll be getting early access so I plan on having numerous posts about that game when I start playing the final version.
          And yes I actually do plan on reviewing books at some point but not until later in the year after I get other things established. I do have the Witcher books on my iPad so I’ll be reading them when I have more time and finish the other books I’ve started. Thanks again for that

          • fantasywind - February 7, 2014 2:57 PM

            No problem! It’s always nice when you’re introduced to something new thanks to the internet don’t you think? Hehe :). The witcher wasn’t especially well known to wider audience before the games became successful but in Poland it already gathered a fandom since the 90′, there are even comic books by Maciej Parowski and Bogusław Polch (though I myself didn’t get to know them personally 🙂 or tabletop game in the witcher world from year 2001(though I doubt the comics or the board game were ever translated, maybe I’m wrong, but I recently heard of comic book in development to english speaking audience, by Dark Horse). As for Shadow of Mordor I really think that if they draw as much as they can from lore then the game will become a masterpiece, it’s a vast world out there, Middle Earth is magnificent fantasy world that deserves proper care :). The idea of Glorfindel is interesting hehe (after all we don’t know what he has been up to since fighting Witch-king in wars with Angmar like a real badass hehe :), also the location of Dead Marshes would be welcome, those mesmerizing ,,corpse candles” and phantomic dead faces in water (who knows maybe the spirit which posessed Talion is somehow connected :). I also think that insight into organization and preparation of Sauron’s armies and it’s campaigns in the East and South would be interesting feature, for example seeing how the armies posessed some kind of explosives at Pelennor fields, seeing first hand industry of Mordor and maybe info on strange creatures and monsters only hinted in books like this hideous thing Mouth of Sauron rode:

            ,,At its head there rode a tall and evil shape, mounted upon a black horse, if horse it was; for it was huge and hideous, and its face was a frightful mask, more like a skull then a living head, and in the socket of its eyes and in its nostrils there burned a flame.” Return of the King

            ,,The bells of day had scarcely rung out again … when far away he saw fires spring up, across in the dim spaces where the walls of the Pelennor stood. The watchmen cried aloud, and all men in the City stood to arms. Now ever and anon there was a red flash, and slowly through the heavy air dull rumbles could be heard.

            ‘They have taken the wall!’ men cried. ‘They are blasting breaches in it. They are coming!'” Return of the King

            Well I read that Shadow of Mordor is supposed to have a premiere somewhere around november so we’ll have to wait and see :).
            So have fun with Elder Scrolls Online :).

            • Kareem Ali - February 9, 2014 12:18 AM

              Yes there will be a Witcher comic book series from Dark Horse and of course I’ll be reviewing that lol

            • Kareem Ali - February 13, 2014 11:49 AM

              Witcher #1 Preview

  3. fantasywind - January 24, 2014 2:41 PM

    Nice, I just watched this, if the final product will look half as good then the great game is before us :):). I only hope they won’t overpower Talion 🙂 for example limiting number of controlled units (maybe some would be made impervious to this mind control, Saruon has his own mind control powers :).

    • Kareem Ali - January 24, 2014 3:31 PM

      I agree and I think it’ll be great. I think there is a limit to how many he can control directly. It seemed to me that it was more about those under the influence of the one he was controlling responding to the situation. So the others were just following the leader

      • fantasywind - January 25, 2014 8:17 AM

        That would be reasonable :). Anyway this game has real climate. As I looked around on all different sites in many comments I saw that people compare this game to Batman/AssassinsCreed/Thief/Witcher and all that heh it appears that people notice themes. It is quite amusing really due to certain similarities, combat from Batman and stealth like Assassin’s Creed and Thief and individual hero with job like a witcher of some sort (in Lotr lore there are professional burglars for example-Thief :), Rangers are mysterious group of men with extraordinary abilities scorned by those who they protect, hunting monsters, they are great warriors and use stealth-Assassins haha). Anyway there is a huge potential in this game (and if copying elements then from the best :).
        Just out of curiosity *whispering* are there familiar locations in Elder Scrolls Online like Morrowind for example?* I liked to play Morrowind, it had distinct and unique look :).

        • Kareem Ali - January 25, 2014 10:17 PM

          Well all I can say is that Elder Scrolls Online covers all of Tamriel so that region is in the game. I can’t give any details from my own experience but the game is beautiful. I just posted a new video yesterday if you want to check it out.
          Also Shadow of Mordor does look very similar to Assassin’s Creed but it’s difficult to determine if the same code was used as there are only so many different ways a 3rd person stealth game could look. But I love the look of it.

          • fantasywind - January 26, 2014 10:13 AM

            Well I’ve heard rumours that creator of the code for Assassin’s Creed spoke openly about Monolith guys using it but it’s not confirmed whether they really purchased code for this game. Thanks for your answer, it would be reasonable for big mmo game to cover entire continent (hmm brings in mind Arena the first game in series). General opinions on Shadow of Mordor are positive (of course there are worries about lore-treatment and Talion’s magic skills, though I’m hoping for a glimpse of human sorcerers serving Sauron like Black Numenoreans, maybe even Mouth of Sauron himself) and it’s about time for really good game set in Middle Earth so I’m excited for this project. Anyway I wanted to ask. You said you played Arcania: Gothic 4, what was your opinion of the game? And have you ever played games of Legacy of Kain series (Blood Omen, Soul Reaver, Soul Reaver 2, Blood Omen 2, Defiance)?

            • Kareem Ali - January 26, 2014 11:02 AM

              I’m not worried about the lore-treatment at this point knowing that they have what they called “LOTR scholars” on board. And it’s not like the game can create an end result that is against canon so for example we know he doesn’t defeat Sauron. I think this game gives them the opportunity to explore all those different elements instead of the usual things that have been explored in movies and previous games.
              I played Legacy of Kain a long time ago so I would have to play it again to refresh my memory. I do recall enjoying the first one.
              As for Gothic 4, I felt it was very simple and didn’t really bring anything new to the table. I felt it was slightly behind the other games out at that time but it was cool. Could’ve been much better and definitely had potential

              • fantasywind - January 27, 2014 2:02 PM

                I also enjoyed Blood Omen the Legacy of Kain, it is old game but has amazing storyline and lots of secrets to discover, it is curious that other installments are so varying in style. Blood Omen was a bit like rpg where you gathered better weapons and spells over time, Soul Reaver simply an action game with limited freedom on map and power-ups, then Defiance had multpiple levels to pass through (also things to gather), I also heard about an MMO in development in Nosgoth :). As for Arcania if it was on it’s own it would have been decent at most, but as a part of gothic series it was terrible, though the setting was nice (I always wanted to explore Southern Isles since Gothic 2 when we meet this interesting NPC Abuyin with his fancy long surname that said to originate from there :):):) ahh the good old times on Khorinis. In Arcania intro you can see the position of the island on map north from Argaan and Feshyr :). Anyway Arcania was a bit more linear and simplified than previous ones (you can’t even return to previous location once you end the current stage).

                • Kareem Ali - January 27, 2014 10:57 PM

                  Have you ever played any of the Final Fantasy games?

                  • fantasywind - January 30, 2014 12:15 PM

                    Sadly no, though I I might have read a thing or two about this game (but it was way back :). Oh and returning to the topic of Thief 4, I heard there will be open area in the City to explore is this true (something like the better developped idea from Thief: Deadly Shadows)? On a side note I had once a brief experience wiht Fable but I’ve never finished the game for some reason :).

                    • Kareem Ali - January 30, 2014 6:15 PM

                      Yes I heard that too about Thief 4. The game isn’t completely open world but there is some sort of hub area that will serve as such. Open world would be awesome.
                      And I played a couple of the Fable games but I didn’t like Fable 3 at all and was completely disappointed. The gameplay wasn’t great and there’s always been some offhanded humor but I had a big problem with a game trying to put me into the mindset of a character who just witnessed a massacre and take that seriously when in the next scene I have to make random farting sounds to recruit people to join the cause. Have you ever played any of the Mass Effect games? Alot of enjoyable RPG elements there

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