A Shadow of Mordor sequel seems like it may be inevitable, especially with the unexpected success of the first game. Warner Bros. has had a lot of Lord of the Rings titles in their library, and when their latest take on Middle Earth became a rival for some of the biggest games in 2014, it seemed Monolith had found a winning formula with the Nemesis system.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an addictingly fun romp through J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world, with Black Gate ranger Talion as a man trapped in the world of the living by a curse laid on him by the Black Hand of Sauron. The curse is that he can’t die after having seen his wife and son murdered at the hands of Uruks, and with the help of a spirit mentor who can’t remember his own past, Talion aims for revenge.
In order to get that revenge, Talion must work together with his elvish inner friend and turn Sauron’s army against him. The game was so successful that it won several Game of the Year awards and high praise on Metacritic.
The Shadow of Mordor sequel will need to take it even further, unless it features a new protagonist. There is always the chance that they will mess up what made the first game great, the way Radical Entertainment did with Prototype 2. Casting a new hero for Mordor would likely be a coincidental mistake by whoever replaces the Black Hand and does the same thing again, though it would leave it open for a possible female lead.
One possible new protagonist might be Arwen, a character who classic lore introduced and Peter Jackson’s films expanded on. She might start out squeamish and opposed to fighting, but quickly adapt to combat as a way of survival against a new wave of Uruks.
Other ideas that Monolith might introduce with the Shadow of Mordor sequel is an expanded world. The first one was small by current gen standards, and it didn’t take long to reach the opposite side, even without fast traveling. Including Mount Doom and the Shire as new territory could also add more variety to the overall tone, since the first game was rather dark and monotone throughout.
One thing is known, as reported by GameSpot in June of this year. Monolith had gone on a hiring spree for what appears to be a major overhaul on key staff, including artists for “lighting” and “world.” This could mean that the Shadow of Mordor sequel, if it happens, will see a much larger variety of visuals as well as an expansion on its original Nemesis system. The previous design director has stated that the Nemesis system was only the beginning of what they wanted to do.
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Does this mean that the Middle Earth sequel will incorporate armies to command as suggested by the “Bright Lord” DLC? In that downloadable set of quests, the elf hadn’t yet died, and had shown what he could do with his magic. Perhaps if Arwen is the new protagonist in the Shadow of Mordor sequel, she will end up using the One Ring in a similar fashion? She may end up renouncing it in the end, as her father decides it must be destroyed, setting up the chain of events leading to the adventures of Frodo Baggins.
Movie Pilot suggests that the sequel could also allow players to control an entire army of Uruks and other beasts, possibly in real-time strategy style. This could make for some epic gameplay battles as you fight from the perspective of a commander in the middle of the fray.
If they can pull it off, Monolith could have a second hit with the possible Shadow of Mordor sequel.
[Featured image via Warner Bros. / GameSpot]