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Shadow of Mordor is a game that takes place in Middle-Earth between the events of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein. Join Keith as he seeks revenge for the family of Talion against the forces of Sauron with Monolith's new Nemesis System.
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Game description via Wikipedia:
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an action role-playing video game set in The Lord of the Rings universe, developed by Monolith Productions and released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game takes place during the gap between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings saga and was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The release date was moved from October 7, 2014 to September 30, 2014, except in Australia where the release date has remained at October 8, 2014 for all platforms.
In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, the player plays as a ranger with wraith-like abilities by the name of Talion. The game is an open world video game and players will have the freedom to pursue side quests and roam around the world.
The game allows people to create new characters and customize Talion as he starts his journey throughout Middle-earth by using a new system called the Nemesis System which remembers the player's interactions with specific types of characters they will encounter in the game and adjusts the manner in which these characters will react to the player throughout the game. Enemies will also develop as Talion interacts with them; for example, an Uruk who was thrown into a fire by Talion might want revenge on him for being burned and disfigured.
The player will have the option to level up the abilities of Talion both as a ranger and as a Wraith through two distinct skill trees. Ranger abilities allow Talion to move silently through environments without attracting attention, while Wraith abilities will allow him to impose his will on enemies, and have them gather information for him, spread tales of Talion among enemies to decrease their morale, or assassinate their leaders.
In February 2014, Monolith Productions announced that the Nemesis System, being a large system, will be reduced in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases, also stating that they were "focusing on the next-gen platforms," meaning the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One systems. Furthermore, they stated that they're "going to do whatever we can to get as much as possible on current-gen." Monolith Productions also stated that "some of the stuff," meaning the "core mechanics," which are combat, stealth, ranger abilities and movements, the basic control and gameplay, will be the same on both generations of gaming consoles.
The game takes place between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, as written by J.R.R. Tolkien. The family of Talion, a ranger of Gondor responsible for guarding the Black Gate of Mordor, is killed by Sauron's armies, but Talion (voiced and motion captured by Troy Baker) is revived with "wraith-like abilities" and heads into Mordor to exact his revenge. Mordor is not yet a barren wasteland in this story. The player will encounter Gollum (voiced by Liam O'Brien) in the game, discovering that Talion and Gollum have a lot in common. Talion discovers that the wraith who revived him is Celebrimbor (voiced by Alastair Duncan), the greatest Elven smith master of the Second Age and the maker of the Rings of Power, who also seeks revenge against Sauron.
The story involves the Rings of Power, but the story is separate to The Lord of the Rings canon. The Monolith team is working with Middle-earth Enterprises, Peter Jackson and the artists at the Weta Workshop to make sure that the settings, characters and story align within canon. Tolkien stated that, aside from Beren, dead men did not return to life in Middle-earth. The beginning of the game is set during abandonment of the watch on the Black Gate, despite that watch ending some 1,300 years prior to the game's start date.