Shadow of Mordor takes place between the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. You will craft your protagonist, but the main antagonist is Sauron – an ancient evil clad in black who certainly looks the part of really evil bad buy. The gameplay combines an action-RPG with a strategy RPG. The latter comes into play before battle, where you arrange your troops and have a hand in where your foes are as well. The core game is far more action-heavy than you might expect from a game based on The Lord of the Rings mythos. While the game won’t have characters from the fellowship saga, they may be referenced in the campaign.
There will also be multiple classes to choose from – so if you’re a fan of elves, you’re in luck! Combat is heavily action-oriented, with QTEs popping up for an execution sequence. When you defeat a commander, you can choose whether or not to allow them to live and they’ll join you, or you can kill them. Killing them brings about a QTE sequence made up of both button presses and stick movements. Like the LOTR films, this game will set out to tell its own story and make it unqiue while also fitting in with the literature and films. The primary mode here is a single-player campaign, but there’s a bit of a multiplayer component where you can hop into a friend’s game and kill an enemy that has previously killed you. There’s also a challenge mode in play that allows you to prove your worth now compared to how good you were in the past. It’s a bit odd to see an LOTR game with an arcade-style component in the form of a leaderboard, but it’s easy to see that making it a bit more accessible for folks as well.