A Dead Ringer: Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor

Huh? If there’s one thing I didn’t expect the next big Lord of the Rings game to resemble, it was Assassin’s Creed. But that’s all I could think about when watching this footage of Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor (well that, Bacon Pancakes, and this otter). It’s an open-world action RPG, and when Wraith-possessed (sigh) Ranger Talion sauntered up a wall and rope-walked over a courtyard, it was right out of Ezio’s* skillset. When he then used his Wraith powers (sigh-sigh) to scan the crowd, they might as well have added an eagle screech and a wink. Not that it didn’t look like fun, and there’s some stuff in here about a nemesis systems that you should look at, but the inspiration is incredibly obvious.

I will give them props for the nemesis system, at least in theory. It appears to track interactions between you and enemies, creating bespoke super-villians in your world who will remember you and react according to your previous meetings. That’s going to require a lot of recorded lines and animation just hanging around if they’re going to implement in the way shown here, with little cut-scenes playing out before you get involved, and the enemies fighting or fleeing. The most interesting bit in the footage for me is when Talion enters the mind of a henchman and you can see all the possible people you can use him to influence, and all the ways he can do so, which is kind of neat. Your choice will set-up the mission.

I actually quite enjoyed what I watched, even if it needs to be more comfortable doing its own thing, and I totally forgot it was set in Middle-Earth.

*I always think of Ezio as Mister Assassin’s Creed.


  1. BobbyDylan says:

    But… where’s the Pirate ship?

  2. Davie says:

    This looks like it might actually be pretty good, but it’s going to be difficult to ignore the horrendous travesties committed on Tolkien’s setting. Wraith-possessed antiheroes on revenge quests are pretty much the antithesis of a Middle-Earth protagonist.

    • lizzardborn says:

      There is a lot going on in middle Earth. And Mordor is huge – there is a lot of stuff that could happen. Although the idea of being pure evil Nazgul like assassin that hunts Rohan and Minas Tirit dignitaries is quite appealing.

    • Ansob says:

      Yeah, exactly. This is pretty much the worst use of LotR as an IP, since part of what makes it interesting and unique nowadays is that it isn’t grim and gritty antiheroes doing bad things to win the war.

      More importantly, there’s absolutely nothing in the pitch so far that actually uses Middle-Earth specifically. This would work even better if it were a generic fantasy setting with a big bad sorcerer king who commands legions of orcs and a protagonist possessed by any old fantasy wraith.

      • Wulfram says:

        Well, Turin is a bit grim and gritty

        • misterT0AST says:

          I live there, I can confirm it’s grim and gritty, especially since the crisis struck.

      • xao says:

        It isn’t grim and gritty at all

        … except when Aragorn turns an undead army loose on his foes.
        … except when Frodo is nearly drowned in a gray and colourless march by the spirits of the damned.
        … except when Denethor tries to kill his son and then immolates himself.

        Sure Tolkien includes a lot of bright moments to balance it, but there’s plenty of grimdarkness in the trilogy.

      • goettel says:

        Boromir. Sméagol.

        Starting with Melkor, who’s an antihero (or at least he is in the Byronic sense), there’s a long list. And there’s a ton of grit in the mythologie.

        The worst use of Tolkien’s IP so far have been the Hobbit movies, which I’m basing purely on the horrible trailers – or even just the depiction of Radagast.

    • soulblur says:

      It would be interesting, wouldn’t it, if it left off the magic and used different systems to do things like identify targets. Perhaps you would need to watch a group of orcs and see which was issuing orders, to see who was in charge (and thus who you needed to kill). Or the target could have some sort of physical and visual identifier that you saw signs of earlier (“The villagers said the chief orc used a massive club – if I see that club, I know that’s my target”). Better, more interesting and setting-accurate ways to have done this. Oh well.

    • Anthile says:

      No, it’s right here in the books: “And then Frodo activated his wraith vision, totally stabbed that dude in the face and then pressed X to terrorize.” Page 544.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        Ah yes, is it not ingrained upon all our memories: “…and he felt a pain like a dart of poisoned ice pierce his left shoulder. Even as he swooned he cursed his own poor timing and the arbitrary nature of quick time events…”

      • earlgrey says:

        And who could forget the Nimoy classic:

        In the Middle of the Earth in the Land of the Shire
        Lives a grim, brooding Hobbit whose elf-blade is dire
        With his blood-soaked mail
        And gore-spattered feet
        He’ll never show you mercy so hope you never meet with

        Rambo (RAMBO)
        Rambo Baggins
        He’s only three feet tall
        Rambo (RAMBO)
        Rambo Baggins
        He’s still won’t hesitate to kill you all

    • Wurstwaffel says:

      I’ve got a feeling the project didn’t have the LOTR IP attached to it from the get-go.

    • Urthman says:

      Yeah, in Middle Earth, gritty anti-heroes are fools who think they are heroes but are actually dupes unwittingly doing the work of Sauron. Which might be a pretty good twist for a game like this, if there were any chance of them getting it right. Which there isn’t.

    • Tacroy says:

      Have you read the protagonist’s backstory? It seriously sounds like a bad fanfic.

  3. DarkLiberator says:

    Looks like a combo of Assassin’s Creed and Arkham series.

    This nemesis system might want to pick some different dialogue though, not sure how many times I want to hear “you left me to burn” “I’ll burn you” again and again.

    • Snidesworth says:

      Pretty much. That said if it has AC style movement without the jankiness, a solid Arkham-esq combat system and delivers on all the systemic stuff the video above promises then it should be rather good.

      You’re absolutely right about the dialogue too. Few things are more jarring than having the camera focus on a character only to have them deliver the same line you’ve heard before. Doesn’t matter if it’s in a different voice, pronounced differently, etc if it’s the same damn words. Hopefully the gameplay pauses in the above were there to emphasise the nemesis system they’ve got going on, along with the over-obvious dialogue.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        It doesn’t help that the first enemy you hear is Steve Blum doing Steve Blum voice again. Seriously, stop using the same voice actors for the same voices. It’s so incredibly lazy voice direction.

    • Moraven says:

      Dark Alliance 2:

      Drizzit – Everytime you critical hit or kill, “You left me an opening”. “Your guard is down”

      So many times…

  4. FleeingNevada says:

    I get that the license sells, but these games are becoming so far removed from being lore friendly or even remotely canon that escaping being branded a cynical cash in seems impossible.

    • Cinek says:

      That’s a game. It’s suppose to be fun. Not a new chapter of canon.

      • FleeingNevada says:

        Yes, but it certainly is detrimental to the enjoyment when they’re using a well established lore and building something that sticks out like a sore thumb over it. Lord of the Rings universe with action heroes running around with spells, killing orc excecution squads. Urgh.

        • Cinek says:

          And… why not again? That’s the beauty of Middle-earth: it’s so huge, that next to everything could happen there. And apparently this game doesn’t build any events that contradict well-established canon. Yes, ghostly-combat action doesn’t have anything to deal with the way action was shown in an original books, but you can complain about that in every single LotR game – cause after all: it’s game, not a book.

          • FleeingNevada says:

            By this logic, we might as well have beholders and D’n’D tropes in a LotR game and just shrug it off by saying that “it’s a big place.”

            There is canon and lore for a reason. Breaking it for no apparent purpose is just lazy.

          • DatonKallandor says:

            Exactly. Middle Earth is huge. Then why is all this bullshit set in the parts of Middle Earth that we know enough about to say that this isn’t happening THERE. There’s entire countries we don’t even know the names of fighting Mordor in the east. There’s entire countries that contribute to the War south of Gondor (you know, the ones who actually win the Battle for Minas Tirith, not the Ghosts-from-the-movie). Beorns folks are fighting a guerilla war and the entire Lonely Mountain area is a warzone.
            But no, every game has to be set in the fucking Shire and then progress through Rivendale into Moria into Rohan into Gondor into Mordor. If you counted up the games there’s half a dozen different groups of 1 Human+1 Dwarf+1 Elf running the exact same route Frodo does 5 minutes in front and 5 minutes behind him.

          • Cinek says:

            And from trailer you already judged that this game shatters canon in 1000s of places?
            WELL DONE.

          • FleeingNevada says:

            Lessee, wraith powers, super powers, humans using magic; yeah, I can tell from just the trailer alone.

        • PsychoWedge says:

          Have you ever played LotR – The Third Age? It’s an old RPG for PS2 and the likes. A total copy of Final Fantasy 10 with one of the most horrendous lore rapes (I really don’t know any other word that fits) I’ve ever seen. There’s a lot over the course of the game but what always stood out is the end where you (I swear) stand atop Barad-dûr and literally punch Saurons flaming eye until he dies. And before that? You kill all nine Nazgûl. As a gondorian guardsman and some elven woman…

          • Harmless Sponge says:

            Christ I had forgotten I’d played that… Yeah that was bad, let’s not talk of it further.

            Currently playing through this War In the North game, which deals with Agandaur and the events happening in the grey mountains while Frodo n co stroll off to Mordor. The setting is good, the game is repetitive and is actually crashing to desktop a lot, but it’s mildy enjoyable and I like that it isn’t heading to Gondor et al.

            It does still have the 1 Dwarf + 1 Elf + 1 Ranger crap going on (and my god if I hear the “what a strange bunch of fellows to be on an adventure” dialogue again I swear I’ll eat a hobbit), and I’ve not 1 but 3 Great Eagle friends who consistently swoop in to save the day, but it’s the first thing I remember trying to get away from the movie storyline. -disclaimer- I’ve just found out we’re gonna go hunt a dragon, so much for that.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            That’s exactly what I was thinking of when they were complaining about lore. The Third Age would make them burst a blood-vessel.

          • Archangel says:

            War in the North is better than it has any right to be. Sure, it’s a console beat-em-up, but it preserves the stately language and respect for the lore that so many other games ignore/subvert/trample.

            And don’t worry, that dragon-hunt is done very well, and definitely not with the result you might imagine.

          • Harmless Sponge says:

            Indeed Archangel, pleasantly surprised with Urgost. Didn’t get to finish it over the weekend on account of it crashed out on me again in Carn Dum and I swore a lot and told it to stick its glitchy problems up its you know what. Shall try again this evening.

            All that said, I’m enjoying the story and I’d agree, this one is doing huge amounts for expanding the lore in a coherent and enjoyable fashion.

  5. Binary77 says:

    Yes, it is very obvious where the climbing mechanics have taken inspiration from….

    But now that clear-as-day observation is out of the way, let’s hope that it doesn’t get mentioned with a sneer every time this game is written about, and that the (actually quite exciting) original elements of the game are given their dues.

    • yurusei says:

      You’re not the only one that noticed.

      link to ign.com

      • Binary77 says:

        Honestly, i care very little, even if it does share an identical climbing mechanic. Games do that – they incorporate mechanics that were pioneered by previous games. Like revisions of the genre that evolve over time. We only really benefit from the range of extra playing style options available to us now, as a result.

        Most FPS games now adopt the ability the look down the iron sights, like the first Call Of Duty pioneered. And the use of physics puzzles in HL2 etc

        Obviously stealing code from other games complicates things a lot, but i bet in the early days of FPS games, it was probably quite common for developers to tinker about with the Doom/Quake coding on a regular basis, and use it on commercial releases.

  6. Manningham says:

    The game looks fine, sort of, but I’d like to thank you most sincerely for introducing me to bacon pancakes :)

  7. JoeGuy says:

    Pleasantly surprised how it’s looking.

  8. Marblecake says:

    You do know that otters are terrible, terrible creatures, right?

  9. RealoFoxtrot says:

    Charles Randall, a Coder from assassin’s creed who worked on the combat and air assassinations, is claiming that WB have taken his code for this: link to uk.ign.com

    • Cinek says:

      Hm… smells a little bit like a patent troll thinking that he now owns right to all of the air-assassinations in all of the games.

      • xao says:

        No. He’s not looking for any legal redress. He’s also not accusing Shadow of Mordor of copying style or gameplay from AC2, he’s accusing them of reusing code and assets from AC2.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      The animations really do look very similar. Wouldn’t surprise me if it was based on the same mocap just comparing the two, though I can’t imagine Ubi sharing animation assets with outside studios.

      • GamesInquirer says:

        It wouldn’t be a programmer that did the mo-cap and animations though. Also, even Neo wouldn’t see the code used in footage. I suppose it could be true but how would they even acquire the code if there’s no licensing deal?

        • RealoFoxtrot says:

          The combat is him being a dick i think. But he does have a point about the air animations. They are identical in how they work. Camera target, starts a identical curve jump, landing attack auto-kill that replaces fall damage…

        • Premium User Badge

          Ninja Dodo says:

          You’re right, but gameplay programmers do spend a lot of time looking at animations… so he could certainly recognize them.

          Highly unlikely any actual code or art was re-used but it’s another way of saying “you used this game as reference and basically copied it directly”.

          It looks quite good, though.

          • RealoFoxtrot says:

            Agreed. Considering i am a bit of an assassin’s creed fanboy (and mostly because of the gameplay) this game has just shot to the top of my “to watch” list. Looking forward to seeing more and hopefully it’ll be a good game

          • GamesInquirer says:

            He’s not calling it a rip-off, copycat or whatever else, he implies actual Ubisoft work was used in it, so I don’t agree with that. He not only said he recognized the assets others made, he said he recognized his own work and it was said he’s a programmer. I now wonder why he singled out ACII, how does it differ from I, III, Brotherhood, IV, etc, to know it’s all lifted off of it? I’ve played the games so I know there are differences, I’m just saying if he only worked on II and it still resembled I so much then clearly it’s possible for different work to yield rather similar results. Of course in the case of actual AC that’s further aided by the use of the same engine and building over what came before but then you can see almost all of today’s FPS games having a ton of identical functions, from iron sight aiming and vaulting over objects to jam smearing and all brown locations. Also, I imagine a lot of these animations are edited motion captured actions, surely professionals in parkour or whatever else will look fairly similar when climbing and hopping etc. If this was really about a vague resemblance then it wouldn’t be the programmer that needs to take offense and demand to “at least” be credited but the original Assassin’s Creed design lead if anyone, assuming he himself wasn’t inspired by others.

          • nearly says:

            and then there’s those words I can’t figure out in the video title. “pre-alpha”? don’t know what those mean but maybe they’re important or relevant in some way

    • Llewyn says:

      So he can recognise that his code has been used in a demo of something? That’s some special skill he has.

      Or he could have used his eagle vision, I guess.

      • Ich Will says:

        Meh, Ordance Survey won millions from the AA because they recognised similar mistakes present on their survey data and quirks of the maps that were reproduced on AA maps, it’s not too far of a leap to notice, for example a distinctive shading pattern or a quirk of animation or whatever and realise that this is pretty much like a fingerprint for his code.

        • Llewyn says:

          Recognising data in something that is a direct representation of that data is an entirely different thing.

          • Ich Will says:

            You are well educated enough to understand that maps are not directly representative – go look at a map now and measure the road width against that maps scale.

            Now if I had spend a couple of years coding, lets say a physics engine, you’d better believe I would recognise it’s peccadilloes if someone ripped it off, just as any professional building a complex product would easily recognise it if they spent that long creating it.

          • GamesInquirer says:

            This isn’t about something as all encompassing as a physics engine though (which I agree in some cases can be recognised without access to the code, like the whole Angry Birds deal).

            His point was that under the hood things can be very different even if the visual result is rather similar. With maps it’s the information that matters so yes if the information matches exactly then presentation aside you can tell what they used as reference. With games that something looks like something else doesn’t mean it is ripped straight off of it.

          • Cinek says:

            Ich Will – it’s just one mechanic this guy complains about. Not entire physics engine. A mechanic that been there out in the world for years – ANYONE could have copied the looks of that. Anyone.
            If you’re really a programmer you should know how easy it is to copy the way stuff works better than most of the people around here.

        • xao says:


          He’s not complaining about a mechanic at all. He’s complaining about code and asset plagiarization.

  10. RProxyOnly says:


    link to vg247.com

  11. TheVGamer says:

    I think I’m alright with this game fucking the canon sideways simply because it looks fun to play, unlike most other “next-gen” games.

  12. Cinek says:

    Looks fun! :)

  13. bodydomelight says:

    “I totally forgot it was set in Middle-Earth.”

    You and the writers/developers both, it would seem.

  14. Kefren says:

    Why do buildings in different parts of the land have three-cable broadband connections for assassins to run over?

  15. Blackcompany says:

    Canon be damned this looks and sounds quite good. Pity its set in the world its set in – how about setting it in the world of, I don’t know, Talions, perhaps, or an original new world – but the movement and combat look very satisfying indeed. I especially liked that part where he shoved the goblin into a fire and it actually burned the dude. Way to use the environment.

    On the other hand…Tolkien meets Assassins Creed. Two franchises I’m more than a little worn out on.

    Still, if they can pull off the unique enemies and game-changing systems they claim to have in place, and couple them with this combat and movement system across a vast open world…I am cautiously optimistic this could make me forget the setting entirely.

  16. Makariel says:

    Seeing the trailer this all looks really interesting… but I think we all remember how interesting Alien Colonial Marines looked after the first “gameplay video”.

    Alright sweethearts, you know the drill, no pre-ordering or other nonsense until reviews are out.

  17. MobileAssaultDuck says:

    Grimdark + LotR?

    I’m sold.

    • jonahcutter says:

      I’m as a big a fan of grim-dark things as anyone. But there are times I long for some unabashed heroics. And a cornerstone of the appeal of LotR is that it is unequivocally heroic.

      The gameplay, at least as far as the trailer lets you see, looks fun (though the writing sounds terrible). But a grimdark tone and evil-possessed antihero in LotR leaves me feeling a bit sad for the IP.

      • MobileAssaultDuck says:

        I’m the kind of guy who loves when an established setting gets darkened up.

        Heroics have never done it for me, I’ve always prefer villains and anti-heroes.

        • Urthman says:

          Yeah, but a game where a wraith-possessed Ranger in Middle Earth doesn’t turn out to be a duped pawn of Sauron? That would be like making a Superman movie where Superman snaps the bad guy’s neck at the end.

          • MobileAssaultDuck says:

            That’s the thing though. I hate Superman. You give me a Superman that snaps necks, my opinion on Superman has now changed for the better.

            I am completely unconcerned with the concept of “purity” of an IP. IP’s evolve and change over time as audiences change. This is seen most easily in comic books with their sliding timescale and universe reboots. This keeps IPs and character’s fresh as certain ideals, principles, and morals shift in society.

            I’m sure original Batman fans hated how dark he has become over the years, but for many of us dark Batman is the one we always knew.

            Literature is often a mirror to society. When society is shit, fiction brightens. When society is good, like in most Western nations, our fiction tends to darken. When most of us don’t have to worry about eating on a daily basis, we tend to allow our fiction to explore morality more deeply, which involves the concept of pushing heroes into the anti-hero spectrum.

            No IP is stagnant, they evolve. Tolkien’s world is evolving in a darker, more action oriented direction. Some will hate this, I do not.

          • tnzk says:

            “That’s the thing though. I hate Superman. You give me a Superman that snaps necks, my opinion on Superman has now changed for the better…

            … Tolkien’s world is evolving in a darker, more action oriented direction. Some will hate this, I do not.”

            I don’t normally go around saying this, but your taste appears to really suck. If you’re still a teenager, then…. well I don’t apologize, but I understand. We’ve all been there.

            I mean, all that B.S about purity and stagnation, that’s not the point. An I.P is fantastical, dark, horrific, lo-fi etc, usually for reasons pertaining to its thematic concerns. Tolkien’s I.P was a previously unmolested epic of good vs. evil. It was English Catholic thinking in the mode of Norse mythology; faff (in his own words) so good it’s still studied at tertiary level. Now here comes a game that turns the I.P violent for absolutely zero. fucking. reason. except to look cool. Nevermind ruining the I.P, it’s going to ruin itself. WB/Monolith should have just made a lo-fi violent universe and be better off for it, similar to the Conan series.

            To call this take of Middle Earth grimdark is to condemn it to mediocrity anyway. I believe the term stems from the Warhammer 40,000 series, the ultimate in rubbish nerdwank.

  18. Trondur says:

    Oh game industry, why do you have to continuously destroy this beautiful, rich license.

    It all started with the movies, don’t get me wrong, they were good for action movies but damn, in the words of Christopher Tolkien.”They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people age 15 to 25.”

    This happened with the Hobbit as well. Take Tauriel for instance, never mentioned in the books. It’s not even an exsisting character. And again, the movie isn’t a bad action movie at all. It is just catering to a younger audience, one of which I am part of, but to see this rich and illustrious lore just bent into a misshapen abominal thing like a Wraith/Ranger hybrid? Please Monolith, just stop. It REALLY isn’t that hard to create an interesting game set in the Tolkien Universe that stays acceptably (though I guess this is a subjective term) within the bounds of the lore.

    But this, as a Tolkien fan, is just more depressing than bloody War in the North. I’ll just sit here behind my screen mourning the sanity of the author’s son, while the author himself is making corkscrews in his grave.

    • Ich Will says:

      May I suggest you hunt down a copy of Middle Earth Quest to prove to yourself that not every licencee destroys Tolkiens world

      • Trondur says:

        Apologies, should’ve made it clear that I was talking about the video games and yes I admit, Middle Earth Quest is a good game, one of which I regrettably admit to not have in my collection yet. Should change that ASAP. Thank you for pointing that out. Frustration got the better of me, and I should’ve been more clear.

        • Ich Will says:

          Oh no need to apologise, you’re absolutely correct, there is no computer game that doesn’t trample over the lore – it’s really saying something when the game that treats it most sympathetically is probably LOTRO, and even then it’s so far removed from the world in the books that it’s not even funny.

    • MobileAssaultDuck says:

      For the sake of argument, is there anything this game actually defies in the established lore?

      Rangers exist.

      Wraiths/undead exist.

      Is there anything established that says a Ranger cannot become possessed in some fashion by one of these spirits?

      This definitely goes against the established atmosphere of Tolkien’s works, but does it really BREAK anything? If anything it just appears to be exploring a nearly completely undefined part of the lore and world.

      By exploring and fleshing out something previously untouched does this not, by the very definition of the word, add depth to the setting?

      • Ich Will says:

        Yes, the wraith is not Gorlim, a Nazgul or the Uliari nor one of the Dunlendings. By your argument, fanfiction should all be treated as canon… the mind boggles.

        • MobileAssaultDuck says:

          Actually, that gameplay thing told us NOTHING about the origin of the wraith or what it is. We have no idea yet, so neither of us can claim what the wraith is or is not other than being a wraith.

          And I said nothing about treating it as canon, but if you’re going to resort to straw mans you can kindly go fuck yourself. Not worth the effort.

          • Ich Will says:

            Gorlim was the only wraith who would help Gondor and he’s too busy not being a wraith anymore with Beren, we know the fate of every last dunlending, are you seriously suggesting the wraith is one of the Nazgul or the Uliari working against Mordor? Because one of the enemy switching sides would go against the core themes of Tolkiens work i.e. that evil can never be good.

            So that’s every wraith that has ever existed in Middle Earth accounted for. Is it a space wraith? Did the Ainur send it from another planet to Arda? Perhaps Manwe coughed during the Iluvatar and it came into being. There are infinite bullshit reasons you can make up, but they are all bullshit and clumsily contradict core themes of the literature.

            By the way, by saying that making up fiction to someone else’s world “adds depth” is an insult to authors of original IP everywhere. I gave you the benefit of the doubt with my strawman argument, tried to make you look better than you really are, so go fuck yourself in return and don’t be kind about it.

  19. Pemptus says:

    Looks neat, apart from some inevitable QTEs. I’m all for an AssCreed with a bit more joy in its heart.
    That said, I really hope the combat is actually challenging, otherwise those neat looking abilities would be useless.

  20. MajorManiac says:

    For a middle-earth game this looks gloriously awful. I hope the game-play is solid (or Rocksteady as it were) enough to distract me from the law breaking.

    One character that springs to mind as possibly having Assassin’s Creed-like powers is Gollum. That could make an interesting game.

    • Ich Will says:

      Oh dear god no…

      Please, read the books. The movies are amazing but the books are so much better.

      • MajorManiac says:

        I agree, the books are the best quality way to experience middle earth. Though its been about 14 years since I read them.

      • pipman3000 says:

        dont read the books, they’re slow and meandering and only better then the movies if you like retarded old men singing about forests and doing party magician tricks with the one ring

        • pipman3000 says:

          but make sure you read the hobbit, it’s way better written then the lotr and doesn’t spend 10000 chapters talking about how pretty some elven tree or how swarthy those swarthy looking swarthy men are like in the silmarilion

  21. MajorManiac says:

    Aragorn a wait for a review before buying.

  22. acheron says:

    LOTRO, at least initially, was reasonably respectful to the setting — they had to make some allowances for game mechanics, but I thought it was really well-done overall. Later on they started bending it more, but I don’t think it ever got this bad.

  23. Winged Nazgul says:

    Anything that makes Nazgul look more badass after their disappointing depictions in recent movies is welcome IMHO.

  24. Wurstwaffel says:

    Assassin’s Creed with Arkham style combat already has me sold. Granted, they’ve always been similar, but batman’s combat just seemed a lot more dynamic.

    Never cared much for those “vision”-gimmicks though. I’d like a hero without a supernatural advantage for once.

    Also, did anyone else notice the Assassin’s Creed trademark clothesline triplets?

  25. ffordesoon says:

    Welp, that’s at least sixty percent bullshit.

    If it isn’t, it could be something like what I’ve always wanted from the Assassin’s Creed series, where player actions have long-reaching systemic consequences rather than rigidly scripted ones. But it’s coming out for PS3 and 360, and they simply don’t have enough memory for that to be remotely feasible, barring some sort of miracle-genius programming trick.

    EDIT: And apparently the developers said Assassin’s Creed “wasn’t something they were consciously striving for.” To which I say: Oh, fuck off. There’s nothing wrong with copying a successful game design, but at least admit you’re doing it. This isn’t broadly similar to AC; it’s AC: LOTR Edition. They even have the little cables you walk across in AC, for God’s sake!

  26. Shodex says:

    Hm, there’s plenty of room for more story in Middle Earth. Why do they always go back to Sauron?
    I mean, we know how this game ends don’t we? It’s a quest of revenge against Sauron. So we’re gonna kill a bunch of orcs and then a couple lousy little Hobbits will speed past and take the kill.

    Looks interesting nonetheless.

  27. BaconJets says:

    Even the level design is very assassins creed. I think the animation similarities are down to both devs probably using the same middleware. But yeah, in terms of movement and stealth goes, it’s nearly identical to Assassin’s Creed.

  28. goettel says:

    Came for Mordor, stayed for bacon pancakes.

  29. Darth Grabass says:

    When the reviews come out there’s going to be a race to see who will be the first to use “Orcsassin’s Creed” in the headline.

  30. wodin says:

    I like the arrow to the knee bit..rather amusing he did that.

  31. Devan says:

    Hmm, for the nemesis system to be very interesting, it seems to require you to fail to kill an awful lot of enemies. Could be interesting to see how they pull that off.

  32. Gvaz says:

    People don’t like the combat because it’s too simplistic and easy, but I like it because I don’t play asscreed games for the combat, i play them for the story and characters. So, whatever is the least intrusive to that end, wins. I want to veg out with something easy and not a lot to think of. If I want to think I can read a book, or play a strategy game or something.

    Nonetheless, this looks mad rad.

    • tormos says:

      Dear god, we’ve found someone who enjoys the Asscreed story. I mean statistically it makes sense that there might be one out there, but I assume that a just universe would have exiled them to a salt mine or something.

      • tormos says:

        by which I mean “I respect and value your opinion, fellow gamer. Here, have a biscuit”

  33. Armante says:

    In case you want to continue this story:

    link to gamespot.com