“A wizard is never late,” said Merlin in that documentary about New Zealand. “Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.” I forget what happens after that – probably not much – BUT the quote felt applicable to this entirely separate bit of news where the open world combat of Middle-earth: Shadow of War [official site] is being delayed for release until 10 October 2017. Unless you’re Merlin in New Zealand because they have a different release date anyway.
Let’s unpick this!
The game was initially slated for August 22 and as far as I’m aware it’s the same kind of thing as Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The Nemesis system is being expanded to encompass the whole world and there’s the introduction of Followers who bring some different dimensions to the stories. BUT it’s still stabby orc stuff and Sauron things.
I am watching the trailer and I think it’s the story of a possessed blacksmith/jeweller who forges his own ring of power to challenge Sauron. I mean, sure. That checks out. But he messes up the forging and loses control of his ghost and the ghost gets kidnapped by a cloud and then some other guy wants to do army-ing and the blacksmith maybe turns into a giant dragon or maybe doesn’t. It’ll probably all be fine.
Sidenote: Didn’t Sauron try to set up a pyramid scheme of rings of power? He had the big one and then people below him were supposed to have one so he could control them? The idea was that all of these rings would feed back to him, except the elves were like “This is a bad idea” and stopped wearing them and the dwarves were like “Are we supposed to be feeling mind-controlled because we’re actually fine but also GOLD” and so Sauron was just left with a screechy posse of Nazgul who no-one likes.
I have now looked at least some of this up and Celebrimbor was the elven smith Sauron got to forge some of the rings of power. Wikipedia says “The game takes place sometime between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at which time Celebrimbor survives as an amnesiac wraith” – that is Very Very Videogames.
The official announcement of the delay is pretty standard – this game is big and complicated so we need a bit more time to do it right etc etc:
“Middle-earth: Shadow of War expands gameplay in every dimension, including the massive open world, the story, the RPG systems, and personal player stories of the Nemesis System. As with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith is committed to delivering the highest quality experience. In order to do this, we have made the difficult decision to move our launch date to ensure that Middle-earth: Shadow of War will deliver on that promise.”
They’ll show more at E3. Which is the exact opposite of what happens if you wear the Ring of Power at E3. Although I suppose some people might thing that the convention centre is pretty close to being an experience of Mount Doom so perhaps you wouldn’t want to take a Ring of Power there I DON’T KNOW IT’S THE END OF THE DAY STOP ASKING QUESTIONS.