I remember when I was younger, I played Star Wars: Republic Commando, and to me the coolest thing about it was where it took place in the Star Wars chronology. Set between the second and third prequel films, the game put you in the shoes an elite team of Clone troopers known as Delta Squad. Your crew of supercharged Jango Fetts is tasked with various important missions, and the game conveyed for the first time what boots on the ground as a clone might actually feel like. It was pretty awesome, and as a Star Wars nut, I was all over it. Though not as devoted a Lord of the Rings geek as I am a Star Wars lover, I’ve since come to acknowledge Peter Jackson’s opuses from the early 2000s as the better films – the books, of course, are masterworks.
Given my affinity for Republic Commando, I’m pretty thrilled about the new between-film LoTR game, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. The screens and art that Warner and Monolith Productions have just released only amplify my excitement, and frankly I’m not surprised – the folks at Monolith seem deadly serious about making a great game, citing Rocksteady’s Arkham series as “the model” for how licensed IP ought to be handled. To be clear, this is Monolith Productions, not Monolith Soft, though I’ll be the first to admit that Xenosaga meets Lord of the Rings would be both an amazing feat and a crime against humanity all at once. One mustn’t spend too much time pondering such things.
Unlike Republic Commando, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor takes place between trilogies: the game recounts the events surrounding the ranger Talion as he trudges to Mordor post-Hobbit and pre-LotR, tasked with avenging his fallen family members. It all sounds pretty awesome, and Talion — though admittedly a bit of a typical videogame archetype — seems like an intriguing and undoubtedly formidable character.
At any rate, be sure to check out the screens and art in the gallery below. Though still without a release date, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor will come to PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and Windows in due time, so plan accordingly.