Middle-earth: Shadow of War releases first gameplay trailer

Monolith Productions’ Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the upcoming sequel to their 2014 surprise hit Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, has given fans their first look at the game in action.

The new trailer comes a week after the announcement trailer that featured a pre-rendered cutscene involving Talion, Celebrimbor and the armies of the dark lord Sauron.

The trailer, replete with comfortingly British voice over, takes viewers through alpha gameplay footage that shows various Middle-earth locations like Minas Tirith, Nurnen and Osgiliath that border Mordor,   and Cirith Ungol, Seregost and Gorgoroth deep in the heart of Mordor itself.

Players will go behind enemy lines into Mordor, building an army to battle Sauron’s forces from within. The video then shifts to demonstrate the take-down of Seregost’s overlord, an Uruk-hai named Ur-Hakon the Dragon.

The upgraded Nemesis System now takes your army’s strengths and weaknesses into account. The video features one Uruk who has betrayed you, spilling your secrets to your enemy in order to curry favour and gain power of their own.

Taking forts is a multi-stage affair — Talion and Celebrimbor, known together as The Bright Lord, must locate and slay the Uruk in charge of each layer of defense. Once they are out of the way, your forces can break through and surge toward the next objective. In other instances, your spies will infiltrate and strategically place explosives for blowing open walls and other defenses, allowing your troops to flood in from angles your enemy will not anticipate.

Also, and if you’ll indulge us as we abandon professionalism for a moment, you can dominate and fly around on a drake which is cool as shit holy BALLS.

The trailer then shows off a battle against the fortress Overlord and how The Bright Lord can now call upon loyal generals to attack more difficult enemies when things start to look dire. The Overlord slain, the voice over then notes that every part of the trailer aside from the Fortress itself was procedurally generated by the Nemesis System as the player made their choices and decisions. According to the trailer, this means that no two players will experience Shadow of War in the same way, which is very exciting if it pans out.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is set to release on August 23 on Playstation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.