Story definitely wasn’t the strongest element of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Despite having one of the deepest narrative universes as a backdrop, the game took the easy route in delivering a disappointing revenge plot that marred the otherwise impressive title. Thanks to a trailer released over YouTube recently, we can see for the first time what improvements Monolith has made in this area. Check it out:
Despite initial skepticism from the gaming community, Shadow of War definitely seems like it will have a stronger plot this time around. The above trailer shows off numerous characters and narrative elements that hint to a more-developed story, if not necessarily a well-delivered one.
We see a handful of unfamiliar faces making appearances and, in their own unique ways, leaving lasting impressions on the viewer. A ghastly woman asking our hero what he would sacrifice, a young man fighting off orcs with the crest of the White Tree of Gondor on his chest, a cloaked woman seemingly battling Ringwraiths to great effect – every member of the cast stands out in a manner that was distinct in its absence in Shadow of Mordor.
Other aspects caught our attention as well. That’s almost certainly Shelob crawling out from one of her many treacherous nests and, unless we’re very much mistaken, a Balrog makes an appearance at the very end of the trailer. These familiar enemies, though undoubtedly lore-breaking to the worst degree, are nonetheless kind of gratifying to see again. It’s not like the rest of the series hasn’t stomped all over its source material already, and if the product amounts to nothing more than really enjoyable fan-fiction, is it really that unforgivable?
Regardless of how you feel about the creative liberties Monolith has taken in creating Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the media released for the game so far has done an excellent job in selling it. Even the graphical elements, previously the only shoddy part of the recently released gameplay footage, looks to have been improved to a degree.
Nevertheless, if you feel particularly strongly one way or the other, you can reach out to the studio on Twitter, or visit Shadow of War’s official website, where more information and updates are available.