We had a chance to preview Middle-earth Shadow of War during our time at E3 Expo 2017 which you can read here – but Warner Bros and the Monolith Productions were kind enough to invite us over to capture some gameplay and delve even further into the game. At a first glance, you’ll see that Middle-earth Shadow of War is much like the first game Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor – if you played them both side-by-side it may be difficult to tell which one is which. There are some ‘under the hood’ changes in the new game like in the powers upgrades section but the big new gimmick is the Siege mode where you basically are storming the castle of an enemy – capturing stronghold points.
The Siege mode is clever and engaging and probably needs more than a couple of hours that we got hands-on with Middle-earth Shadow of War to really appreciate it. You can stack up your team with enemies that you defeated and influenced to help you and you can even infiltrate your enemy’s ranks and take out key villains to help sway the battle in your favor when the time comes to attack the castle. The only complaint we found during Siege mode was the constant cutting to character intro scenes which took us out of the button-mashing moment. These villain intro and taunting scenes are a part of both games but when we experienced multiple intros all during the same fight it became quite tedious. We asked if there was a way to turn off the villain intros as an option and the developer helping us with the demo said that was feedback they had received already about the new game.
Middle-earth Shadow of War was fun to play and gave you the gamer many options as for how you would like to take down enemies. You can charge into battle with your sword, fire arrows at enemies, sneak up on them or influence Orcs and other enemies to fight by your side. We’ll have a full review of the game when it releases October 10, 2017 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.