At E3 2017, I stopped by Warner Bros. to see Middle-earth Shadow of War.  If you recall, I enjoyed the first game – Shadow of Mordor – immensely.  I loved the Nemesis system and wondered where they could go next with the system.  With Shadow of War, Warner Bros. and Monolith have blown the doors off of the system and after this brief taste at E3, my hype level could not be higher.

In the presentation portion of the show, they went in-depth on how the siege mechanic will work in the game.  As it stands now, what we know is that Celebrimbor helps you create a new ring of power and you begin your domination of orcs, Uruk-hai, and many other creatures.  In Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor, you were able to influence orcs to work towards your goals.  In Shadow of War, you collect Orc Chiefs and their armies to fill out your army.  Once you take a fortress and oust Sauron’s forces, you will have to install your own war chiefs with their own strengths and abilities in order to fend off future attacks as Sauron is not known to share.

Once the presentation finished, I was able to get my hands on the game.  Even after all this time without playing, it was like riding a bicycle.  The combat felt as tight as before.  Immediately I ran over and jumped on a Caragor and rode to my quest location.  I purposefully stayed away from the more narrative-based missions and focused instead on movement and combat.  Everything felt so fluid while I was playing.  Even though the release is not until this fall, the polish on the game already is evident.  And it looks pretty too…you know, for Mordor.

Middle-earth Shadow of War Preview Final Thoughts:

Overall, I think I walked away from Middle-earth Shadow of War with the most hype after playing. Based on what we saw at E3 Expo 2017, it appears that Shadow of War is the sequel we’ve been waiting for – combat refinement and taking the Nemesis system to the next level.