Is Shadow of War Overpromising?


A few days ago, we were treated with the first gameplay trailer for Shadow of War, the sequel to Shadow of Mordor.

The general response? This looks fucking awesome! There is so much to love here!

That being said, it did remind us of something. Remember the first gameplay trailer for its prequel, Shadow of Mordor? We went looking and…it raised a few concerns.

First, let’s talk about what looks great.

The concept in general is pretty awesome. A massive war campaign spanning all of Mordor with an army of orcs at our beck and call? Yes, please!

It’s also clear that this will be an absolutely massive game, which is always great.

The return of the nemesis system is also extremely welcome. Orcs remembering encounters they had with Talion and sometimes escaping death only to return badly scarred and seriously pissed off was a really, really cool feature.

It ensured unique playthroughs and organic stories of rivalry between Tallion and that one orc that just wouldn’t die no matter how often you killed him. Or, for that matter, of that one orc you raised all the way from lowly captain to fearsome warlord.

The trailer is a little light on details as to how the system has been updated and changed, but it does mention that the system will now affect your allies as well as your enemies. We can’t wait to see how that will play out.

Orc Army

Clearly there will be more differences between the orcs, which will probably play a large role in building your army.

Of course a lot of features and powers from Shadow of Mordor are apparently returning, as well as some interesting new ones. Clearly we can now stealthily take out two orcs at once, which is incredibly useful.

Most important of all is the orcs and it seems that they’re still pretty great. They have more personality than some protagonists, honestly.

If all of that looks so great, why are we worried, then?

Well, look at the first gameplay trailer for Shadow of Mordor.

Anyone who’s actually played the game knows this trailer kind of wildly overpromised for what Shadow of Mordor turned out to be. That doesn’t mean that the game wasn’t great, but it didn’t turn out like this.

You can kind of see in the game where the ideas presented in this trailer partially survived.

Spying was clearly cut out, but you can now find intel on warlords just by finding documents, questioning orcs or talking to human slaves.

Taking control of an orc’s mind and making him betray a warlord is still an option, but it really doesn’t work as presented here. This feature came out far less interesting or impressive and wound up pretty repetitive, in fact.

The fact that this trailer so notably overpromised is exactly what has us worried now. This gameplay trailer for Shadow of War looks absolutely awesome, but is it going to be as awesome as portrayed here?

Dragon Riding

Granted, we will forgive a lot in any game that lets us ride drakes.

Unfortunately, we doubt it. The support you’ll get from spies in particular seems like something that won’t be anywhere near as cool as the trailer makes it seem, which would be a shame.

Hopefully we’ll be entirely wrong and the game will launch without the notable scissor marks of its prequel.

If not, well, it’s still a chance to roam through Mordor with an army of loyal orcs. That’s still pretty awesome!

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