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Jordan Mitchell
Jordan Mitchell

Middle Earth Shadow Of Mordor Game Of The Year ...

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a 2014 action-adventure video game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. An original story based on the legendarium created by J. R. R. Tolkien, the game takes place between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings film trilogies. The player controls Talion, a Gondorian Ranger who bonds with the wraith of the Elf Lord Celebrimbor, as the two set out to avenge the deaths of their loved ones. Players can engage in melee combat, and use wraith abilities to fight and manipulate enemies. The game introduces the Nemesis System, which allows the artificial intelligence of non-playable characters to remember their prior actions against the game's protagonist and react accordingly.

Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor Game of The Year ...


The game was released for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One in September 2014 and PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November 2014. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor received generally favorable reviews upon release. Most praise was directed at its combat, open-world design, and the Nemesis System. Some criticism was aimed at the game's story and boss battles. Shadow of Mordor marked the biggest launch for a game based upon Tolkien's universe, and would go on to win several awards from video gaming publications, including Game of the Year. The game was supported by downloadable content upon release. A sequel, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, was released in October 2017.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a third-person open world action-adventure video game, where the player controls a ranger by the name of Talion who seeks revenge on the forces of Sauron after his family, consisting of his wife and son, are killed by those that lead them.[1] Players can travel across locations in the game through parkour, riding monsters, or accessing Forge Towers, which serve as fast travel points.[2][3] Though Talion is mortally felled in the game's introduction, the wraith of the Elven Lord Celebrimbor is able to use his power to keep Talion alive, along with gifting him wraith-like abilities.[4] Missions in the game feature main story missions that follow Talion's quest for revenge, side missions that involve following Gollum to find artifacts that are tied to Celebrimbor's past, missions to free the human slaves that have been captured by the Uruk armies and forced to work for Sauron, and additional quests to help forge new abilities for Talion's sword, bow, and dagger.[5][6][7] The player also has the freedom to pursue side quests and roam around Mordor, with special activities to collect specific flora or to hunt certain creatures, or to find old artifacts or Elvish seals.[8][9]

Shadow of Mordor is based on Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium and Peter Jackson's movie franchise. The game takes place in the 60-year gap between the events of Jackson's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.[4] The family of Talion (voiced and motion captured by Troy Baker), a ranger of Gondor responsible for guarding the Black Gate of Mordor, is killed by the armies of Sauron, but Talion is revived with "wraith-like abilities" and heads into Mordor to exact his revenge.[26] Mordor is not yet a barren wasteland in this story.[27] The player will encounter Gollum (voiced by Liam O'Brien).[8] Talion discovers that the wraith who revived him is Celebrimbor (voiced by Alastair Duncan), the greatest Elven smith master of the Second Age, who also seeks revenge against Sauron.

Development of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which took about three years, began in late 2011.[28] The game's lead developer was Monolith Productions, who had experience on a Middle-earth game with Guardians of Middle-earth (a multiplayer online battle arena game released in 2012). According to design director Michael de Plater, Shadow of Mordor was developed in parallel with Guardians of Middle-earth but handled by a separate team. It was published by Warner Bros., who had published the Batman: Arkham game series.[26][29] The game was designed by de Plater, who had worked with Creative Assembly on Rome: Total War and Ubisoft on Tom Clancy's EndWar and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.[30]

The game has a standalone plot. Early in development, the team consulted Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, who advised them against a film tie-in.[29] According to de Plater, the story is character-driven to be "authentic" relative to Tolkien's themes.[29] The game was written by Christian Cantamessa, who was lead writer and lead designer for Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Redemption.[8] According to Roberts, the story is designed for accessibility by all players (regardless of their familiarity with the franchise) by creating natural interactions and believable relationships among the characters.[40] Its protagonist is Talion, a half-human, half-wraith inspired by Boromir.[37][41] Although Torvin was originally proposed as a playable character, the idea was scrapped, as the team wanted the game to have a single protagonist, like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.[42][36] The wraith is later revealed as Celebrimbor, creator of the Rings of Power.[43] The development team picked Celebrimbor because they considered his backstory sufficiently interesting to expand the canon's authenticity, allowing the team to write a story around power (a major theme of the game).[44] Another important component was Mordor's tone. The team created a dark atmosphere with humor, reflected in dialogue and voice acting. This was handled by Dan Abnett, who previously worked on books related to Warhammer's "dark and gritty" universe. The team hired David Salo, a linguist who worked on Tolkien's languages for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, to develop the Orcs' Black Speech.[40] The game's narrative was also inspired by BioShock, which according to de Plater, has successfully incorporated systemic stories with players' choices.[37] To prevent inaccuracies, Monolith consulted several Tolkien scholars from Warner Bros. and collaborated with Weta Workshop (Jackson's design company) on the game's special effects and scenery.[45] To depict well-known characters the company partnered with Middle-earth Enterprises, the franchise-rights holder, to prevent misuse and contradiction between the game's story and Tolkien's.[40]

The music for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was composed by Garry Schyman and Nathan Grigg, and a soundtrack album was released digitally by WaterTower Music on September 30, 2014.[52] In designing the game's music, the team used a number of sonic tools which synchronize with other aspects of the game (such as player actions and enemy movements); combat music included waterphones and spring drums.[53]

In August 2013 an artist mentioned that Monolith Productions was working on a AAA title separate from Guardians of Middle-earth, and on November 12 its title was announced.[54][55] Although the game was originally scheduled for release on October 7, 2014, according to Warner Bros. its release was moved up to September 30 in North America and October 3 in the United Kingdom due to "fans' excitement".[56][57] The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were released on November 18 in North America and November 21 in Europe.[58]

On December 16, 2014, the downloadable content (DLC) Lord of the Hunt was released. Its storyline revolved around Torvin, and it included new runes, skins and bosses.[59] Lord of the Hunt received mixed reviews from critics.[60] The final DLC for Shadow of Mordor, titled The Bright Lord, is set 3,000 years before the main campaign and allows players to control Talion's companion, Celebrimbor.[61] It adds a chapter to Shadow of Mordor in which players can complete ten more missions and fight Sauron.[62] The content was released on February 24, 2015, for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One.[63] A Game of the Year edition with DLC was announced on April 29, 2015, and released on May 5 for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One.[64][65] A special edition, with in-game items and a steelbook, was introduced on August 1.[66]

The game's sequel, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, was announced in February 2017. The sequel was developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. It was released worldwide on October 10, 2017.

"I continue to be amazed by the diversity of games that we honored tonight, from AAA action titles like Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor to standout mobile games like Monument Valley," said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. "The games recognized tonight highlight that the video game industry is moving in bold new directions, and they can offer experiences that can be big, small, intimate, epic, unique, grand and compelling. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners."

"There's plenty to see and do in Mordor when you're dead," wrote Eurogamer's Aoife Wilson in our Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor review last year. "All that's left, in the words of a wise old wandering wizard, is to decide what to do with the time that is given to you."

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