Monolith’s upcoming RPG set in J.R.R Tolkein’s Middle Earth has me excited and no, not in the usual way games do with their superb graphics, glorious locations or heartfelt storyline; Shadow of Mordor has me frothing at the…mouth at the opportunity to dive back into Middle Earth and explore a tangent on the vast lore that the Lord of the Rings has to offer.
Shadow of Mordor is set in the sixty years between The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This period of time is murky even to those who’ve read the various back catalogue of Tolkein’s work (I may be one of them) so having a new game set in this time period allows additional exploration into a much-loved fantasy world.
Players will take the role of Talion, a ranger of the North who was slain yet resurrected by a Wraith who we now know to be Celebrimbor, a legendary High Elf who helped forge the rings of power alongside Sauron (who wasn’t always pure evil) thousands of years ago. To most people the emergence of Celebrimbor as a character will be completely new and as the game progresses, we are set to discover a lot more about our possessive Wraith, his history and what is driving him to revenge through Talion. As much as this news is somewhat exciting, it’s also massively spoilerific and would have no doubt been best left discovered by the player rather than shouting it to the world a month or two before release.
Shadow of Mordor also looks to show the progression in the landscape and environment of Mordor. At the end of The Hobbit Sauron flees to Mordor where, over the sixty years before The Lord of the Rings, he gathers his strength and plots his assault on the world of men. This land was not always a vast, desolate wasteland of camping Orcs, Trolls and Wargs, but drastically transformed over time due to the growing evil of Sauron and his minions.
Celebrimbor’s story should provide interesting insight into what the Elves of old were like. With Elrond portrayed as a peerless, wise councillor in The Lord of the Rings, Celebrimbor will no doubt show how Elves are not all purely good, much like how The Lord of the Rings is not just a black and white story of good versus evil.