Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was sort-of announced last month as a third-person action title being developed by Monolith. The gist is that you play a deceased ranger named Talion who’s a little miffed because his family was brutally murdered, and now he’s possessed by a SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE that gives him spooky wraith powers. Because Monolith love ghosts, I guess, and can even shoehorn them into Lord of the Rings games.
The problem was that there was very little detail about it, and absolutely nothing in the way of video or screenshots or anything. The first bit hasn’t been rectified – all we have to go on, still, is the claim that every enemy will be individual and enemy characteristics and relationships will be shaped by how the player acts – but we do have some screenshots. And good grief, but it looks a lot nicer than expected.
I doubt Shadow of Mordor will look exactly like this on launch (the term “bullshot” exists for a reason) but if these shots are using in-game assets and the game itself is trying for something of this scale and scope, it should look pretty bloody magnificent anyway, the slightly rough aliasing be damned. It’s hard not to look at one or two of these shots (the concept art with two swords slung across his back, and the battle in the castle courtyard) and think The Witcher 2, which is no bad thing.
The pics are below. The game itself is due out in They Haven’t Said, which I guess might mean late 2014.