Warner Bros. has release the first Middle-earth: Shadow of War gameplay footage, and it is equally lengthy as it is epic. Since the video is 16 minutes, I guess that makes it pretty epic.

The video is centered around Talion and Celebrimbor as they lead an army in an assault on the mountain valley of Seregost. The goal is to conquer the fortress and kill one of Sauron’s Overlords. However, all of this is just an excuse for developer Monolith to demonstrate the new and improved Nemesis System, and how it affects enemies, followers and even the fortresses.

The video shows different types of followers and enemies Talion can encounter in his quest, each with his own personality, back story and relationship with Talion. For example, we see an enemy war chief that was once a follower of Talion, until he betrayed him for the Dark Lord. Now, that enemy is wearing a piece of armor that’s very similar to Sauron’s iconic armor, and wields a dark power and a grudge.

The Nemesis System appears to be much more complex this time around, as enemies can die in several different ways, or even cheat death and come back with a vengeance. Luckily, followers always have your back, and as we see in the video, they can even take down enemy war chiefs all by themselves, or show up during a boss fight and lend much needed help. All of these actions will affect Talion’s relationship with these enemies or followers dynamically.

Since now you manage your own army, you can choose to promote certain followers in your ranks. After Talion manages to slay the fortress’s Overlord, he needs to choose which one of his war chief will rule the region. Different followers will offer different bonuses and perks to your army, so you can either award them based on their actions, or based on your play style.

Oh, the video reveals that Talion will be able to ride drakes – big, dragon-like creatures that can fly and spit fire. I don’t know how often you’ll be able to do that, but riding one sure looks like a lot of fun.

Watch the whole video to see more of the Nemesis System and other gameplay elements in action. Middle-earth: Shadow of War will come out on PC, Xbox One, Project Scorpio and PlayStation 4 on August 25.


Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.