Recently, Monolith released the first gameplay of their upcoming title, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. For those of you who do not know what this game is, I want you to imagine taking the combat of the Arkham series, the fluidity of movement and stealth of Assassin’s Creed, and the powers of Force Unleashed. When put together, they make Shadow of Mordor. This idea sounds so great, especially when set in the Lord of The Rings Universe, and now with the release of its first gameplay, we can rest assure knowing that it looks solid as well. Please enter the url to a YouTube video. Monolith’s director of design, Michael De Plater, showed off the game as he talks you through the backstory of Talion, the once Ranger of Gondor who lost everything from family to friends when Sauron and his guard attacked them at the Black Gate. Talion was saved from death by a vengeful wraith who transforms Talion into a half-human and half-wraith. What this hybrid form brings to the gaming realm is something that Monolith has already proven they can do with their Arkham games, highly versatile and mobile combat. The demo shows off the many ways to approach the various situations that the player will encounter throughout their journey in Mordor. It also introduces the nemesis system that is one of the very unique and key features of the game. When Talion encounters Ratbag, one of his nemeses in the game, Ratbag remembers their previous encounter. This moment brings up the thought of how amazing this will be if implemented correctly with all of the important characters in the game. Another amazing feature of the nemesis feature is what you can do once you defeat them. There is the obvious option of straight up executing them, but that will most likely be the option you consider last when you see the others. You can choose terrorize, which will scour the mind of the nemesis and send him wailing back the enemy, telling stories of the horrifying and deadly Talion. The next option is a little more useful without putting your nemesis in too much danger, you can turn them and their followers into spies. This will provide valuable information about the higher up enemies that you will eventually encounter. Finally, there is the option to have them assassinate one of their allies that stands in your way. This will show a percentage chance they have of being successful in the act, but you will be there in case you need to clean up their mess. The assassinate option also shows off how expansive the hierarchy system is in the game and the major role it will play inside of the story for the game. I am excited to see such an in-depth game bring the best elements of many critically-acclaimed games together to make what looks to be a wondrous title. The game is set to release this year, so stayed tuned for more news.