Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Ups the Ante for Lord of the Rings Games

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The Lord of the Rings has had a stellar life as a movie series, but the franchise has had a bit of a hit-or-miss track record when it comes to video games.

The games based on The Lord of the Rings have never been especially awesome–the only really good one seems to be the LEGO version since it doesn’t take itself too seriously. But perhaps, the franchise just might break their touchy track record with the latest game, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will have users playing as Tallion, a ranger of Gondor. Uproxx states that Tallion and his people are attacked as Sauron regains his power and starts attacking Middle-Earth. However, Tallion, who was believed to be dead, is revived as a half-man, half-wraith. Of course, Tallion is out for revenge, so he’s going to be mowing down some orcs.

Now, of course, there are things to discuss here. Firstly, this game is going to take place between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings so nothing within the main continuities are really disturbed. Secondly, the whole half-man, half-wraith thing–that’s interesting, isn’t it? At this point, with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug introducing us to a non-canon character, it’s basically a futile effort getting mad about Tallion and what he becomes. But why is he this? So far, we don’t have a clue; the only real reason might be because it sounds cool. With the wraith powers, Tallion can see into what’s being called the “wraith world,” the same world Bilbo and Frodo can see when they put on the One Ring.

Nitpicking aside, it seems like the wraith powers are the main selling points of the game, allowing Tallion to bend enemies to do your bidding (like a Jedi Mind Trick) and mentally force enemies to spy for you or obey you. This can allow you to quickly build an army. The characters also remember certain battles they’ve had with Tallion, making the gameplay much more personal.

Check out the game footage below and see if you think it’s going to be the One Game to Rule Them All.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be available for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and PC December 31 of this year, but you can pre-order now at Best Buy and Amazon.

Image: WB Games/Monolith Games

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