Okay Lord of the Rings fanatics, we have finally been given something we all have been oh so desperate for! Not Battle for Middle Earth 3, but we are getting the sequel to the award winning Shadow of Mordor! From the trailer we can see it takes part after the story of The Hobbit where Sauron and his Ring-Wraiths have been banished from Dol Guldur. If you want more information on that, make sure to watch The Hobbit films to understand just to be sure I don’t spoil anything if you haven’t! So we have a rough time where we know some of the events supposed to take place, I won’t spoil anything in terms of story from the films (and books) too much but will talk about locations and new possible things we have to fight. But this was your official spoiler warning!

Firstly, let’s discuss the locations. Before I dive deeper, I would like to remind people that the protagonist (Tarion) has been cursed to remain within Mordor in Shadow of Mordor, so it’s unlikely we can explore outside of it (but we can always hope!)

  1. Mount Doom is the first location where yet another ring of power is made, so it may be a location for us to visit, but it might not be.
  2. Next is Mordor’s Badlands, we will most likely be roaming around killing many things here. This is essentially where you start in Shadow of Mordor.
  3. Now we have an exciting place, Barad-Dur, Saurons dark tower that his all seeing eye gazes from. We can see it’s there and Talion does say he is going after him, so we can possibly explore that fortress.
  4. This location is technically two and we can see it does change in the trailer so we may get to play to different variants of the same location. The Gondorian city of Minas Ithil with its giant ivory tower and white walls, which is then transformed into the dead, dark but magic infused city of Minas Morgul which becomes the Witchking’s base (I sense a boss fight!).

Secondly, let’s talk baddies. But let’s start minor and build up to finally discuss possibilities:

  1. Obviously, we have the Uruks, the fighting Orks meant to do a lot of the heavy lifting of war. We fought an absolute heap of them in Shadow of Mordor so there is nothing new there. We all know them and have learned to hate them.
  2. Next up we have something bigger, and nastier; cave trolls. With an addition however, as these big guys are armored in the trailer which will make an interesting fight! They don’t always wear armor though in the lore and as seen in both books and films they can have weapons.
  3. Now for something else: Fell-Beasts. These winged steeds belong to the 9 Ring-Wraiths. I will point out one flaw here. Officially, Tolkien gave them beaks, yet in the trailer at roughly 1:51 we can see they clearly do not have beaks (same goes for the Lord of the Rings film franchise). I can happily say however that they are terrifying.
  4. Next, we have the Ring-Wraiths themselves in their terrifying nature. In the trailer, we can see that they are still very much wraiths in the fact that they are lacking a physical form. Instead, they fly around like a dark, smokey breeze tipped with a green light. Thus making these guys a much tougher fight (I hope) than the original bosses in Shadow of Mordor.
  5. Now we have the big scary thing made of fire and fear. The Balrog (1:15 in the trailer). Many may remember one of them from when Gandalf fought one in the Mines of Moria. These guys are from an age long since passed when Sauron’s boss (Morgoth, he is bad news) tried to kill everyone because he was having a bad time. It was the army of these things that brought Gandalf and his wizard lot down onto Middle Earth. Balrogs are basically just giant angry evil Gandalf’s, since there is only one, we can hope we only need to fight one. However, do be cautious as this guy is wearing armor, unlike the one Gandalf fought in the Fellowship of the Ring and that proved to be an incredibly hard fight.
  6. Lastly we see the Dark Lord himself; Sauron. This guy is bad news and was only defeated by a certain amount of luck in the battle that first defeated him. What’s curious is that he somehow has physical from even though he would be without the one ring of power (it’s for this reason that he is in his all-seeing-eye form up on his tower, as without his ring he is a dormant and formless evil). Should be interesting how it plays out within the story.
  7. Possibly we may even get to see, fight, but not kill, Shelob in the location of Minas Morgul. Well, just around there is her lair so we may also get to fight her and her Spiderlings (smaller versions of her but still very large). Those scared of spiders, be prepared!
  8. Another possibility, in addition to Shelob we might also see Fire Drakes, fire-breathing lizards of varying sizes, be it small or giant (Smaug the Terrible was a giant winged fire drake.) Mostly dwelling on/in Mount Doom, lets hope we can travel there! Both of these would make interesting enemies nevertheless and add a greater variety to the adventure.

Thanks to Target we know this game will be released on the 22nd of August as far as Warner Bros. has told them. Sitting at a nice retail price of $59.99 But thanks to Target we also know there will be a gold edition around $100. Best start saving! I really wanted clothes and food, but I can live without! Next, we will all have to wait until the 8th of march to see some gameplay revealed of Shadow of War, so best keep your eyes peeled and refresh button tapped.