Comic-Con 2014: Shadow of Mordor's Inspiration Was Batman: Arkham, Not Assassin's Creed

At an SDCC panel talking about Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor's story, the game's director discussed the Assassin's Creed comparison.

We learned a lot about Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor today. The game is coming out earlier than expected (now set for September 30), and we have an in-depth interview with the developers about the game's story and where it fits into The Lord of the Rings lore. And at a panel for the game at SDCC, we learned the team looked to the Batman: Arkham series for inspiration.

When asked about the similarities between Shadows of Mordor and the Assassin's Creed games, Mordor's design director Michael de Plater said, "The main thing to say is to play it. I think there's two things: One is we're a third-person, open-world action adventure game, and there's just not that many of them. So I guess the comparisons become inevitable.

"The game that definitely was a big inspiration for us, within Warner Bros. and at the studio, was Arkham." -- Michael de Plater

"Two: The game that definitely was a big inspiration for us, within Warner Bros. and at the studio, was Arkham--that combination of stealth, combat, and incredible gameplay. But the short version is just to play it; it's a very different game."

Another panelist from the development team pointed out how he felt the game's Nemesis system (which you can learn more about here), works to set the game apart from other adventure games. In the Nemesis system, the stats, appearance, and personality of some of the primary enemies you face are unique to each player.

What do you think? Without trying the game yourself, it's impossible to make a concrete comparison, but has the game set itself apart from what you've seen, or does that even matter to you? Let us know in the comments.

Justin Haywald is a senior editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @JustinHaywald

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

36 comments
arman
arman

I know that middle earth shadow of the mordor is very unique game and I have been waiting for this game for a long time and I am happy to know that the release date of this game is pushed back and it will release on 30th sept.2014 that's cool and I am not comparing this game to assassin's creed or batman arkham cause assassin's creed and batman arkham are my fav games and they are also a great francise and if this game is inspired by batman arkham and assassin's creed then I'll say what's wrong with it its a good news for A.c and arkham fans to play a game which is inspired to the arkham & A.c but I think this game is not similar to assassin's creed may be few features looks like that but that doesn't make it a copy of A.c because middle earth is and open world action/adventure game and this game has the nemesis system and also this game is coming out on cross gen so that's cool and that's mean if u don't have next gen console like ps4 or x1 then you can also buy this game on your last gen console like ps3 or x360 and when you will buy next gen console then u can also buy it on your next gen console wow ... so I'm looking forword to play this game on my last gen consoles and I'll also buy it on my next gen console ps4 but right now I can say this game looks damn awesome and in future I would like to play the sequel and prequel of this game too because I know this game will be trues best game of the decade and i 'will have the best expreance of this game when I will play it so till then bye...........

joejoe1639
joejoe1639

The combat was OBVIOUSLY Arkham inspired. 


As for the way he walks/sneaks, or whatever, looking like Assassins Creed, give me a break.  Something as trivial as a walking animation could be similar or identical across several games completely unintentionally.  It's like saying it's an AC ripoff because the trees look the same. 

daviz88
daviz88

keep telling yourself that Michael de Plater

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Why even lie?  This is like if the Darksiders devs said Zelda was their inspiration, not God of War.


They were all inspirations.  You took as many elements as you could.  Nothing to be ashamed of if you produce a good game.

Bigfatlardygit
Bigfatlardygit

This article has finally got me really excited about a game I really should love, being a massive fan of LOTR and 3rd person open world action adventure games, but it just never clicked for me before now. Thanks Justin!

m_bd89
m_bd89

There's a reason why no one compared it to Tomb raider, Uncharted or Darksiders and I definitely don't see the similarities with the Batman games either. I wish they just said that they are big fans of AC and it definitely gave them some ideas to work with and just move on. Now it makes them seem like they're trying to hide something that is obvious to everyone, and it doesn't make them look good at all.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

Not a complete comparison. But you get the point.

youtube.com

/watch?v=Jlruy13deS4

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

It was clearl and obvious it was Arkham games--since it's published by the same company. 

I personally never felt the Assassin's Creed vibe. I mean, how different can you make these games look anyway?

The game seems great! And that's all that matters.

Conscrumptured
Conscrumptured

Batman, Assassin's Creed, and The Witcher all obviously heavily influenced this game. You can see their inspirations quite clearly at nearly any point in the gameplay. Let's just hope their straight knock-off makes the game fun.

Sushiglutton
Sushiglutton

There were a couple of things that looked real AC, like climbing and the way he walks/sits on tightropes between rooftops. The combat though is obv Arkham inspired and looks way better than anything in AC. Nemesis system is a neat idea and I'm curious to see how it works out.


Will def pick this one up!

jackzor123
jackzor123

The climbing looks a bit AC, other than that (to my eye) it screams batman more than AC. And it looks awesome so what does it matter anyway

bernard978
bernard978

I always thought this was more like Batman Arkham than Assassin's Creed, just because Patrice made a comment about some animations people thought it was more about the latter.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

I feel better now, thank you Batman is there anything you can't do?

lilmcnessy
lilmcnessy

I always thought it looked more like batman than ac, movemeny is alot more freeflow than ac.

Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

I dont know but you guys but im more hyped with this game than assasins creed or batman

The Nemesis system look really cool and the orcs look great

Gona keep my eyes on this

DoubleclickTF
DoubleclickTF

Ha ha. The game has definitely done a lot to shake off its blatant ACII elements, and I am interested in buying it, but the earliest build they showed off was quite clearly based on Assassin's Creed II-era. It even had air assassinations and ledge assassinations. I have no idea why they have to pretend it was always about Arkham now. There's nothing wrong with games being like other games. Sleeping Dogs was obviously a blend of GTA and Assassin's Creed right from its earliest promotion as a True Crime title, but it was excellent and carved out its own niche. 

northArrow
northArrow

I loved the Arkham games (except Origin), but I can't seem to get interested in this.

nt00mdnrkist
nt00mdnrkist

@JustinHaywald I think you accidentally left out that Nemesis link in the fourth paragraph...

pezzott1
pezzott1

Does it matter? Game looks awesome.

Guest1001
Guest1001

Nope. The only thing I've seen of Shadow of Mordor was some gameplay footage in one of my college classes and it was exactly the same as the execution scene in all the original Assassin's Creed trailers (when they were showing off how Altair could move through the crowd and stuff).

Hurvl
Hurvl

@m_bd89 Or maybe they DID have other major inspirations than AC, but people are so sure that it's AC that they will not accept anything else. Sounds about as plausible as thinking that the devs are frantically trying to silence the AC-ripoff-in-Mordor idea, because it's not good for business. 

Gamer-Geek
Gamer-Geek

@Sl4cka


Wait so it comes as a surprise to you that when both game characters, when climbing, are ascending buildings in a similar fashion? Do you expect him to Prototype jump?

daviz88
daviz88

that's a lie and you know it, THE CLIMBING, WALKING ON ROPES, AIR ASSASSINATION, COMBAT & THE DIVE, HELL EVEN THE ANIMATION all scream assassin creed. now there nothing wrong in taking element from other games, but this games takes many elements which make up the heart of the AC series and that's bad.

DoubleclickTF
DoubleclickTF

@bernard978 That's not really true, given that the bulk of public opinion on Shadow Of Mordor preceded Desilet's comment.

thecman25
thecman25

@DoubleclickTF how is sleeping dogs like assassins creed? and this game clearly took all their ideas from assassins creed and batman

bernard978
bernard978

@northArrow I actually really liked Origins, but I bought it a while after release so I wasn't one of the preorders.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@Gamer-Geek There's similar and then there is that ^^. If you watch the slow-mos especially, you can see some of the animations being almost identical.

DoubleclickTF
DoubleclickTF

@thecman25 Gamespot always eats my first comment, don't know why. I wrote a longer reply, but in short:


Sleeping Dogs was originally known in development as True Crime: Hong Kong. When the first footage was shown back in 2009, before the game got cancelled and everyone thought it was gone forever, everyone clocked it as a GTA/AC hybrid. 


Previews mentioned it: http://kotaku.com/5570092/a-brief-taste-of-true-crime-hong-kong

... as did reviews of the final product: http://metro.co.uk/2012/08/14/sleeping-dogs-review-true-crime-story-534953/ http://www.nerfed.co.uk/a-week-in-hong-kong-oli-reviews-sleeping-dogs/3140


It's easy to forget now because so many games do it, but until AC there was no climbing around on rooftops in open world crime games. GTA IV added a little bit of that, but only after AC I (and they added a little nod to Ubisoft was the "Assassin's Greed" achievement for completing the sniper-for-hire missions).


Sleeping Dogs unashamedly borrowed AC's free-running, and also took its counter-based combat and improved upon it.