Shadow of Mordor will be "very respectful" of LOTR canon, says dev

Lead writer Christian Cantamessa attempts to assuage fan concerns about new game straying too far from Tolkien's work.

Upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be "very respectful" of J.R.R. Tolkien's source material, lead writer Christian Cantamessa has said.

"We wanted it to be very respectful of the material, very inspired by the material, but our own take," Cantamessa told Game Informer in a new video interview.

This is not the first time developer Monolith Productions has assured fans of Tolkien's famous fantasy work that Shadow of Mordor will not stray too far from the fiction.

When the game was officially announced on Tuesday, Monolith made clear that it collaborated with Middle-earth Enterprises, Lord of the Rings film director Peter Jackson, and Weta Workshop to "ensure that the settings, characters, and story align with authentically within canon." The extent of these collaborations, however, is not known.

Unlike past Lord of the Rings games, which were based directly on characters and events from Tolkien's fantasy word, Shadow of Mordor is set between the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. The game tells an original story of vengeance featuring a new character, Talion.

On the subject of expanding upon what Tolkien wrote, design director Michael de Plater told Game Informer that Monolith is humbled by the opportunity to forge a new chapter in the franchise.

"Something [Tolkien] does incredibly well is he brings this amazing attention to detail, to events, and then he leaves these incredible spaces for other people to fill out; either with their imaginations, which is what we all do when we're kids when we read it, or for us, where we get lucky enough to actually do it," he said.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be released on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC, but not Wii U. No release date has been announced.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

49 comments
mordredrs
mordredrs

Ok, being respectful is to create a living dead ranger fighting for the free peoples, all right, i think you guys have no idea what "lore" means...

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

At first, I had my doubts about this. But after reading Game Informer's cover story on it, I find myself very interested. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this.

stev69
stev69

If its open world rpg, im in, anything other not bothered. For me lotr is all about adventure, and you cannot be adventurous following a linear path.

Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

All sounds good so far. Been waiting for a good LOTR game. 

isshiah
isshiah

This doesn't come as a surprise. After all, it's not as if a dev could come out and say "We have no respect for the material and wish severe illness upon all of Tolkien's fans. In addition, screw you.".


Having said that: fantasy game, ho! Woo!

tonytones21
tonytones21

It doesnèt have LOTR in the name so it might be good this time lol.

Bjjallday
Bjjallday

Or you could make everyone happy and make and open world RPG, stick with the lore, it is shear brilliance. And please, please employ some decent script writers and voice actors.

forbiddenmow
forbiddenmow

Why did they speak to Peter Jackson and WETA? Why not just read the books? It will suck. They'll stuff it with the usual childish fantasy gaming tropes, as always. The LOTR RTSs shat on the canon horribly.

hadlee73
hadlee73

So its going to fit with LOTR Canon, and to make sure of that they've gone to the guys who made Frodo travel all the way to Osgiliath. :P

Assimilat0r
Assimilat0r

Really looking foward to it, as owner of other LOTR games and big fun of Tolkien's books.

lordnito78
lordnito78

For the love of god, make this game as open world!! pls.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Well I'm sure it'll make money, that's what it's got the name for.

Fabian85
Fabian85

Monolith should do a no one lives forever game instead. All downhill from fear 1.

Stebsis
Stebsis

I really hope they put Harry Potter in there

funkinslick
funkinslick

if they're going to make up their own LOTR lore for this game can the gameplay at least be good? And allow players to skip the cut scenes.

ggregd
ggregd

"Talion, a valiant ranger whose family is slain in front of him ... Resurrected by a Spirit of vengeance and empowered with Wraith abilities, Talion ventures into Mordor and vows to destroy those who have wronged him."

Sounds like God or War: Middle Earth.  They know nothing of Tolkien's work.  Boromir was motivated partly by vengeance, and you see where that got him.  Wraiths on LoTR lore are pure evil, even raised by Sauron himself.  So either I can tell you right now what the ending of this game is going to be or they've ignored the lore.

Billieguy
Billieguy

Make it good. Whatever you do, make it good. And please, open world.

Marsh87
Marsh87

They should make it have a Darker feel than Lotr...oh and choices

jZangetsu21
jZangetsu21

After War in the North or whatever it was called...I'm very skeptical but we'll see.

Fursnake
Fursnake

This sounds a bit like a politician's campaign promise and I believe them about as much as I believe a politician's campaign promises...which is to say not at all really.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Stopped reading at "story of vengeance".

Saidrex
Saidrex

Monolith once was an amazing developer, i think LOTR is in good hands.

wexorian
wexorian

What kind of genre it'l be anybody knows it? and Why not make game with melkor as main villain ?:D

Ereheru
Ereheru

You know another author who "wanted it to be very respectful of the material, very inspired by the material, but our own take"?  The author of My Immortal...

DarkJedi8_basic
DarkJedi8_basic

It will be as respectful to the LOTR Canon as LOTR Monopoly was.

DeadManRollin
DeadManRollin

War In The North had some interesting ideas, but the game got boring too soon. Lego Lord of The Rings is fun, and the two RTS LOTR games were quite well made. I haven't tried LOTRO, and the rest, well, nothing great. Hope this one's a better offering. 

waffleiron88
waffleiron88

As long as EA cancer monster stays away from it, it has a fighting chance.

thomasn7
thomasn7

Just be good, that is all I ask.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@tonytones21 Yeah, since there a Lot(r) games with Lotr in the name that aren't that good.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Bjjallday Personally, I can forgive bad voice acting and a generic script as long as the gameplay/music/atmosphere is good.

Shadowcreeper31
Shadowcreeper31

@lordnito78 Some other sites are already saying third-person open world. Don't know the validity but just saying.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@funkinslick Oh yes, unskippable cutscenes would be great. Especially, if the cut scenes aren't entertaining to watch the first time around. I'm really tired of this whole mentality where the game is pretending like each time is your first, so that you absolutely have to watch the cut scenes each time. It's the same thing with unskippable tutorials at the beginning of the game.

aragorn1389
aragorn1389

@ggregd Actually not all wraiths are evil in Tolkiens lore. The ring wraiths are a few wraiths that are evil but there are more. Wraiths are any spirit that lingers in the world because of dark sorcery. Either for evil or good. A few examples of this include Gorlim whose wraith went to warn Beren of his betrayel. Another is Helm Hammerhand who is a wraith believed to protect the people of Rohan. An Boromir wasnt motivated by vengeance so much as he was motivated by "patriotism" hope and love for his people. But the ring corrupted and betrayed his feelings and led him to desire it to no end to accomplish these purposes.

jZangetsu21
jZangetsu21

@DeadManRollin Yeah the Lego one was quite fun. I love the RTS games, especially the second one. Some of my friends and I used to stay up all weekend playing it. LOTRO was....ok-ish.

raddys2001
raddys2001

@darth_sedus 

You can say that again the last great LOR games were the ones that were release on the PS2, Xbox, and gamecube from EA.  

Hurvl
Hurvl

@superphish22 @jZangetsu21 If we're lucky, Shadow of Mordor will be the same thing, because good story alone can't create any replay value or make the first time through be less than tedious.

raziel_reddy
raziel_reddy

@jZangetsu21 @DeadManRollin  LOTRO was awesome originally and after Moria expansion but has been getting progressively worse since. Breaks my heart as I loved that game

kingwillie519
kingwillie519

@raddys2001 Anyone remember LotR the Third Age on PS2? Game was frickin awesome,  I remember playin co-op with my best friend..good memories. that game is underrated..