Lord of the Rings prequel coming to Xbox One, PS4

Monolith Productions working on Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor for current- and next-gen consoles, but not Wii U; set between events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

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Warner Bros. today announced Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, an all-new third-person Lord of the Rings prequel in development for current- and next-generation consoles and PC, but not Wii U. The game was originally revealed today by Game Informer.

Guardians of Middle-earth and Gotham City Impostors developer Monolith Productions is creating the game, which will be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. No release date has been announced.

Unlike past Lord of the Rings games, which were based on major events and characters from the fiction, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor tells an original story and is set between the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's acclaimed fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

It stars an all-new character, Talion, a ranger described by developers as conflicted in much the same way that Boromir, Galadriel, and Saruman were. Players will journey deep into Mordor in the time before it becomes a wasteland.

"In Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, gamers take on the role of Talion, a valiant ranger whose family is slain in front of him the night Sauron and his army return to Mordor, moments before his own life is taken. Resurrected by a Spirit of vengeance and empowered with Wraith abilities, Talion ventures into Mordor and vows to destroy those who have wronged him. Through the course of his personal vendetta, Talion uncovers the truth of the Spirit that compels him, learns the origins of the Rings of Power and ultimately confronts his true nemesis."

A Nemesis System will ensure every enemy players encounter is a "unique individual" whose personality, strengths, and weaknesses differ. What's more, if a player falls at the hand of one of these enemies, that enemy will survive and grow stronger. Warner Bros. also said that players will be able to craft their own battles, enemies, and rewards within a "dynamic world" that remembers and adapts to player choices.

Lord of the Rings enthusiasts may be happy to know that Monolith Productions 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" for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

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