Q&A: We Talk To Middle-earth: Shadow Of War's Developers

Shadow of War expands on the core formula established with Shadow of Mordor.


Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to one of the best games in recent years, Shadow of Mordor. Developer Monolith Productions faced a tall task, as it not only had to expand on the excellent base that it established with the Nemesis system, but also further explore a narrative thread that falls outside of the established canon of the books and movies.

You can see how the game turned out in our Shadow of War review, but we also had the chance to speak with developers at Monolith about the challenges of adapting the Lord of the Rings to video games. Below, you can check out some of our in-depth chats with Monolith leadership about exactly how the studio approached creating a follow-up to Shadow of Mordor.

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Now Playing: The Struggle To Bring Lord Of The Rings To Video Games

Shadow Of War Director On Why Making Everyone Happy Is "Impossible"

We spoke with Monolith's VP of creative, Michael de Plater, about the challenges of creating a game that tells a story that was never envisioned by JRR Tolkien. He explains why he believes that it would be "impossible" to satisfy all fans when dealing with the canon of such a beloved series and shares some of the inspirations behind the series, including sports games and Batman: Arkham Asylum. [Read the full interview]

Why Shadow Of War Takes Liberties With The Lord Of The Rings Canon

In our chat with lead narrative designer Tony Elias, he highlights why it might not be as fun as you'd think to do a straight video game adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. He also dives into how the game explores "the cost of deathlessness." [Read the full interview]

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An Explanation For Shadow Of War's Shelob Being A Human Woman, And Not A Giant Spider

One of the most contentious aspects of Shadow of War may be the appearance of Shelob. Despite being a giant spider in the books and movies, the game presents her as a human woman. That's proven to be a controversial decision, but Tony Elias explains why this was only way to make Shelob work. [Read the full story]

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