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.

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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.

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