Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor completely engulfed any player brave enough to journey into its orc-filled landscape. Filled with the unique promise of ‘crafting your own journey’ through a well populated open world and the intriguing Nemesis System, Shadow of Mordor easily garnered award after award for its immersion. Now, news of the game’s sequel, Middle-earth: Shadow of War is being released and that promise of action based immersive story is returning in a wicked way!

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As seen in the recently released gameplay footage, your character, The Bright Lord, is amassing an army of ‘dominated’ orcs and Urukai to take on Sauron, The Dark Lord on his own turf. In that battle, you are now tasked with attacking fortresses rather than camps as was done in the first game. To that end, the interaction of the Nemesis system now expands to your own army as deceit and revenge now come into play within your own ranks. Special (and seemingly randomized) traits and weapons of each general will keep the story fresh and unique as you journey through Mordor lopping off heads and otherwise slaughtering your foes.

As the footage rolls on, the most tantalizing revelation is that once a fortress is captured, it is used as a base for your forces to gain new followers, train your army, last but certainly not least, boost defenses against Sauron’s inevitable counter-attack! That’s right! Not only will you be tasked with conquering region after region, you’ll also have to defend them! Exactly how this plays out remains to be seen but the possibility of being the defender of a fortress assault brings fond memories of Mount & Blade Warband and other strategy based games forcing you to shore up the defense of your castle as you take part in the battle!

Forge your army indeed!

Middle-earth: Shadow of War will be available for Xbox One, Project Scorpio, Windows 10 PC (Windows Store and Steam), PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro beginning August 22, 2017.