First Look at Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Gameplay

If you love video games and dig Tolkien fantasy, you’re probably going to like the upcoming Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. And now, it’s been revealed that if you like Assassin’s Creed, you’re also probably going to like this game.



Game studio Monolith and Warner Bros. have released the official gameplay trailer for the upcoming epic and it looks impressive – and familiar too. Visually, ranger Talion’s stride and screen placement are eerily similar to that of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and with moves like wall-climbing, ground and air combat and stealth, the list of dead-ringer similarities grows. In fact, one developer from the AC games has called out Monolith on snatching code.

But personally, so what? Obviously stealing work isn’t cool (and there’s no official legal action), but a game done in the style of another could be seen as the ultimate compliment, no? Especially a game set in the huge property of Middle-earth.

The graphics are crisp, gameplay is smooth and the demonstration of the nemesis system in action is amazing. Don’t take my word for it; watch the trailer below and see for yourself:

The release date for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is still not yet set.

The Next Big Thing in Middle-earth Gaming

I’m itching to see the next instalment of Middle-earth on the big screen when The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theatres on December 13.

I’ve worked my way through all of the teasers, trailers, sneak peeks and vlogs YouTube has to offer, and I’m still hungry for more. After all, the holidays are fast-approaching, and what are the holidays without a return to Tolkien?


via Monolith Productions

In the meantime, though, there’s big news on the gaming front. Monolith is hard at work on what’s looking to be a very impressive game: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Set in the loosely-chronicled time period between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the game follows ranger-turned-wraith Talion and his own personal strife following the death of his family, himself and his subsequent resurrection in the service of Sauron.

What’s really cool about the concept is that it’s set in Mordor before it was transformed into a barren breeding ground for Orcs and your run-of-the-mill evil. While it’s still far from lush, it’s a part of the world never really glimpsed before. Until now. Cue them Isengard horns. is following the project closely, with developer interviews, story and concept details and some artwork too. While there’s still no gameplay footage, GameInformer’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor hub is REALLY worth your time. Watch the intro vid below and get excited:

Was Sauron Just Misunderstood?

1999 was a very different time in North American pop culture. Back then, The Lord of the Rings movies seemed impossible to film and Peter Jackson was that crazy New Zealand arthouse director best know for movies featuring a troupe of misanthropic anti-Muppets, a low budget alien invasion movie and a zombie movie rated by many as the goriest of all time.



This era, which I will call BPJLOTR (aka Before Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings) was also a different period in Russian pop culture: it was the year when a Russian writer, biologist and paleontologist named Kirill Eskov wrote his own version of LOTR. It’s a fascinating re-telling of the story from Sauron’s perspective that questions many of the key beliefs of the Tolkien version, much like the Gregory Maguire’s revisionist books on Oz. Keep reading >


What a fun-tastic night!

For dinner I made all the foods from Middle-earth – ie: some Cram biscuits, Petty Dwarf Root Stew, and I threw in a couple of Turkey drumsticks for good measure…cause you never know when you’re going to be asked to battle in the Chamber of Mazarbul!

For dessert I made Honey-cake (WIN!), and we washed it all down with winter ale (ginger ale mixed with gin). I am the STUFFED.

Then we turned the Two Towers on commentary… I love the sound of Peter Jackson’s soft unassuming voice.

But the whole time I could tell that Guy wanted to tell me something. The slight smile peeking from the corner of his mouth told me it was going to be good too. And it was!!! My advice WORKED!!! Awkward, scrawny, WONDERFUL Guy met a nerd babe at a comic book swap! And the reason I haven’t heard from him is because they’ve gone on a couple of dates!!!! Not just one… but a couple dates!!

It’s a love story ripped right out of the pages of Ghost World. Valerie Lapomme move over because Valerie Love Guru Extraordinaire is here to stay! I can’t wait to see what happens…but first a hit from the Medieval Pipe!

big news?

Guy is coming over for LOTR dinner tonight… apparently he has some pretty epic news, which is good news for me. (and a good excuse to make an epic night of epicness with LOTR) This will definitely cheer me up after my date fail last night – and blog host fail today!

Plus it was really great to hear from Guy this morning. After not hearing from him for a day or two I was starting to worry that my budbud wandered off into the woods to die, cold and alone. I would never forgive myself if Guy ended up as some Yeti’s plaything.

The Return of the King!

(and by King, I don’t mean me….even though I just got back from Mexico!)

Much like “Return of the King” is the best LOTR book (ya wanna fight me on that??), Guy is my best friend! We’ve been buds since high school, when he was a grade below me – even though he’s a year older than me. (he seems to have a slight problem with “authority” and “achieving”…) Even though he’s livin’ it up now as a sweetass web designer!! w00t!

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeelllllllllll, okay. Guy is my “bestie” but I haven’t exactly been in touch with him for the past few years because he’s been in a relationship with a lady who didn’t much care for my friendship with him.

But unfortunately she dumped him over New Years – so now he’s miserable and needing a place to stay….but he’s got one now! He practically apparated on my doorstep like HP at 12 Grimmauld Place! (or maybe like that dude from The Box…why didn’t they call that movie “The Button”? It was for sure more about that button than the box that it came in…hmm. I should write a strongly worded letter)

ANYWAYS – he’s here now. yay. best friend.