It’s time to get murdery in Mordor as the next installment of Warner Bros’ Middle-earth series battles its way onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Upping the stakes from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War places us once more in the muddied boots of Talion and his kindred spirit elf, Lord Celebrimbor, only this time they have more than roaming bands of orcs to deal with.
In the spirit of Lord of the Rings, Shadow of War channels the battle of Helm’s Deep and tasks us with fighting epic conflicts, laying conquest to forts, and taking over enemy castles for ourselves. Once captured, these bases need to be bolstered to protect them from other players in Shadow of War’s online play. Online features have been significantly expanded for this sequel, letting us interact with the worlds of our friends and strangers, either to help them out or to undo their good work.
Shadow of War’s online play isn’t a traditional co-op or versus mode, instead introducing the all-new Social Conquest mode that allows us to invade the worlds of other players. Once you’ve grabbed your forces, you’re free to attack the bases of other players in both friendly and ranked online modes. This means you’ll need to keep your forts secure and keep your forces strong - you will need to turn as many strong orcs to your side as possible if you want to survive in Shadow of War’s ranked online mode.
Install an overlord, purchase defenses, and place your best captains at your most prized locations, then you’re ready to share your fort online. When attacking other players, you will be fighting for a high assault ranking by taking it over as efficiently as possible and keeping your soldiers alive. The higher your rank, the better the rewards. Shadow of War’s ranked online mode hides the best rewards, though you will be risking your troops for real here. It’s probably a good idea to get battle ready for Shadow of War’s online play by practicing in a few friendly battles first, eh? Conquest loot chests and spoils of war await!
As well as kicking over your friend’s sandcastles, Shadow of War’s online play also sees the return of Vendettas. We’re not all about destruction, after all - sometimes you just want to help a pal out. That’s why, if one of your online friends has been killed at the hands of a powerful orc, you will have the opportunity to avenge their death. First you have to draw them out by causing a ruckus, then you’re free to take them down and enact sweet revenge with a dagger to the eyeball. Of course, this being a modern game, successful completion of these missions rewards you with a Vendetta loot chest, as well as firing some spoils of war at your avenged friend. But be careful - if you somehow mess up a Vendetta mission, you won’t get another shot. In fact, you’ll be the one who needs avenging.
Excited to give the game a go yourself? Why not pick up a copy of Shadow Of War for PC from out store now!