- Middle-earth: Shadow of War release date: August 22, 2017 (US), August 25 (UK)
- Formats: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- Developer: Monolith Productions
- Price: TBA
The leaks are real! Middle-earth: Shadow of War is officially happening. The sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will call the fallen ranger Talion and ancient wraith Celebrimbor back into battle as they work against the dark reign of Sauron. This time it's, er, slightly less personal (since Talion took down the villain who killed his wife and son in the last game) but far more grand and reactive, with even more elements of the world procedurally shaped by an upgraded Nemesis system. Read on for everything we know about Shadow of War so far.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War trailer shows off the story
We're not looking at any actual gameplay footage here, but we can still try to tease out a few details about the game. For instance, the trailer spends most of its time in Mt. Doom, on the grounds of Sauron's army, and a city of Men in the middle of a siege. You also briefly see the eerie green halls of Minas Morgul. These are all potential locations for the game. And is a boss fight against that big, fire-breathing Balrog too much to ask?
Middle-earth: Shadow of War release date is set for August 2017
As soon as Middle-earth: Shadow of War was officially announced, it also had a release date, which was a nice change of pace. It will come out on August 22, 2017 in the US and on August 25, 2017 in the UK. That should give you enough time to mop up the last of your old rivals from Shadow of Mordor.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor gameplay reveal is coming soon
We'll get our first proper look at Shadow of War on March 8, according to the announcement trailer. At least it won't keep us in suspense for long.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War story confronts Sauron and the Ring Wraiths
In Shadow of Mordor, the main villain was The Black Hand of Sauron, not the Dark Lord himself (fan theories aside). Shadow of War won't just invent another Big Bad Lackey in his place; expect to confront Sauron and his fearsome Ring Wraiths personally. The game takes place between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring so you obviously won't end Sauron's evil once and for all, but you could still mess him up real good.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War Nemesis system builds on the one you see in Mordor
The Nemesis system took Shadow of Mordor from "competent open-world action game" to "brilliant revenge story generator" and Shadow of War will have much more to say on the subject. According to the initial announcement, environments and other key parts of the world will be shaped by the actions you take, not just an ever-replenishing selection of orcs. We'll have to wait until the gameplay reveal to find out more about what that means, but at least we know that the Nemesis system will still be front and center.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War special editions include a dragon statue
If you have a bare spot on your mantle that would be just perfect for a 12-inch statue of a balrog fighting a dragon, consider the Middle-earth: Shadow of War Mithril Edition. For just $299 / £199 (no, that's not a typo) you get said decoration, a cloth map of Mordor, a collection of lithographs, the official soundtrack, a replica Ring of Power magnet, an in-game Mithril War chest, and even a bunch of stickers to show your allegiance to your favorite orc tribe on your folder. It also includes all the in-game bonuses of the Gold Edition.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War DLC will extend the game’s story
We already know of at least two story expansions that are planned for the game: The Blade of Galadriel and The Desolation of Mordor. Both of those are bundled with Shadow of War Gold Edition, though you'll likely be able to pick them up through a DLC season pass as well if you get the standard edition instead.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War has a free Xbox One Project Scorpio upgrade
Theoretically, every Xbox One game will work on Xbox One Project Scorpio. But Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment specifically mentioned Microsoft's powered-up console, so you can expect some special features for Shadow of War once the untitled new system rolls out around the holiday season. If you buy a digital copy of the game on Xbox One it will also work on Scorpio and - bonus - it's a Play Anywhere game, so you'll get a copy for the Windows Store as well.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War on PS4 Pro will look handsome
WB also specifically called out PS4 Pro, so you can expect Shadow of War to take advantage of Sony's 4K-centric console as well. We still haven't seen what the game itself looks like (just some fancy pre-rendered cinematics) so we'll probably have to wait a while to hear what kinds of boosts you'll get for playing on PS4 Pro.