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The Shadow of War devs talk expanding beyond Mordor, to Gondor, Minas Ithil and further afield

There's good reason why Middle-earth: Shadow of War (opens in new tab) has dropped the Mordor bit - it's got much bigger geographical plans. Speaking to OXM, Monolith Studios has talked about "massively increasing the scale of the game" to take in new areas. 

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Michael de Plater, vice president of creative, explains: "one of the reasons it’s Shadow Of War and not just Mordor is that we’ve expanded beyond Mordor. So the Dark Lord is growing his armies, and his forces – led by the Witch-king – have come out of Mordor and attacked and assaulted the human city of Minas Ithil. They’ve conquered it and turned it into Minas Morgul, which is the tower of the Witch-king. That actually brings the front line of this war out beyond Mordor and all the way forward to the kingdom of Gondor."  

Art director Phil Straub continues: "the first thing to recognise is that we aren’t just in Mordor. That’s a big, cool step up from the previous game." That means this time the game has "a fair amount of geological variety," says Straub. Although he's not giving too much away: "we can say that there are forests; we can say that there are snowy mountainous areas; we can say that there are other locations. I don’t want to divulge too much. But there is a greater variety."

Ultimately, according to de Plater, "we’ve really focused on just massively increasing the scale of the game, making something truly epic. And that applies to the story and the villains, but it also applies very much to the world itself."

Read more about Shadow of War, Prey, Sea of Thieves and more in the latest edition of Official Xbox Magazine, on sale now (opens in new tab).

Leon Hurley
Leon Hurley

I'm currently GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I've had a hand in producing or writing all of the guide and tips content on the site. I also write reviews, previews and features, and do video. Previously I worked for Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website. I'm a big fan of open world games, horror, and narrative adventures.