Middle Earth: Shadow of War - Review Roundup, Release Date, Market, Ranked Online, Shelob, Gameplay, Pre-order, Endgame Mode, Nemesis System, Mounts - Everything We Know

Middle Earth: Shadow of War - Review Roundup, Release Date, Market, Ranked Online, Shelob, Gameplay, Pre-order, Endgame Mode, Nemesis System, Mounts - Everything We Know

Shadow of War continues the story of Talion and Celebrimbor that began in Shadow of War, as the pair cut a brutal, bloody path through the heart of Mordor, straight to Sauron.

Set to release in October 2017, Middle Earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to 2014's Shadow of Mordor, a brutal, violent adventure game set in the very heart of Mordor itself, incorporating elements of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy world. Make sure to bookmark this page, for we'll be updating it with new information both leading up to and after the release of Middle Earth: Shadow of War. We'll have the Shadow of War release date, DLC info, details on the Nemesis Forge, the Ranked Online Mode, the loot box market, Shelob, Shadow of War trailers, and gameplay details.

Several teasers and trailers have been shown by Warner Bros. in the months leading up to the release of Shadow of War, which you can see below, along with breakdowns of the game's systems and mechanics.

Shadow of War Review Roundup

With the release of Shadow or War imminent, reviews are now out in the wild for the game, the most notable of which we've listed just below.

  • USgamer: 4/5 - Shadow of War is much bigger than its predecessor, offering more orcs, more gear, more to conquer, and your very own orc army. It's a massive game with so much to do that it can feel like a bit of a grind later in the game.
  • Eurogamer - As fun as the core is, however, it is often overshadowed by an onerous and self-indulgent story. What should be the game's crowning feature is instead reduced to an undeserved supporting role.
  • PCGamer: 73 - Shadow of War is a great action game that feels like it’s yearning to break free from a prison of open world busywork.
  • GameInformer: 9.5 - Shadow of War fulfills the promise of its predecessor, completing a dark and violent lost tale set within the world of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Polygon: 7.5 - It’s a truly inspired exercise in design, one that seems OK with numerous flaws so long as they allow for its complex systems to be prioritized above all else.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War Release Date

In a statement released through the official Shadow of War twitter account, Monolith announced that Middle Earth: Shadow of War would miss its planned August release date. The new Middle-earth: Shadow of War release date is October 10. This delay was reportedly in order to provide the highest-quality experience possible for the players, postponing the release date by just over a month.

Shadow of War Delay Statement from Monolith:

"Middle-earth: Shadow of War expands gameplay in every dimension, including the massive open world, the story, the RPG systems, and personal player stories of the Nemesis System. As with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith is committed to delivering the highest quality experience. In order to do this, we have made the difficult decision to move our launch date to ensure that Middle-earth: Shadow of War will deliver on that promise.

"We understand that it might be disappointing to have to wait a little longer for the release and are sorry for the delay, but we are working hard to make an amazing game. We’re excited to show more at E3."

Mirian - What is it?

Mirain is an entirely in-game currency that can be used to buy Loot Chests, War Chests, XP Boosts, and Bundles.

How to Earn Mirian in Middle-earth: Shadow of War:

  • Defeating Treasure Orcs
  • Destroying Gear for Mirian
  • Destroying Orc followers for Gear (which can be destroyed for Mirian)
  • Finding Mirian stashes throughout the game

Mirian is earned entirely in-game and can’t be bought using real money.

Gold - What is it?

Gold is Shadow of War’s second in-game currency. According to Monolith and Warner Bros. it can be used to get higher level Loot Chests, War Chests, Boosts and Bundles.

How to Earn/Buy Gold in Middle-earth - Shadow of War:

  • Purchasing through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store or by adding to your Steam Wallet using real money.
  • Awarded in small amounts at specific milestones.
  • Awarded for participating in community challenges.

Monolith and Warner Bros. are keen to point out that no in-game content is gated behind gold payments. All items in the game can be acquired through ‘natural’ play. Gold can be bought using real money or earned in-game, but this currency is designed to give players access to items faster. If you want something without putting in the time, buying gold is the way to go. The price of gold in Shadow of War is yet to be announced.

Shadow of War Ranked Online Mode

Shadow of War will feature a Social Conquest mode when it launches in October later this year, which allows players to compete against one another using their strongholds. In this Social Conquest mode, you can set up a stronghold and install an Overlord of your choosing to govern said stronghold, along with a group of Captains beneath them.

You can then purchase upgrades for your stronghold, and then share the completed fortress online, inviting players around the world to try their luck at assaulting your constructed stronghold. While attacking your stronghold, the invading player can either kill or brand your Captains and other followers, but bear in mind that any branded followers they capture won't then follow them back into their own version of Shadow of War.

There are two ways to play Social Conquest, either in Friendly mode, or in Ranked mode. In Friendly mode, the followers of the attacking player are never at risk, but in Ranked Mode, any followers of the attacking player that perish in Social Conquest also perish in their own version of Shadow of War. On top of this, you gain assault rating points in Ranked Mode for successfully capturing an enemy player stronghold, but you can lose your assault rating should your invasion fail.

Should you capture a stronghold, you'll be rewarded with a Conquest loot chest, which contains followers and other bonuses, giving you a nice present in your offline version of Shadow of War.

Shadow of War New Endgame Mode

Eurogamer recently got the scoop on a brand new mode in Shadow of War called Shadow Wars, which is set after the main game has concluded, and challenges players to fight to keep their territory out of the clutches of Sauron.

In the video that you can see below, Monolith has revealed that Shadow Wars swaps round the stronghold assault feature, tasking Talion and his followers to repel increasingly difficult assaults on strongholds in regions that were captured during the story of Shadow of War.

If you succeed, you live to fight another day, but should you fail, then Sauron's forces will take over your stronghold, and you'll be forced to mount an assault to retake it, and potentially save the Overlord orc that you had previously installed as leader there. Once Shadow Wars has concluded, the player will allegedly receive the 'true' Shadow of War ending, which supposedly ties into the events of the Lord of the Rings.

Shadow of War Shelob Controversy

For many Lord of the Rings fans, Warner and Monolith’s Shadow of Mordor was already a bit too much like fan fiction, but the latest announcement regarding Shadow of War has tipped a few over the edge. Shelob, the great spider, is now seemingly a spider that can transform into a lady. That definitely wasn’t in the books!

Import Your Biggest Nemesis and Follower from Shadow of War

Fans and players of the original Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be able to import their top Nemesis and Follower into Shadow of War. An update to Shadow of Mordor has added the Nemesis Forge to the Xbox One, PS4 and Steam versions of the game. Your biggest follower will help in the fight against Sauron’s forces, while the Nemesis will remain a dangerous foe.

The Story of Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Directly continuing on from the events depicted in 2014's Shadow of Mordor, this sequel will continue the adventures of both Talion and Celebrimbor, as they venture forth once again into Mordor to face off against the forces of Sauron.

A brand new Ring of Power has been forged by the pair, which they will put to use in combating the forces of Mordor. As with the original game, Shadow of War will feature an original story, incorporating elements of Tolkien's Middle Earth, with creatures like the Balrog and Nazgul making appearances.

Shadow of War is also set to feature a number of famed Middle-Earth beasts, drawing from all aspects of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for monsters and creatures. Take a look at the trailer below to see monsters like the Balrog and the Nazgul in action:

The orc legions of Mordor appear to have gained some new weaponry in Shadow of War, which you can see for yourself in the trailer just below. We can see orcs using what appear to be makeshift grenades at one point, as well as brands, flamethrowers, and other unconventional weapons.

The trailer below depicts all the possible outcomes of Talion's encounters with the Orc inhabitants of Mordor. The player is ultimately left with the choice of either marking or branding any of the Orc cheiftains or captains, or simply leaving them for dead, causing the hatred of the Bright Lord to grow even further among the Orc ranks. The choice of recruiting or destroying is all yours, but either way will have repercussions for Talion and Celebrimbor.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War Pre-Order - Standard Edition, Silver Edition, Gold Edition

The sequel to Shadow of Mordor will be launching in August at a price point of $59.99 for the standard edition on both console and PC. This edition will include the standard game, and none of the DLC that arrives after launch.

Pre-order Shadow of War on PS4 (Xbox One)

The Silver Edition of Shadow of War, retailing for $79.99, will include the standard edition of the game, as well as the Slaughter Tribe Nemesis Expansion, the Outlaw Tribe Nemesis Expansion, and a Silver War Chest.

The Gold Edition of Shadow of War, releasing at $99.99, will include the standard game, as well as the Slaughter Tribe Nemesis Expansion, the Outlaw Tribe Nemesis Expansion, The Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion, the Desolation of Mordor Story Expansion, and a Gold War Chest.

Pre-order Shadow of War Gold Edition on PS4 US Edition (Xbox One)

Pre-order Shadow of War Gold Edition on PS4 UK Edition (Xbox One)

It looks as though both the Blade of Galadriel and Desolation of Mordor Story Expansions will be included within the Season Pass for Shadow of Mordor, which is effectively included with the Gold Edition of the game.

The Mithril Edition of Shadow of War has now sold out, only being available in very limited quantities. This edition comes with a 12" Balrog v Drake statue, a Premium Case with a magnetic Ring of Power, a Steelbook, Cloth Map of Mordor, and the Gold Edition of Shadow of Mordor.

Pre-order Shadow of War Mithril Edition on PS4 US Edition (Xbox One)

Pre-order Shadow of War Mithril Edition on PS4 UK Edition (Xbox One)

All Gameplay Details for Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Warner Bros. debuted the first trailer for Shadow of War, formerly announcing the game, on February 27, 2017. The trailer showed a new Ring of Power being forged by both Talion and Celebrimbor, as well as giving us a sneak peek at a Drake within the game.

Just a few weeks later on March 8, the Shadow of War YouTube account released the gameplay footage just below, giving us our first proper look at the gameplay of Shadow of War.

Mounts in Middle Earth: Shadow of War

In this trailer we can see Talion, Celebrimbor, and their forces assaulting an Orc stronghold within Mordor, utilising a Drake as a new mount within the game. The Caragor makes a return from the original game as a mount, except in this trailer we see Talion using an Armored Caragor to ride unhindered through flames. As of right now, these are the only mounts to be revealed for Shadow of War.

In the 'Dominate the Open World' trailer released on May 17, we get a tour around the landscape of Mordor, showing that it isn't merely a barren landscape. We can see towns, cities, and fortresses in the trailer, as well as forests and rivers, on top of the ominous Mount Doom in the background of Talion launching an assault on some Orcs.

The Return of the Nemesis System

The explosive Nemesis System made its debut back in Shadow of Mordor, and returns in Shadow of War, albeit in a slightly altered fashion. When you launch as assault on any stronghold in Shadow of War, the abilities of those you have control over will come into effect, granting your forces new options in the heat of battle.

For example, in the final gameplay trailer above, one of your captains named Mozu Deadeye is able to directly aid Talion in assaulting the stronghold, killing a captain who previously cheated death. The Nemesis System allows the player to bring Orc captains and chieftains onto their side, aiding them in their quest to defeat Sauron.

Keep an eye on this page, for in the months leading up to the release of Middle Earth: Shadow of War, as well as the weeks after, we'll be updating this page with every new bit of information for the game.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Hirun Cryer

Guides Writer

Hirun Cryer is by far the most juvenile member of USgamer. He's so juvenile, that this is his first full-time job in the industry, unlike literally every other person featured on this page. He's written for The Guardian, Paste Magazine, and Kotaku, and he likes waking up when the sun rises and roaming the nearby woods with the bears and the wolves.

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