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Shadow of War’s new story trailer sets the stage for the battle over Mordor

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‘Let’s hunt some orc’

Middle-earth: Shadow of War has a new story trailer that focuses less on showing off gameplay and more on setting the stage for the new chapter in Talion and Celebrimbor’s adventure.

Where the first game tried to position itself as a potential lost chapter of a story that could fit in the cracks between Tolkien’s existing books, Shadow of War seems to be throwing out a strict adherence to the canon in favor of tossing in everything but the kitchen sink. Which, by and large, feels like a good thing: it gives the game more room to tell its own story without feeling weighed down by the constraints of the existing canon.

It’s hard to get a handle on exactly what’s going on or who the major players are beyond Talion and Celebrimbor. But it seems that the duo have completed Talion’s goal from the last game and forged a new Ring of Power to challenge Sauron’s rule. Sauron, in turn, seems to be sending the Ringwraiths to take the new ring from Talion, who is, similar to the last game, is raising an army to try and take Mordor back from under Sauron’s rule.

“Nothing will be forgotten,” the trailer intones at one point, and it seems that Shadow of War is taking that serious, with almost no corner of Tolkien’s world being left untouched. There’s hordes of orcs, the Nazgûl, the Army of the Dead, drakes, the One Ring, Sauron, a Palantír, some kind of giant tree woman, a mysterious dark-haired woman, soldiers of Gondor (one can do magic?), giant spiders, and what appears to be a fiery Balrog covered in armor.

Shadow of War is the upcoming sequel to 2014’s Shadow of Mordor. It sees the expanded return of the first game’s critically lauded Nemesis system, where enemies you battle will return throughout the game for a constantly changing, unique experience where the actions you take can come back to quite literally haunt you. An early look at gameplay released back in March gave a good first look at how some of that will play out, along with the new fortress mechanic that looks to be a central part of the game.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War launches October 10th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.