The only thing more cringe-inducing than the phrase "a film based on the videogame" is the phrase "a videogame based on the film." That's because videogames based on movies usually have such tight deadlines that the developers tend to cut every possible corner so that the final product comes out pear-shaped. But now we've seen a story trailer for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and we're not just pleasantly surprised; we're actually cautiously optimistic.
As we see in the trailer, we play a well-armored ranger who teams up with a ghostly stranger. Soon we get to meet Gollum (voiced by Liam O'Brien and not by our beloved, yet busy, Andy Serkis)—and learn about the dead man's past. Let's just say he's an important figure in the history of Middle-earth.
The trailer is only two and a half minutes, but in that time it conveys a storyline that is every bit as engaging as the movies.
However, even if the plot is as good as any novel, a videogame still requires smooth, intuitive gameplay in a bug-free environment. So we have to maintain a degree of skepticism about this particular journey to Middle-earth until we get our hands on it.
And as it happens, developers Monolith Productions inserted over two dozen recommendations at the end of the trailer … almost as if they were aware of our mild misgivings.
That means that either Monolith Productions is great at marketing, or they have access to a ring of power.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 30, 2014.