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Sauron's up to no good in the Shadow of War story trailer

Middle-earth: Shadow of War looks ridiculous, absurd and a little bit brilliant. The latest trailer shines a spotlight on the story, which is essentially Lord of the Rings fan fiction, and all the better for it. 

I really hope Shadow of War embraces its inherent silliness. Its predecessor managed to, most of the time, especially where the Orcs were concerned, but it was also frequently po-faced and serious, too grim for something so completely barmy. 

With Talion putting together an army to take on Sauron himself, it’s likely to still be very grim, but hopefully not to the point where following the narrative becomes a chore. The conceit, at least, is even more ludicrous than the first game’s with Talion and his spooky ghost pal gathering up a whole host of grotesque Orcs to fight by their side. And dragons! 

Shadow of War launches on October 10. 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.