New Middle-Earth: Shadow of War trailer shows how to turn orcs into allies

The defining feature of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was the evolving rivalries you'd develop between rival orc chieftains on your quest for vengeance. Shadow of War however, makes the nemesis system work both ways: Not only will your actions create dynamic rivalries, but also create dynamic allies who aid you in battle.

For a more comprehensive look into Shadow of War, read James' preview from last month. But during Microsoft's E3 press conference, Monolith Production's vice president of creative, Michael De Platter, took the stage to offer some new gameplay footage demonstrating how you'll recruit and ally and then use them in your war against the Dark Lord.

In the first game, you could use your spectral powers to dominate the minds of enemy orcs and turn them into thralls to do your bidding. In Shadow of War, that same ability is greatly expanded, allowing you to turn orcs into allies with their own personal story arcs that'll change dependent on your decisions.

In the trailer, this was showcased when Talion dominates the mind of Brüz the Chopper, an imposing hulk of an orc with a cheeky personality. From there, Brüz recommends Talion rally his forces and assault a nearby fortress to send a message to Sauron. In doing so, we're offered a very brief glimpse at the strategic planning that goes into Shadow of War's new fortress assaults as Talion must choose which orc captains will lead his troops and which types of units might best be used on the field of battle.

Shadow of War is coming to PC on October 10.

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.