The early reviews for Middle-Earth: Shadow of War are in, and, thus far, it sounds like one hell of a follow-up to the smash hit Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, really opening up the possibilities for your character, including enlisting a few Orcs for your trouble.
That said, there has been some criticism from fans in regards to mild changes within the world of J.R.R. Tolkien for the game, like Shelob the Spider’s transformation into a human woman.
But, while speaking to GameSpot, game director Michael de Plater addressed such changes, indicating that the team was looking to make a fun game, while at the same time staying faithful to some of the Lord of the Rings themes – which is a lot trickier than you might think.
He noted the “differences of interpretation” being present with fans and developers alike. "Yeah, it's really hard because I genuinely can't imagine anything we could come up with--even if you set it as your goal--[that would] make everybody happy; I think it would be impossible. Because there are just differences of interpretation, and people are emotionally attached to different things. And people really care, including us, about these universes and IPs that they're attached to. We just have to commit to making the best game we can within the context of our interpretation of the lore. It's more important that a lot of people really love it, [rather] than [ensuring] that everybody thinks it's okay."
And even with the odd representation of Shelob within the game, de Plater explained that, since she’s the daughter of an evil primordial spirit, she can take the form of whatever they want, so Monolith wasn’t entirely wrong with taking that approach – even if it does throw a few fans off.
The bottom line is, despite mild changes here and there, the team has created yet another thrilling romp through the world of Mordor that fans will appreciate overall. We’ll let you know what we think of the game in a forthcoming review – but expect a whole lot of praise, wrinkles and all.