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Director Denies Copying Assassin’s Creed, Says Everything in Shadow of Mordor is Built “From the Ground Up”

May 24, 2014 Written by Kayvon Ghoreshi

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Earlier this year Monolith and Warner Bros. unveiled Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, a third person action game based in the Lord of the Rings universe. The game immediately drew comparisons to the Assassin’s Creed series, so much so that former Ubisoft developer Charles Randall accused them of stealing animations and code from Assassin’s Creed II.

In talking with GameSpot, design director Michael de Plater commented on the matter and completely denied it saying, “Honestly, we built everything from the ground up for this game.” However, even if they didn’t look at Assassin’s Creed, de Plater said the studio did look to Rocksteady’s Batman games for inspiration.

“We absolutely, at the inception, looked at Batman, in their combat and stealth,” he said, while still maintaining that “as soon as people play [Shadow of Mordor], any experience we’ve had where people get their hands on, it’s totally its own thing.”

Part of what makes Shadow of Modor its own thing is the Nemesis system which creates a dynamic hierarchy of orc troops and plays into the story missions. de Plater talked about the balance between this system and the actual storyline of the game.

There was a much bigger divide between, well, the Nemesis system, which was kind of the game, and then the story. People would kind of go and do the story when they had to. But as we finished that–Christian Cantamessa was our lead writer and director, he was lead writer on Red Dead Redemption–so as the story missions have got finished, we’ve got a much better balance between people wanting to learn the story, learn the lore, and are really interested in the background and characters, and are balancing their time more between the different parts of the game. It’s feeling more coherent.

PlayStation Access also has a new video interview showcasing some gameplay which you can see below.

Are you looking forward to Shadow of Mordor? Let us know in the comments below.