Possibly one of the biggest and most interesting features introduced in Monolith’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the “Nemesis” system. If you’re unfamiliar with how it works, basically, any enemy grunt that takes you out will gain in rank, and “remember” you in future clashes.
In a post-mortem piece on the game, Creative Director Michael de Plater revealed that one of the studio’s big references for the Nemesis system was real world sports like soccer.
Sports are designed as systems which generate stories every year. They start with the early play-offs, they’re designed that if there’s a failure through the mid-season you don’t rewind to the last save and start playing again from that point, as much as you potentially wish you could. You embrace that and move forward
And commentary systems in sports games, there’s the ability to remember and recall things that have happened previously. Their narrative systems that build drama out of conflict and tribalism and then their career mode, you can follow one rookie player all way from entering the league all the way up to super stardom.
Whatever reference Monolith used, it certainly did the trick. Shadow of Mordor proved to be so awesome of a game that it even managed to snag our Game of the Year award for 2014.
What do you think of Mordor’s Nemesis system? How would you want Monolith to evolve it for the inevitable sequel?