As part of its ongoing exclusive coverage of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, IGN sat down with Monolith Production’s Michael de Plater for an in-depth interview, during which he revealed that the game will serve as an entry point for those who aren’t familiar with the universe.
It’s really important for us that this is a point of entry. This is sort of the bigger blockbuster version of the game, so if you haven’t played Shadow and you start playing this one, it should be pretty easy to get into. Even if you don’t have prior knowledge of the movies.
When asked how the developer will be approaching difficulty levels in Shadow of War in light of some fans noting that Shadow of Mordor was “too easy,” Plater explained:
It is a hard problem, but one of the ways we’re dealing with that is by adding difficulty. So if we have people who do just want to enjoy the story and do it more like they did Shadow of Mordor, where they can become more OP near the end and not think about that, we have Easy mode. On Normal, we have the dynamic difficulty, so it is always going to stay challenging. On Hard mode, it should genuinely be really meaningfully hard.
Elsewhere in the interview, we were told that Monolith didn’t go for a “Shadow of Mordor 2” because the studio wants its upcoming title to “stand alone as its own thing.”
Middle-earth: Shadow of War releases on August 22 in North America and August 25 in Europe for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.