States in Shadow of Mordor

Isn’t is cool that a game can exist in different forms or states across guests but at the end of the day its the same game. Shadow of Mordor is an action-adventure video game created by Monolith Productions, more importantly the makers of Captain Claw. I would probably write about Captain Claw later as it was one of my favourite games growing up.

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Shadow of Mordor came out with their new Nemesis System wherein the enemies around us come ‘alive’ in the most realistic way possible. Mordor is an open-world game and our protagonist encounters enemies in the form of Uruks spread across the world. Like other games, these Uruks get suspicious of you, chase you around and even attach you. But the best part about them is that, incase they kill you during a battle, they directly enter the Nemesis System hierarchy. They enter the ranks of Sauron’s army directly. If we’re defeated again, they start to grow in ranks.

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There is almost a parallel story to these CaptainsĀ in the ranks. They often have fights between themselves, they overthrow others above and below them and there’s always new Uruks that join the ranks from time to time. The eco-system of these Uruks are maintained seemlessly throughout the game. This is different for each guest as the hierarchy can be completely different even if two of them are at the same point in the game’s storyline.

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Also, incase guests encounter battles with these Uruks and the Uruks survive or flee, they bear scares and injuries from their battle with the guest. They also remember how the guest fought during their previous encounter and also talks about it before the fight begins. This is such an interesting mechanic to have as its so powerful in storytelling. Revisiting someone from the past and them having memories from that encounter is a great experience for the guest.

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The knowledge of the Uruks can be used by the player by dominating them and collecting intelligence which could be used to build strategies or to have insights into war chiefs higher up in the hierarchy.Thus the whole game world is build on state transitions and intentional emergences providing the interactor with a more real world experience.

I have never seen such a state being saved throughout the game and how it affects the entire play-through of the game.