Shadow Of Mordor Gets Hands-On Preview From Sony

By Connor Sears , Updated Aug 22, 2014 12:41 PM EDT

Whether you're a fan of face-to-face, hack-n-slash combat or prefer a subtler long-range approach to taking down your enemies, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor shows you that there's more than one way to skin a cat (or, in this case, an orc).

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A hands-on preview from Sony shows off a collection of features and mechanics that will be found in the upcoming open-world game from Monolith Productions. The game seems to place a significant focus on reconnaissance. Talion, our leading man-wraith hybrid, is no stranger to threatening lowly foot soldiers until they give up dirt on their superiors, your primary targets. The game keeps track of all the information you've learned in the game, making sure you're fully prepared to take down some of the orcish army's top brass. Death is also a valuable learning tool for Talion. Though Talion may already be half-dead and able to rise from the grave, death still matters in the game. Losing to an enemy once can provide information on where you went wrong. The second time around, you might even get the drop on your target, who remembers that he killed you and thinks that you are dead.

Don't think that this focus on recon means that combat takes a back seat, though. Talion is equally capable of taking down his enemies with a swing of his sword and from across the room. Using his wraith powers, Talion is able to close long distances quickly, letting you start a battle off in style and with the upper hand. And if you don't like getting your hands dirty, Talion is good at "convincing" wild animals or even weaker-minded orcs into fighting on his side.

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Though many of these features have been mentioned before during the game's development, it's reassuring that everything is still on the table just one month before the game's release. Talion is out for revenge after his family is murdered by the forces of Sauron. Thankfully, he has an arsenal of abilities to make sure the score gets settled.

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