Warner Bros. and Monolith dropped a gameplay teaser ahead of this week’s reveal. Are you ready for two seconds of in-game footage? What if I told you there was a ridable dragon (fire-drake) in it? Thought so.

Yep, that’s a teaser. But we do see a few things in those two seconds. First, we see what looks like an enemy Orc captain. Maybe one of the leaders in the expanded Nemesis system. He looks bigger than I remember enemies being in the first game, but that could also be because of the camera angle.

What we see right after is what I want to talk about. Talion riding a dragon. Could it be an in-game cutscene? Maybe, but this is a gameplay teaser. Not cinematic. If there’s a ridable dragon in a gameplay teaser, it sure as hell better be ridable during gameplay.

This does make me wonder exactly how big of a world is Monolith creating here. There were mounts in Shadow of Mordor, but I’m also certain they were ground mounts. Tossing in flying mounts means the world needs to support it. Which means it needs to be big. Real big.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is described as an “open-world RPG,” but I didn’t really sit down and think about how big it could be until this gameplay teaser. Flying around on a dragon burning up Orcs sounds like just the fresh, new gameplay mechanics I’m looking for. Plus, it could open up the enemy types as well. Imagine taking on an Orc captain who is also riding a dragon. Better yet, how about a Nazgûl riding a Fellbeast?

If the expanded Nemesis system includes Nazgûl and Fellbeasts, I’m 100% on board.

The final cut of the teaser shows Talion cheering with Orcs behind him. Maybe the devs are thinking about adding in a light command system. It would give us a better feeling of commanding an army. We’re going to need it to “conquer Fortresses in massive battles and dominate Mordor with your personal Orc army,” as the recent Target leak described.

Now we wait for the full gameplay reveal to see just how big the open-world is, and how much Monolith is pushing the Nemesis system. One thing we should all be excited about is the fact the devs don’t have to design the game for more than one console generation. Shadow of Mordor had to run on Xbox 360 and PS3 too. Shadow of War won’t have that problem.



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