No one can ever accuse the Shadow of Mordor of not being story driven, because it's probably one of the most story-heavy action-RPGs out there as far as character development and lore is concerned. I mean, it's based on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings mythos for crying out loud. Well, things are getting hotter and heavier on the story side of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's critically acclaimed RPG, with the latest bit of DLC bringing a highly awaited sub-plot to life that was heavily hinted at in the main game.

Gamespot has a very detailed article on the upcoming DLC that will also be the game's final bit of DLC. The name of the downloadable content? The Bright Lord.

Michael de Plater, design director for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, explained that this final piece of DLC will not only be heavy on the story but heavy on the difficulty as well.

According to Plater...
"The big revelations we focused on in Shadow of Mordor were Celebrimbor’s backstory and his involvement in forging of the Rings of Power, connected to the fact he’d been dragged back to Mordor to forge the One Ring and that Sauron used Celebrimbor's Elven craft to give the Ring its power,"

"And it's like Tolkien wrote: 'The Ring did something it's master did not intend.' We looked at that idea and how the One Ring had these two parents, this conflict going on within it, within the flashbacks in Shadow of Mordor as you recovered Celebrimbor's memory. We're excited to go back and play with that and explore Celebrimbor and Sauron's relationship more."

What's interesting is that is that the new DLC will stray from Talion and focus more on Celebrimbor. In the original Shadow of Mordor it was more about the bond between Talion and Celebrimbor and finding out more about the latter's past and how the bond came to be. In the new DLC we get to better understand how the fight went down between Celebrimbor and Sauron, and the best part about it is that players will actually get to participate in the fight.

What's more is that the development team at Monolith are ramping up Shadow of Mordor's difficulty and enemy A.I. The Nemesis factor isn't necessarily being overhauled but it is getting a moderate boost so that Orcs are stronger, tougher and more focused than ever before.

It's explained that instead of just taking out a squad commander and seeing the Orcs flee in disarray or attack one another, they'll stick together and manage an attack against the player in a determined, organized force. Sounds like my kind of challenge.

According to Plater...
"[The Bright Lord] has enabled us to go into Mordor at a time when Sauron’s power was at its height," ... "In Shadow of Mordor he’s just returned. It's all pretty much in chaos, Orcs are running around rioting, it’s very untamed. We were able to go back and forge the Orcs into this more disciplined and elite war machine."

But a more “elite war machine” in the form of the battle-hardened Orcs also requires an equally elite player-character. For this the team had to revamp some of the standard moves and abilities from Shadow of Mordor. Archery is explained as being more like a “shooter game”, though I take it that it means you'll be able to fire off bows in rapid succession like Legolas from the Lord of the Rings movies. And the team has also overhauled the animation system for Celebrimbor to better reflect his Elven heritage.

Celebrimbor is faster and more powerful than Talion. Runes have been amped up to reach level 30 and weapon upgrades have been buffed up. All of this is so that players will have both a challenge and an opportunity to partake in an epic battle against the lord of Mordor, Sauron himself.

I may not be a fan of microtransactions and the abuse of cash shop DLC, but the backstory of Celebrimbor in The Bright Lord expansion sounds like a great way to wrap up the story of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.

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