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Registered: ‎04-01-2017

Pros and Cons of the Minas Ithil Trailer


  • New Orcs. We get to see some Uruks in extra detail, building up on class and tribe differences. Zathra the Tyrant is a Marauder Commander, and Ar-Henok of the Pit is a Mystic Tank. Monolith are really beginning to build up the idea that there are thousands upon thousands of Uruks and Ologs out there for us to meet, and that's a great thing. Seeing the Skyrim-esque combination of prenomers and postnomers is really encouraging (Ar-Benu and Ar-Henok are Ologs with the prenomer "Ar") because that will allow even more diversity in the realm of enemy naming. I was somewhat worried because the name "Tugog" showed up twice in the very first trailer of a game that's supposed to have functionally infinite character combinations, but I know Monolith will keep expanding.
  • Human fortress hierarchy. This one is a mix of pro and con, but I included it here because it's kind of neat. Minas Ithil is a Gondorian Citadel of level 65, meaning that the soldiers that make up its hierarchy are all roughly level 10 (probably a bit less for the majority, and a bit more for the Citadel's leader). That seems like a fair amount for an early-game fortress, though this is raised to 101 in the gameplay trailer when transformed into Minas Morgul. I'm confused as to what this will mean for the other fortresses, and also for the Nemesis system. Will we all have different side-characters? Can Gondorians lead our fortresses? Probably not, but it's possible.
  • Weakness tabs. We find out what one of the weakness categories for captains is. In addition to the classic "fear of" and "vulnerable to" weakness types, we now also have "dazed by," represented by a symbol that unintentionally resembles a skull with a headdress. This is just one of many weakness and strength categories, so it will be cool to see what else exists.
  • The Palantir. For those of you who, like me, were unsure what exactly this was (until recently), a Palantir is one of numerous dark crystal orbs believed to have been crafted by Celebrimbor's grandfather, Feanor. These objects are essentially indestructable and used for communication between wielders or for spying on other parts of the world. One of these plays a role in LotR. It's the ball thing that Galdalf stopped the hobbitses from playing with. The one that Sauron popped up inside, and Saruman was using to do naughty things.
  • The Glaive. We get a better glimpse of Celebrimbor's shiny new toy in this trailer, and we see that it can be used for large, sweeping attacks that daze enemies. I'm not sure how you summon this weapon, but it doesnt seem to use elf shot or focus, so we'll have to wait to see how exactly it works. It looks like it disappears after a minimal amount of swings, but the developers will probably continue to fine tune its use. The finished product is sure to be really epic.
  • Celebrimbor's barrows. Who knows what these entail, but this was easily the most exciting few seconds of the trailer for me. We could be digging up new artifacts, new powers components for the New Ring (if, as I suspect, we do get to create the Ring in-game), or just random loot. No matter what's in there, it will be freaking spectacular.
  • The Arena. We watch as Talion sizes up Ar-Henok in what looks to be a mano-e-uruk arena battle, surrounded by uncountable hostile forces. I love the idea of fighting a powerful enemy one on one, so I was naturally pretty stoked about this.



  • Graphics? In certain sections of the trailer, we are treated to fairly detailed graphics, but I would say that the majority of the trailer appeared less detailed than the graphics in Gameplay #1. Some people are lauding the graphics, but I can't figure out why. In the arena scene, we pan in to an army of orcs that appear detailed, but then we zoom in on Ar-Henok, who suffers from an extreme case of blocky play-doh hair and some serious butter face. The trailer jumps back and forth between nice (but not exemplary) graphics and abhorrent clay-bodied characters (check ~0:48 and ~3:20-3:40 for the biggest examples). I know that there's still plenty of development time, so graphics won't be anything we should worry about, but this really took away some of the magic of the trailer for me. If anyone has found a version of the trailer with boosted graphics, please direct me to it!
  • Weak Stealth. Unless the developers continue to improve on this (which they may), Shadow of War looks to have the same overpowered stealth system as Shadow of Mordor. The very first thing Talion and Celebrimbor do is stick a massive superhero landing four feet away from a worm, waltz towards him, then drop into stealth at the last second and grab him. This is emphasized when Talion pops up next to Zathra outside of stealth mode, right in front of his men, and is still totally able to daze the Captain with a last-minute stealth attack. One of the biggest promises of Shadow of War is that the AI are going to be ultrarealistic, and this immersion is broken when the enemies are blind idiots.
  • The Open World.  I absolutely hate having to say this because Monolith (and we, the fan base) are stoked about the size and detail of the new worlds, but the problem is that the trailer only emphasized one element: the size. In trying to showcase their beautiful new worlds, Monoloth accidentally gave us a montage of Talion sprinting through essentially empty space - the exact problem of the last game. I am hopeful that these empty spaces won't be empty when the actual game comes out, but this trailer did a horrendous job of accentuating what is intended to be a gorgeous, detailed map.
  • The Humans. We're all excited to see Talion interact with his old Gondorian pals, but the trailer did a poor job of demonstrating why these characters will be interesting. We are told that Idril is a Gondorian Shield-Maiden, and then she shouts a generic "follow me" line and sprints off, leaving no real hints as to who she is as a person or why she's special. We see a bit of Human vs Uruk combat, but nothing too special. Outside of the cutscene where fire rains down from the sky and the central three characters look understandably concerned, we don't get the sense that these people have personality whatsoever, which will definitely be showcased later on. This trailer was a pretty poor introduction to the Humans as a race, and I'm sure that this underwhelming beginning will be overshadowed by fantastic story and mechanics in the actual game. Sometimes trailers don't showcase something that really will be awesome, and that's okay.

Overall, I would say that this trailer has some exciting elements but was vastly overshadowed by the previous trailers. Both the reveal trailer and gameplay trailer were works of art. I literally squealed with excitement when I saw the first two. This trailer was average, which makes it more than a little bit disappointing. The problem isn't that the Minas Ithil trailer was bad - after all, who could be displeased while listening to de Plater. The problem is that Monolith has created two near-flawless demonstrations of why exactly fans should be scrambling to preorder this game, and they followed those up with the kind of short, simple, early-stage gameplay trailer most other companies produce regularly. This trailer was neat, and we all love new content, but it just couldn't live up to the hype generated by its predecessors. I feel comfortable saying, though, that Monolith will definitely be shaking out some more masterpieces in the coming months.

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Registered: ‎03-27-2017

Re: Pros and Cons of the Minas Ithil Trailer

I really am not worried at all by the graphics at the moment, I've seen games that have had amazing looking trailers come out with god awful graphics on release and I think that they are not sugar coating it make us buy buy buy is actually good sign.
I'm also not too worried about the open empty spaces because no doubt with this being alpha they kept the numbers down so it ran smoother and I imagine they also didn't want to much interference from Uruks when try to demonstrate the size.
I would also love to see the stealth side of things improved, the amount of times I've ran through about 20 uruks (might exaggerate a little there) just to stealth kill a captain in the middle of them all is ridiculous.
We now know a little more on Celebrimbor's barrows, and that they are missions into celebrimbor's past sounds like we get to play out he's memories.
Personally was unimpressed by the Glaive didn't like the look of how it factored into the fighting style, though I remember Jared saying it was a lot more useful from a top a caragor so here's to hoping we see some of that soon Smiley Happy