Last week, we took a look on Middle Earth Shadow Of War’s Nemesis system. We discussed about the efficiency and innovation brought in by that system, to take the gameplay and storyline to the next level. Today, we are going to take a deeper dig at the Nemesis system and check the extent of its influence on the open world gaming scenario.

Going The Extra Mile

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Monolith productions didn’t just stop with the up-scaling of the already existing Nemesis system, but also applied it to the different facets of the game. This resulted in the creation of many new elements of gameplay, which included siege battles and the ability to spread influence and grow resources across the game’s map.

Systematic interactions with various units of orcs and trolls, will influence the story’s direction and decide the outcome of a particular scenario. This concept is called ‘Cause and Effect’ ecosystem, where one’s actions and decisions made upon a situation, will result in its corresponding consequences. Examples of this concept can be negotiations, trials, dangers, tactical advantages before and during a battle, and NPC interactions. The outcome of these scenarios will rest upon previous decisions, wins and losses.

This logic is pretty much acceptable, as it is the actual case of the real-world happenings. Hence, trying to implement real time logic into a game is what is called, ‘Going the extra mile’. Monolith Productions has done a good job by applying this concept into Middle Earth Shadow Of War’s Nemesis system. It is already being appreciated heavily by the fans.

Solving Open World Problems

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Ever since the open world concept was roped into the games, there has always been a dissatisfying concern that, ‘Open worlds don’t feel like real worlds’. Though the open world systems have become bigger, detailed and more vibrant, they were still lacking in real living, expressions, opinions, mindsets and actions. Certain developers did take an action against this issue, where they concentrated on expanding the areas of interaction within an open world. But, the downside of this measure was, the gameplay duration got reduced simultaneously. Due to this result, open world games today don’t run for a longer period time; especially the single player campaigns.

Meanwhile, with the improvised Nemesis system in Middle Earth Shadow Of War, the first steps have been taken towards solving these open world problems. The game is focussed on action-driven situations as stated before, and this ought to provide the feel of living in a real world, without reducing the gaemplay duration. Just like in real life, there will be direct influence over immediate, moment-to-moment events, that will dictate a character’s in-game life. This will ensure, that the game doesn’t follow pre-scripted or pre-determined events, but would rather go with the flow of ‘on the spot’ decisions and actions made by the player.

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To explain this further, let’s consider the scenario where Talion convinces an orc to join his side as an ally. He then orders the orc to infiltrate the enemy fortress and to take out the guards. While Talion fights the enemies, he comes across a dire situation where he needs to choose between backing up his orc ally or running towards some other location for a greater purpose. If Talion chooses the second option and leaves the orc behind, the orc would feel betrayed and will begin an aversion towards Talion. If that orc lives on, it would create an hatred towards him and there will be a point of time in the future, where it will stand before one of Talion’s goals, leading to a battle between former allies. Hence, an ‘on the spot’ action or decision can cause ripples in the gameplay and storyline, that’ll lead to a bigger event happening in the future.

Speaking of gameplay duration, Shadow Of War covers this problem as well. Being action-driven, one small move can lead to a lot of different scenarios and life events for Talion to handle. Since, this concept divides a linear storyline into various sub-branches, there would be no shortage of game-time.

With that being said, though the fullest influence of the ’cause and effect’ ecosystem is yet to be achieved, this game would set a milestone is redefining open world games.

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