One of the cool features of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, the open world Lord of the Rings game coming later this year from Monolith Productions and Warner Bros. Interactive, is called the Nemesis System. As the main character Talion interacts with enemies, they’ll actually remember those encounters and react accordingly the next time they cross paths.
What’s even cooler is the effort that the designers are making to ensure that even the bad guys are living, breathing people — or Orcs, in this case. While Christian Cantamessa of Red Dead Redemption fame is the main writer, he’s getting some help on the Orc side from Dan Abnett, a noted comic book writer and novelist.
In a recent phone interview with FanSided to promote Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon, a new mobile game that Abnett also wrote, he shared exactly what he was asked to do for Shadow of Mordor.
“I had to create 60 Orc characters and give them individual personalities so that they were recurring villains,” Abnett said, while noting that he also did the story and script for the upcoming Alien: Isolation. “Which is quite a fun way to spend a week, although they wanted them all to speak like English gangsters, like Ben Kingsley and Ray Winstone. So I actually sat there and wrote in character and was talking like that all the time, and I couldn’t stop at the end of the day.”
You’ve heard of method acting, now you can add method writing to the list too. Jokes aside, you can see if Abnett’s hard work pays off with some memorable Orc tough guys when Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor releases on October 7.