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December Cover – Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor

by Matt Miller on Nov 12, 2013 at 04:00 AM

As movie audiences gear up for the next installment of The Hobbit, gamers now have their own Tolkien project to get excited about. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is on its way to a game screen near you on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, we feel the upcoming game showcases some of the gameplay innovation potential now possible on next-generation consoles through its groundbreaking Nemesis System.

While many previous games set in Middle-earth have revolved around the major events or characters depicted in Tolkien's books, Shadow of Mordor offers a new chapter that fits comfortably between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Players control a lone ranger by the name of Talion as he journeys deep into the heart of Mordor in the days before it transforms into a blasted hellscape. Along the way, developer Monolith is exploring a fascinating next-gen approach to enemies, encounters, and storytelling, one in which every player shapes their own story through the choices they make. The Nemesis System assures that every enemy you fight is a named foe, and if they survive their battle with you, they continue to grow, improve, and act in the world, even as you attempt to do the same with Talion. Our cover story recounts our extensive look at the game in action, from combat and leveling to story and setting. 

Update: Our first piece of online content is live in our Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor hub, which will be filled with new exclusive stories and videos all month long. The first video is a chat with the design director and lead writer about the story filling the gap between The Hobbit and The Lords of the Rings trilogy.

Check out the December cover image below. Inside the magazine you can look forward to 14 pages of screenshots, art, and info about Talion's adventure.

After you're done exploring Middle-earth, our December issue is filled with a bevy of other features, previews, and reviews. Our 2013 Holiday Buying Guide offers all the best gifts for the gamer in your family, no matter the budget. As we come near the end of another generation of games, we look back on the emerging cult classics of recent years past. Plus, we test drive the Oculus Rift, take another look at Valve's Steam Machines, and examine the art of creating strategy guides.

Even with the next-generation of video games about to begin, we look ahead into later this year and 2014 with previews of Thief, Assassin's Creed Liberation HD, Tropico 5, Child of Light, and more. Plus, find out just how good we think The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds turned out in our review for the long-awaited 3DS game.

Print subscribers can look forward to issues arriving in their mailbox in the coming days. If you subscribe digitally, your issue is available now on PC/MaciPadAndroid, and Google Play. You can also get GI Digital through third-party apps NookKindle, and Zinio. To switch your print subscription to digital, click here, or to create a new subscription to the digital edition, click here

After you read our cover story, come back to all this month for additional video interviews, in-depth features, and explorations of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. We'll have new stories rolling out every few days. To see those features first, make sure and bookmark our game hub, which you can reach by clicking on the banner below. 

For a sneak peek of what to expect, watch the coverage trailer below or on our YouTube channel.

To stay up to the minute with our Shadow of Mordor updates, follow Game Informer on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. And, to keep up to date with Shadow of Mordor's official feeds, check the game's official siteFacebook, or Twitter

Enjoy the issue!