Middle-Earth Shadow of War is part of the first PlayStation Plus lineup that’s going to be available on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The game launched in 2017, so it’s not a very new game by any stretch of the imagination. Still, it has one of the most ingenious systems in games, today, the Nemesis system. This is what made the series so popular, and it’s a core part of why so many people play it today. It’s also the reason that you should probably give the game a try this month, because really you’ve got no excuse. If you’re getting a PlayStation 5, the game will look slightly better on that, but honestly, it’s the Nemesis system that will allow it to stand up against the likes of Demon’s Souls.
The Nemesis system is pretty easy to understand. It’s a system that constantly monitors what you’re doing, and creates hardcore enemies from the battles you take part in. If an Orc manages to best you, they’ll ascend and gain traits that make them stand out from the crowd. Some enemies will start out with these traits, but others will grow in strength, seeing you create your own worst enemies through your actions.
Some of these traits can benefit you, such as an enemy being afraid of beasts, or hating defeat. It’ll allow you to prey on them in a way they can’t defend themselves from. However, it’s more likely that they’ll develop traits that make them harder to kill. If one enemy has nearly been killed by you, and they survive, they might come back with an immunity to fire or beheading, depending on just how you almost killed them.
It’s a complicated system on paper, but in practice, it’s very easy to see working before you. You’re able to control these enemies, making an army of quirky weirdos who obey you. Once you’ve managed to assign mind-controlled enemies to all the major roles in the opposing army, you can kill them all with a click of your fingers. This will see the game generate a whole new set of enemies. It’s an aspect of the game that keeps it fun for hundreds of hours after you’ve completed the main story. I can’t recommend it enough, especially with the lack of brand new games on next-gen consoles.