Two rings to rule them all!
I know for awhile there, I was worried that Middle-earth: Shadow of War was going to be a solo excursion. I mean, at every possibly opportunity, I want multiplayer modes. I especially love them in typically single-player games, because the only way to know how good I am at anything is to beat the piss out of other players.
All joking aside, Shadow of War is going to be getting a multiplayer mode when it launches this fall. While the first game sort of had asynchronous co-op with you being able to take revenge for your pals, now you can directly face off to determine who will get to bring the ring to Mordor (if only).
The main multiplayer component seems to work similar to the FOB system in Metal Gear Solid V. Dubbed Social Conquest, you can set up a base in your own game that other players can then attempt to siege with their armies. Pretty harmless stuff, even if it got to be really annoying in MGSV. You can play it directly with friends or just randoms.
The ranked variant has you actually risking your army. Should you fail, not only will your rank drop, but you’ll actually suffer the casualties of war and have to rebuild. If you are successful, though, then you’ll be given a plethora of rewards to help power up your character for the campaign mode (similar to how Mass Effect handled MP).
While I’m not sure if I care for shoving multiplayer into every single game, at least this sounds decent. It was cool enough in MGSV, though players eventually got so powerful that it became pointless in trying to assault them. At least a mode like this sticks to what the game is about instead of trying to radically alter the gameplay.
Now we just have to see if those microtransactions will start to screw around with the balance.
Shadow of War has a ranked online mode [Eurogamer]