Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment confirmed the existence of their upcoming game Middle-earth: Shadow of War after a NeoGAF user spotted the game listed on the retail chain Target’s website yesterday. Shadow of War is the follow-up to the 2014 game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which received multiple Game of the Year nominations. So far, WB has confirmed most of the information from the leak including the expanded Nemesis System, some of the story elements, and that it will be coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Steam, and the upcoming Xbox Scorpio.

The Nemesis System featured in Shadow of Mordor prompted the enemies to adapt to how the player handled the occupation of the Uruk army. If the player dispatched an enemy, another one could take his place by completing activities that made them stand above the other Uruk. Most notably, if an Uruk killed Talon, the lead character of Shadow of Mordor, or if they killed another captain, they would climb the ranks of the Uruk army. In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the enemies will also respond to player actions by shaping the environment to their advantage. There will also be a wider variety of activities to take part in and new characters to interact with.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War will feature a new story that takes place in the Lord of the Rings universe (based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien). The trailer showcases Talion and the wraith bound to him by death, Celebrimbor, crafting a new Ring of Power to aid them in their fight against Sauron and his army. Players will fight iconic enemies of the series and be aided by familiar faces along the way.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Box Art Leak
Leaked box-art for ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of War’.

It is unfortunate that the existence of Middle-earth: Shadow of War was leaked by Target before Warner Bros Interactive and Monolith were ready to announce its existence to eager gamers. They may have been planning on showing it during E3 and excite the crowd by announcing it would release so soon after the convention. That or their upcoming gameplay reveal may have been the original reveal date. There is no way to know for sure what their plans were, but what we can be confident in is that fans all over the world are eager to get their hands on Shadow of War! Either way, hats off to the teams at Monolith and WB for keeping a tight lid on the project and hopefully the leak doesn’t slow their momentum too much going forward.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War releases August 22nd in North America and August 25th in Europe. A release date for other parts of the world has yet to be announced. A gameplay reveal has been announced for March 8th, so stay tuned to see more!