Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to the award-winning Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which was released in 2014 and brought to us a sleeper success of a game featuring game mechanics such as the combat system that was inspired by the Arkham series, while adding in its own twist via the Nemesis system that allowed players to have their own unique stories to tell and remember via randomly generated Orcs that became your, well, nemesis. Three years later, the sequel aims to take up from where we left off with Talion and Celebrimbor by taking us back into the untamed lands of Mordor.
With Shadow of War, Monolith has added a more extensive RPG system to the third-person action/adventure game base, and this comes in the form of a larger map with multiple zones that you, as Talion, will work to put under your influence. The Nemesis system makes a comeback, and this time, it creates memorable tales for not just Talion but also orcs under his command. Orc classes have been added to create an updated orc society which, along with caragors, grougs, trolls, and the newly added drakes, contributes to a savage land that will take you and the power of the ring to the limit. The single-player campaign adds in a new take on Shelob, the giant spider, daughter of Ungoliant, which has already created some controversy. The addition of loot boxes and the Forthog Orcslayer DLC made sure the game received a lot of press in the weeks leading up to its launch, both good and bad, which inevitable garnered the game more attention. This article's purpose is to then get back to what matters in the scope of PC-port testing and see how the game performs with AMD's and NVIDIA's graphics solutions from within the past few years.
Both AMD and NVIDIA have released game-ready drivers in anticipation of the game's launch, although we will also note here that NVIDIA has worked with Monolith to bring GameWorks technology support to the game. In particular, Middle-earth: Shadow of War supports NVIDIA's Ansel to help capture 360° in-game views at any time and is also one of the few games with a dedicated SLI profile (which according to recent reports isn't working properly). NVIDIA has even gone as far as to market the game along with Monolith, and for a limited time, you can get the game for free with purchase of a GeForce GTX 1080 or 1080 Ti. On the AMD side, today's update saw the addition of a Radeon Chill profile, which will help reduce power draw on AMD cards when the player is idle. As with its predecessor, Middle-earth: Shadow of War provides an optional high resolution texture pack which enables the "Ultra" graphics settings, and we also get a 4K cinematic pack that renders cutscenes at 3840 x 2160 (4K) resolution for higher detail gaming on the PC. The game is available for download on Steam.