The Nemesis System

My 2014 game of the year went to Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, being only a casual Lord of the Rings fan, I wasn’t really plagued with the hatred some had for the lore-breaking story mode, nor did I care for the possibly ripped Assassin’s Creed wall climbing system, amidst an extremely tedious job at a call center, Shadow of Mordor provided a great relief, it had just the right length between being too short and too long along with being complimented with good pacing it most importantly it provided the new Nemesis system.

For those who aren’t familiar, the Nemesis system is a feature made for Shadow of Mordor that essentially tracks down a dozen or two Uruk leaders and the 5 more notorious Warchiefs. The list is ever changing, the Uruk’s have their own ecosystem and Uruks rise and fall down the ladder through internal power struggles. They all have their own identity complete with strengths and weaknesses and increasingly intimidating attires. Your interactions with them affect that hierarchy, hence the term nemesis, a common Uruk killing you will help him enter the ladder and gain their own identity, and each time that Uruk kills you he might go higher and higher on that ladder and become harder to take down, giving you more incentive to finally get that long-fated vengeance. Whereas defeating one of these notable captains or Warchiefs can also spur them on towards achieving their own vengeance.

This is the type of system that would work incredibly on a variety of other games, but the biggest one that came to mind was a super hero game. It seems almost a perfect match. Perhaps not necessarily fitting in with an established hero where there’s already a hierarchy in the rogue gallery, but if someone were to approach it in the same way Sucker Punch approached Infamous and create an entirely new world than a Nemesis based system would work perfectly. Rogue galleries are a principle part of super heroes, and there’s often also an internal struggle between villains for dominance, it could be further developed too with villains coming together against the common hero, and can easily provide an alliance system to boot. It’s just the first iteration of the Nemesis system so I’m really looking forward to how Monolith continues to refine the system and incorporate it into future games.

I’m not much of an insider on the relationship between publishers and developers but with Warner Bros. publishing this game, it would be nice to see if we Nemesis could find itself incorporated into other popular franchises – unfortunately it’s a tad late for the Arkham series though that thrives on its own two feet -. If you have any thoughts on what other worlds the Nemesis system would easily fit in, feel free to share.

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