The first gameplay footage of developer Monolith (prior developer of F.E.A.R. games) new Lord of The Rings game Shadows of Mordor dropped yesterday. While the footage was impressive and we're pumped to see it come out, many gamers may have noticed that it not so subtly borrows some style from two successful game franchises of the past. Apparently gamers weren't the only one as an Assassin's Creed developer confused his own coding with the footage.
Shadow of Mordor's combat system looks a lot like the hand-to-hand knuckle buster from recent Batman games while the play style of using an optimized vision and the characters movement looks eerily similar to Assassin's Creed. From the way the main character, Talion, crouches, preforms high-flying executions and even runs across ropes looks much like games we're still playing. Assassin's Creed 2 combat designer Charles Randall called out Shadows of Mordor on Twitter in a disbelieving string.
"Seriously, can someone tell me how Assassin's Creed 2 code and assets are in this Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor game?" he asked his followers. "This is *my* code in that game!" he exclaimed in a later response.
"I spent two years staring at AC2. I know it when I see it."
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor design director Michael de Plater stated that an Assassin's Creed vibe “definitely wasn’t something we were consciously going for.” In a statement at a press event earlier this week. When asked what the influence of the Assassin's Creed series, if any, were taken into account when creating Shadow of Mordor, de Plater replied:
"We didn't think much about them at all. We just wanted to do a third-person, open-world action adventure. And then now, just by the time you have stealth and melee combat and you're hunting guys behind enemy lines, the comparisons maybe come out at that point. It definitely wasn't something we were consciously going for."
But video games, like any other type of media, are not created in a vacuum. Whether the developer meant to or not it looks to have created an open-world adventure game that has a lot in common with other big franchises. Just don't tell Candy Crush Saga developer King's lawyers, they'll be trying to copyright jumping and crouching in no time.