I had a hunch Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor would be a good game, but I think it took me by surprise by just how good it actually is. One of the major reasons why I found the game so compelling is the work that Monolith put into the Nemesis System, which is something that sounds GREAT on paper but is something that won’t live up to expectations. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case here. Monolith nailed it and it’s easily one of my favorite elements to a next gen game yet. I’ve written about it in regards to how it provides a living and breathing world in Mordor previously, but recently I began to wonder what some of my favorite franchises would look like if they instituted a similar gameplay element into their games.
To me, the major element that you need for the Nemesis System to fit and make sense in any game is a conflict. Typically, what this means to me is a clearly defined aggressive between two different groups. In Shadow of Mordor for example, you have Talion going up against Mordor’s Uruks. So using that one golden rule as a baseline, here are a few games that I’d love to see a system like this get integrated into.
Considering that Microsoft just revealed the newest entry into this open world title at this past E3, it really got me thinking about how the Nemesis system could make an impact. Looking back at the first Crackdown, you play a super soldier of sorts for a group called the Agency, a police force essentially. You’re objective is to bring down three big crime organizations by going after different crime lords. See where I’m going with this?
How easy would it be to use something like the Nemesis system to create a hierarchy for these criminal organizations, with tiers of leaders and various strengths and weaknesses. Crackdown is already known for being a fun and addictive game, but just imagine what something like this could do for the franchise.
2. Red Dead
Another fantastic open world game where I could see the Nemesis system fitting in perfectly. The original game didn’t have a clear conflict in terms of John Marston fighting specific targets, though you could argue that he was charged with bringing down his former gang including Bill Williamson. The game was more than that conflict but it’s a good starting off point.
There’s a lot of angles you could take to make this work from a story perspective but how about you’re a newly appointed law man sent to the wild west to round up gangs and bring order to the region. It’s a twist for sure from Red Dead Redemption but one that aligns closely to the overarching story about the modern age creeping in on that “wild west” lifestyle. You could have various targets you needed to take down to bring order to the chaos that is the west.
Besides, it’s another chance to run around in the dusty plains of Red Dead again.
3. Assassin’s Creed
I feel like this one is the obvious choice considering the entire series has been about a conflict between two major groups: the Assassins and Templars. Though you could design a game with a nemesis system for either side, if you stick to tradition with the Assassins, just think about a new open world to explore, populated with randomly generated Templar captains and commanders. An idea like this could be the breath of fresh air some people think the franchise needs. For a huge twist, you could turn this around on the assassins just liek AC: Rogue is doing. There’s a wealth of potential here.
The best part though? Even integrating gameplay around this feature, you can still retain the core elements of the franchise with historic locations and major story elements. Hell, you could even argue that Shadow of Mordor plays like a Middle-earth style Assassin’s Creed.
Those are my picks, but what are yours? Let me know below.