Middle-earth: Shadow of War has an endgame mission type called Shadow Wars.
Effectively a mini campaign, it takes place after the game's story is concluded and players have conquered all of Mordor. In the Shadow Wars, Sauron's army launches a counter assault against Talion, attacking different regions and attempting to take back those hard-won fortresses. These assaults are split into various stages, with more regions coming under attack from progressively harder enemies in each stage.
In terms of the actual gameplay, Shadow Wars basically takes the fortress assaults that form such a large part of Shadow of War and swaps the sides, asking you to hold various capture points until all the attacking warchiefs have been killed or otherwise conquered. If you succeed, the fortress will remain yours. Fail, however, and it will revert back to Sauron's control. You'll need to retake it in order to advance to the next stage and, what's more, you may need to mount a rescue mission to save the orc follower you installed in the fortress as Overlord.
Once the Shadow Wars have been concluded, players will get to see the game's true ending, which supposedly ties the events of Shadow of War directly into Lord of the Rings. Will we get to see the Fellowship of the Ring embark on their quest? Time will tell.
Either way, Shadow Wars looks fairly substantial and is clearly aimed at addressing the criticism Shadow of Mordor received for having a weak endgame. If you want to see some Shadow Wars gameplay in action, have a look at the video below.
The question now, of course, is whether the promise of a more substantial endgame is enough to draw players back in following last week's controversial microtransaction announcement. Your thoughts in the comments below, please.
This article (and video) is based on a visit to Monolith in Seattle. Warner Bros paid for flights and accommodation.