The world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings hasn’t left the same mark on the video game medium that it has in film, though many attempts have been made. The Battle for Middle-earth strategy games? Good, but the series lasted for only a few years. The Rings Lego games? Also fun, but the Middle-earth setting is just one of several major properties to be Legoized. Even the games connected to the original trilogy films have their upsides but were never critical darlings.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor hopes to change that. The game has received plenty of buzz leading up to its release on Sept. 30, promising an original story in Tolkien’s world that explores the deep lore while innovating on familiar gameplay mechanics.
So what exactly sets this adventure apart, and will it make Mordor the one game to rule them all—or at least rule the fall season? That question will be answered when the game debuts later this month, but there are plenty more worth asking about why Mordor is worth Rings fans’—and newcomers’—time. Here are answers to some swirling questions about the game, which should give players all they need to know going into the game’s launch.