I remember when I first heard about the Nemesis system in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. “An orc that will remember my actions, and come back to take revenge? The future is here!” It was only later that I learnt that this feature was partnered with a hierarchy mechanic and would have me pick which orc I liked the best. This integration created the overall Nemesis system as we know it today.
It’s been a while since the launch of Shadow of Mordor, and every now and then, I’d come across a game which would make me think, “This could do with a Nemesis System.” In that time I’ve also played a few games which featured a shallow version of the system, like Assassin’s Creed’s mercenaries. Unfortunately, nothing really came close to the original system, and how it made you feel like Vince McMahon running the WWE.
Now that WB Games has finally managed to patent the Nemesis System, I doubt we’re going to see an improvement on it anytime soon. And if the sequel, Shadow of War, was anything to go by, I don’t think WB Games has any idea what to do with it either. However, one can dream; so here are some upcoming games where I think the Nemesis System could have fit in pretty well.
First up, we have the RPG set in everyone’s favourite world of witchcraft and wizardry, Hogwarts Legacy. Luckily, the game is set way before the time of Harry Potter and his pals, so we won’t be bothered with his silly adventures, which always end up giving Gryffindor additional points. But regardless of the nameless wizard or witch we end up playing as, the game deserves its very own Malfoy. Someone to randomly challenge you to a duel as you explore the school, someone who decides to attack you instead of the Snitch during a game of Quidditch, and someone whose father will hear about this.
Keeping in mind that Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world game, this substitute Malfoy will take it upon themselves to get on your nerves as you explore the school grounds and surroundings; and be a genuine nuisance throughout your term. Of course, this nemesis’ personality will vary depending on the house they’re from, which in turn depends upon the house you choose (if the game lets you decide). So, there’s scope for different types of nemeses, based on your character and in-game choices..
In Gotham Knights you’ll get to play as the members of the Bat Family, namely Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, and Nightwing. As the announcement trailer revealed, Bruce is apparently dead and it’s up to the kids to keep Gotham from falling apart. We’ll also be seeing some iconic villains who’ve taken over parts of the city. However, out of all the rogues that hate Batman, Hush is someone who takes things a bit too personally.
Bruce Wayne’s once friend-turned-rogue hates anything to do with the billionaire vigilante, including his Bat-spawn. So, when I choose Red Hood as my primary, and take to the streets of Gotham, I can imagine a randomly generated attack by Hush. Should I manage to beat him, he’d drop some loot and run away. But should he best and Red Hood, instead of a generic game-over, Red Hood would be kidnapped and unplayable till another one of the Bat-kids rescues him. And if we really want to make things interesting, let’s add a timer to the rescue mission and risk Red Hood losing a ton of XP if it runs out. This feature would also force the player to try out different characters instead of sticking to one.
The Elder Scrolls 6
The only thing we know about Elder Scrolls 6 is that at some point, there will be an Elder Scrolls 6. We don’t know where it will be based, or what the overarching story will be. But let’s face it, the best part about an Elder Scrolls game is the open word exploration. And here’s where your nemesis will show up.
Unlike the previously mentioned games, Elder Scrolls 6 will most likely include an extensive branching system of quests, so it only makes sense for this nemesis to reveal themselves when you’re hopping over mountains or wandering through the wild. As a backstory, the nemesis could be from one of two factions you’d have to choose between in a side quest. This undead or magical warrior will follow you around to take revenge for the faction you didn’t choose to side with. On defeating them, you’ll get all the shiny armour and weapons they come with, only to get ambushed later on with different powers and better equipment.
Doom (If another one is made)
Yes, I’m aware the Doom Eternal already features an Invasions mechanic, which consists of other players invading your campaign as a special demon to mess you up. But the variant of the nemesis system I’d like to see in a Doom game comprises a randomly generating “smart” demon. This demon will remember how you defeated it the previous time.
So, if you shot it to pieces with the Super Shotgun, it will be immune to it the next time around. For added flavour, this smart demon could also wield the same weapon you used to defeat it the last time you met. This is also in line with Doom’s current philosophy of not letting you use one particular weapon constantly.
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