This is an action-role-playing game set in the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings universe. Players assume the role of a ranger named Talion as he battles evil forces in a quest for vengeance. Players use swords, arrows, knives, and axes to kill fantastical creatures (e.g., orcs, goblins) in frenetic close-quarter combat. Fighting is highlighted by screams, impact sounds, and blood-splatter effects. Players also have the ability to slit enemies' throats, stab or impale them, and decapitate creatures' heads, which is often seen in slow-motion. Cutscenes also depict instances of intense violence: a woman, teenager, and man executed by having their throats cut; a character beaten to death from a first-person perspective.