There have been a number of companion apps released alongside console and PC games which offer a variety of different benefits, but the Palantir companion app for the upcoming Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes things to a whole new level. As Joystiq reports, Palantir is a collaborative effort between Warner Bros. and Wikia, and will function like many other companion apps in its "Reader" mode, offering a portal into the information about the game curated by Wikia's community. That will include player-written guides and background information about the characters and lore in the game.

palantir

However, a "Sync" mode will offer a new way of obtaining information about Shadow of Mordor. While in this mode, the Palantir app will actually be listening to the audio coming out of the game and will automatically bring up information associated with the part of the game you're currently at. That's either incredibly creepy or incredibly clever depending on how you look at it. Or both, I guess.

The Palantir app will initially launch later this month for iPad, though its functionality will obviously be limited until the actual game comes out at some point this year. More platforms for the companion app are in consideration as well. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is currently in development for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and PC and is schedule to launch at some point in 2014.

Update: That didn't take long! The Palantir app is now available and you can grab it by mashing this link or the normal link below as soon as that propagates.

[Joystiq]

  • Fangbone

    This game looks so freakin awesome. Will definitely persuade me to get a ps4.

  • bendodson

    I don't think there's anything "creepy" about it. As a developer that has built similar tech for other apps (the Grand National Horse Tracker in the UK and Million Second Quiz in the USA) I can be pretty certain that it isn't listening to human sounds, but for a digital footprint in the game audio. This is typically a sound played every second that humans can't hear but that the phone can pick up and interpret to get a code of where you are (ie if you are in Helms Deep, it might play a sound to signify that so the app shows content). Film studios do this with blockbuster films in cinemas that time code the location and film so that they can determine who leaked a pirated copy online. Don't think it's actually listening to audio or to the room as that would be far far more complex.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I meant that tongue in cheek, I'm not actually worried an app is listening in on my boring life :)

    • Themostunclean

      Music ID apps like can analyze and identify songs. It's NOT too complex for an app to identify audible content and pair it with a database, it doesn't have to be a cue the human ear can't hear, it could be a combination of many different sounds.

  • curtisrshideler

    And still our only Middle Earth mobile game is a city builder. When will such an awesome franchise get a proper mobile game?

  • BrushMyNoseOff

    Really cool, but strange the companion app is launching so far ahead of the actual game. I don't believe we even have a release date for this yet.

    • Platyrrhine

      My thoughts exactly. Been anticipating this game since I heard about it recently, but my understanding is that it's still quite a ways off.

      • ZarieoZ

        Me too, but I think they wanted to benefit from showing the world of the game to people so they'd get more people to know about it & maybe gain a few preorders, since the world "Preorder" is kinda stuck on most of the screenshots ;-) so, it's marketing, but yeah, still strange since the main feature is now useless.

  • Platyrrhine

    Hopefully this app is made universal in the future.

    • Louis Ace

      My thoughts exactly