|Post Date: 20:08 10-09-2013
Comment: You probably haven’t seen Gandalf, Sauron and Arathorn fight side by side before, but in Guardians of Middle-Earth, that’s happening very often. And if the game digs deep into the Lord of the Rings world, most of the playable characters will be unfamiliar to many that have only seen the movies. The game doesn’t really care about the official chronology, and the evil forces are often found fighting beside the good forces. Instead, Guardians of the Middle-Earth focuses on having fun, which is something very good.
This is a MOBA-game, a DoTA clone or a Lord Managements game, depending on who you ask. It’s a genre that have exploded in popularity recent years, perhaps most with League of Legends, one of the most popular games these days.
It’s a genre where many believe can only work with a mouse and a keyboard. It is fortunate that Monolith, the developers, haven’t listened to this speculation. They have taken on the challenge to making a MOBA to a console and somehow they have succeeded. Guardians of the Middle-Earth is a pleasure to play, and the controls are never a problem. Monolith has had to rethink about the whole MOBA game concept from the ground to adapt it to the consoles. Guardians of the Middle-Earth is more streamlined than its competitors and therefore it’s also more accesible.
The main difference is, as mentioned, the controls. Instead of clicking on the units like in other MOBA games, you have direct control over them in Guardians of the Middle-Earth. You move, aim and send out special attacks. More advanced maneuvers like upgrading buildings go as easy, and it is impressive how smoothly everything is controlled.
Seasoned MOBA players might be disturbed by the fact that in Guardians of the Middle-Earth, there’s no ”last hitting”. Here, it’s not the player that gets the final blow that leaves with the gold and experience points, instead all players that are close are rewarded. This has two effects. First, you can’t just run in to a battle and ”steal” experience points from a team mate, so there’s no risk of greedy teammates that destroys your experience and rewards. It also results in faster leveling, which in turn results in shorter matches, often below twenty minutes.
Another difference is that there is no shop in your base where you can spend your gold or experince that you collected on new things. It definitely takes away a bit of the depth, but at the same time, considering that a game like Dota have over 1000 items in the shop, makes Guardians of the Middle-Earth seem a lot mre accesible.
Even though these changes have a major impact on the gameplay, comparing to other MOBA’s, they are still not changing the basic layup in the game. It is still hugely important for the teamwork to work, if you want to win, and skilled players can still dominate the game and lead their team to victory.
The biggest drawback is that the game can be very sensitive to lag when you are playing online. If the host (in both Xbox 360 and PC), has a bad connection, you will have to play through laggy rounds and will have to put up with it, which might ruin the game experience for you. Another thing that is worth mentioning, is that if a player in your team leaves in the middle of the game, it becomes extremely hard to win the game. But that’s a problem that exists in many games.
Despite this, Guardians of the Middle-Earth is a very impressive game. The developers, Monolith, have really made a game that seemed impossible to play on a console work and in some ways it even improves the genre. When you play with speed in a close-knit team, this kan be as fun as hell, and this is the perfect game for those who want to dip their toe in the MOBA-genre.