Fear and intimidation. These are the words that best describe the feelings I had when it comes to this genre; Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, MOBA for short. My first encounter with Guardians of Middle-Earth was at last summer’s E3 2012. At first, I thought it was a World Of Warcraft type of game. I never really bothered to even research or find out for myself what it is, until they sent us a review copy. This game changed how I feel dramatically. I play the game now more than ever and I’m not even the type to indulge these fantasy type of games. Once you get past the fear and intimidation and really take time to learn the basics, you will have a ton of fun.
Guardians of Middle-Earth encourages you to go through a simple tutorial at first, which I highly recommend. The moves, commands and abilities are self explanatory. I want to keep this review short as I really want you to understand without using many words how thrilling this game is. I also want you to experience it for yourself, the strategic, tactility and rewarding nature it presents. This game is pretty much like a game of Chess, everyone knows how a Chess Board looks like right? simple and fun. It takes a bit of Strategy to play or at least learn the basics, but the game truly shines when you have other people in your party, people who know what their duties are and how to play the characters they have chosen.
How to win a match?
You and your team push forward “lanes”, Destroy enemy Towers and A.I. controlled soldiers along the way. First team to destroy the Main Tower base located at the enemy spawn area wins. In the case of “timed” games, team with most points, win.
What are the controls?
You have your Abilities assigned to the O,X,triangle, and Square buttons. Each ability has its own unique trait. holding R2 dishes out your standard attack.
How do you Level up?
Each round takes 2 to 4 minutes, giving very basic details as well as visual examples/demonstrations. Beat up the A.I. soldiers, Capture Shrines, Farm points by killing Neutral enemies scattered through out the map, and kill the enemy’s Guardians.
Ranks and Leveling
There are two different leveling up sections in the game. Your Rank shows your overall achievements. You level up in game on every match. Sounds confusing? its not. Leveling up in game grants you access to your abilities and powers them up. You can not use your Triangle ability until Level 6. Max level in game is 14. The faster you level up, the stronger you become. Ranking up on the other hand, unlocks more custom load outs, and more potion slots.
So again, LEVELING UP and RANKING UP are two different things when it comes to MOBA games.
Patience is the key when playing this game, there is a lot of push and pull going on. You cannot just rush a lane and expect to win, know your characters’ abilities and reach. Work with others. It is recommended to have a microphone when playing. The menus are easy to navigate, each menu has more detailed information, broken down for a better explanation. Repetition, repetition, repetition is the key to learning something new. You won’t have trouble finding Player Vs. Player games, as the community has now grown from when I first started playing 8000 to 20000 players are currently now online.
Guardians of Middle-Earth delivers a very satisfying experience, like Ice Cream on a hot summer day.
|Simple and understandable presentation|
Tutorial is very easy to follow
Menus have detailed explanations
|Players disconnecting during a match will leave you feeling overwhelmed and outnumbered as they are not replaced with A.I.|
This review is based on a PS3 version Of Guardians of Middle Earth provided by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.
Written by: PAUL FIERCE
- News Contributor