When Guardians of Middle-Earth was announced just ahead of E3, a lot of people were left scratching their heads at the concept of a MOBA game on a console. MOBA, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or “DotA-game” to almost everyone, games have mostly been accepted to be in the realms of RTS games such as Starcraft 2 – games that don’t work well without a mouse.
Guardians of Middle-Earth is breaking that mould as a downloadable game for the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. If the name didn’t clue you in, this will be a Lord of the Rings themed game.
Developer of the game, Monolith (of F.E.A.R. fame), have explained how they plan to make the transition from mouse and keyboard to console controllers.
When players first pick their character, they’ll be able to customise which spells they want, along with their potions and which stats their “Relic Belt” will give them.
Players are then given the opportunity to select one of four basic attacks, which will be mapped to the face buttons of a console controller, with the right trigger being used to activate that attack. Potions and spell selection will be done using the d-pad.
If you buy the game at release you’ll be able to play as Gandalf, Sauron, Gollum or Thrain, but will have to wait until the release of The Hobbit before getting access to the full roster of 20 characters.
In keeping with the traditional MOBA model, games will be 5v5 multiplayer bloodbaths, with maps based on Middle-Earth.
It’s difficult to imagine how well the MOBA experience will translate to a console controller, but for now you can check out the first look at actual gameplay:
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