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guardians of middle-earth

Guardians of Middle Earth review (XBLA)
8 years ago

Guardians of Middle Earth review (XBLA)

Guardians of Middle Earth was developed by Monolith Productions and published by WB Games. It was released December 5, 2012  for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes. 

The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or MOBA for short, is not a genre typically associated with the Xbox 360. Sure there have been a few good attempts to bring this style of game to XBLA, titles such as Awesomenauts or Monday Night Combat, but no company has found a runaway success, a game so good, and so well loved by the fans, that it could sit up there with the big PC titles like League of Legends and DotA. The people over at Monolith have taken it upon themselves to finally break the mold, and bring a deep MOBA experience to console. Guardians of Middle Earth does exactly that, bringing one of the best MOBA experiences you can find to XBLA, showing that a console can be home to this genre just as well as any PC.

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What we are playing: December 9
8 years ago

What we are playing: December 9

What we are playing is a weekly column published on Sunday. Select members of the team talk about the games they’ve been playing over the past week and which they’re …
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Weekly Roundup: December 8 – Middle-earth, Minecraft and modifications
8 years ago

Weekly Roundup: December 8 – Middle-earth, Minecraft and modifications

Weekly Roundup compiles all the biggest news stories, reviews and features from the week into one handy post on the weekends.

A solid week for Xbox Live Arcade. We’ve got some big releases and DLC to pour over, a lot of great games on the horizon and a few impressive milestones for XBLA favorites. What did you pick up this week? Are you battling for Middle-earth? Hitting monster combos in Tony Hawk, or pitting historic figures against each other in fantasy duels to the death?

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Guardians of Middle-earth skirts recertification with cloud storage
8 years ago

Guardians of Middle-earth skirts recertification with cloud storage

We’ve been talking a lot about Guardians of Middle-earth over the past few months, with a steady stream of character reveals and tutorial videos for the Tolkien-inspired MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title. Though beyond the multimedia fanfare preceding its imminent release, Guardians of Middle-earth carries weighty ambition as the first true title of the genre developed specifically for consoles.

The MOBA is a notoriously delicate genre, requiring nearly constant post-launch supervision in order to maintain the balance of character power as player strategies evolve over time. That balance necessitates regular updates and patches, the kind of support that’s seemingly at odds with the “closed system” of a console, which normally requires any changes be vetted by the manufacturer’s certification process.

When we spoke with producers Bob Roberts and Ruth Pomandl last month, they briefly touched on their plan to issue real-time updates without needing to repeatedly pass through the lengthy and expensive, recertification process. In an interview with VG247, Roberts further explained the importance of fine-tuning character balance and how they intend to continue those tweaks after the title has gone live.

“We did also build a system for having a lot of our balance database saved in cloud storage, that you’re going to download every time you launch the game. It’s a very small, quick update that doesn’t have to go through certification, so we can update it every day, every week – however often we need to if we see critical balance issues.”

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Weekly Roundup: December 2 – The future’s so bright
8 years ago

Weekly Roundup: December 2 – The future’s so bright

Weekly Roundup compiles all the biggest news stories, reviews and features from the week into one handy post on the weekends.

Another week of Xbox Live Arcade brought to a close. It’s been a relatively quiet one, compared to the mad dash of last week’s seasonal sales. Though there isn’t much to write home about in terms of marquee XBLA titles, there’s quite a bit to look forward to in the coming weeks and months on Xbox Live Arcade. With so many big games coming down the pipe, what are you looking forward to getting your hands on?

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What we are playing: December 2
8 years ago

What we are playing: December 2

What we are playing is a weekly column published on Sunday. Select members of the team talk about the games they’ve been playing over the past week and which they’re …
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MOBA Mastery: Your training is complete
8 years ago

MOBA Mastery: Your training is complete

Over the last two months, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions have, like a sagely Mr. Miyagi, or a learned Obi-Wan, tried to teach us the ways of the MOBA. Today, those lessons are complete, as the final video in the “MOBA Mastery” series debuts in preparation for the December 5 launch of Guardians of Middle-earth. The multiplayer online battler pits teams of Tolkien-inspired heroes against one another, utilizing their varied skills and abilities to achieve control of the environment, and sweep the leg of their opponents.

The fifth, and final, video brings together all the elements discussed in previous weeks, culminating with team strategy and how a match unfolds. If you’ve missed any of the previous weeks, you can find week one, two, three and four, by hitting those links, and part five after the jump.

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Middle-earth gets more Guardians; you get avatar gear, life-size Gandalf
8 years ago

Middle-earth gets more Guardians; you get avatar gear, life-size Gandalf

By  •  News

It’s getting pretty crowded on the Guardians of Middle-earth roster. Over the last few months, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions have released a steady stream of information regarding the characters you can expect to employ when Guardians of Middle-earth lands on Xbox Live Arcade next Wednesday, December 5. This week is no different, as we’re introduced to two new guardians who’ll lend their abilities to the team-based arena battler.

Haldir, the dexterous and deadly elven striker, uses his speed and ranged prowess to lay down punishing fire. In a pinch, Haldir can teleport to a desired location, stunning enemies with his next shot before finishing them off with devastating special attacks from a distance. Lugbol, on the other hand, uses his summoned wolves to soak up damage and taunt his enemies. The undead goblin, possessed by an evil entity, then utilizes his dark mastery of fire and lightning to visit utter destruction on his victims. See both guardians in action in the Battle Profile video below.

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More MOBA know-how from Guardians of Middle-earth
8 years ago

More MOBA know-how from Guardians of Middle-earth

Thanks to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions and their ongoing efforts of to get your MOBA skills up to snuff, the fourth video in their MOBA Mastery guide is available for your dissection. The video series, aimed at exploring the genre in broad strokes and progressively finer detail in preparation for the December 5 launch of Guardians of Middle-earth, continues to peel away another layer of strategy this week. Like an unending, informative, Tolkienian onion.

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Bringing a MOBA game to XBLA: Guardians of Middle-earth detailed
8 years ago

Bringing a MOBA game to XBLA: Guardians of Middle-earth detailed

XBLAFans was able to sit in on a conference call last week with Guardians of Middle-earth Producer Bob Roberts and Senior Producer Ruth Pomandl. They shared intricate details about the game’s development process, what it was like to balance a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game for the console space and some details about how various systems will work in the game.

Players new to the MOBA genre should consider checking out Monolith’s own video tutorial series explaining it. The basic idea, though, is that players choose one of a number of heroes (five of them are unlocked initially, and the others are unlocked via in-game currency), and fight on a team of five champions against a team of five other champions. While each champion has unique talents and attributes, there are five basic character archetypes. These include:

  • Enchanters –- low maximum health and low physical damage, but they output lots of ability damage and withstand ability damage better than other classes.
  • Defenders –- high survivability but low damage.
  • Warriors –- the most balanced class and the most versatile as a result. They take a fair amount of damage and deal a fair amount in return.
  • Strikers –- the physical damage equivalent of Enchanters, meaning lots of damage but very low survivability.
  • Tacticians –- slightly more survivability than average but focus on AOE disruption and controlling the flow of movement across a lane.

In most PC MOBA games, players shop at an item store for items to upgrade their characters as the game progresses. Guardians mixes things up by introducing a less UI-intensive series of systems that should help make the console experience go more smoothly. Players can set loadouts similar to League of Legends rune and mastery systems  before a game begins, except that the loadout options in Guardians are even more extensive. There are three loadout systems in place for players to manage and utilize throughout a game — Potions, Commands and Guardian Belts.

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