July 2, 2012 by Paul Curtin
While Blizzard and Valve have been fighting in the courts for the past year over who owns the rights to the “Defense of the Ancients” name, WB Games has unexpectedly thrown their hat into the whole DotA race with their own version of the popular MOBA genre using the Lord of the Rings brand. But unlike Valve’s Dota 2, Blizzard’s All-Stars, Heroes of Newerth, League of Legends, and the original DotA Warcraft III mod, Guardians of Middle-Earth will be released only on consoles instead of on PCs.
I got a chance to watch Guardians of Middle-Earth in action at E3 last month, but unfortunately didn’t have the time to wait in line to get my own hands-on preview. From what I saw, the game looks very impressive in terms of giving players the same look and feel offered on PCs and more importantly successfully re-mapping the controls from a mouse and keyboard to a controller. In the version I saw there wasn’t much in terms of a character selection; it seemed like just enough to fill up two teams of five with all the main characters from the movies such as Sauron and Gandalf, so I’m not clear on WB’s plans to release a massive roster like other DotA clones.
Guardians of Middle-Earth is set for release on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this fall. Check out the first look at gameplay and official synopsis below:
A shadow grows over Middle-earth as the greatest armies of the Third Age prepare for the coming battle. Take up arms in the clash over Middle-earth with the most powerful heroes from the greatest fantasy epic of all time. Form memorable and unlikely alliances with and against friends as the wildly popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre comes to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.