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Guardians of Middle-earth

gamescom: Guardians of Middle-Earth gets the Witch-King

1:00 PM on 08.19.2012 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
  @CTZ

Like Allistair back at E3, Monolith Productions's Guardians of Middle-earth has gotten me interested in the MOBA scene finally. Personally, I've avoided games like DOTA 2, and League of Legends as what I usually see or hear of those games involves hardcore PC master race pro players in the tournament scene. 

After Guardians though, I actually want to start getting into MOBAs thanks largely to the easy to understand appeal of the newest Lord of the Rings based game. 

For those that have been paying attention to the game since it was originally revealed, Warner Bros. announced four new playable characters during gamescom this week. Arathorn (Aragorn's father), Legolas, Runsig, and the Witch-king. The video above shows off Legolas and Witch-king's abilities, with the Witch-king featuring some pretty evil attacks.

Witch-king: 

  • Malice: Causes Damage in area and improves next attack
  • Despair: Slows a targeted enemy and nearby enemies
  • Darkness: Taunts an enemy and reflects damage
  • Death: Causes Damage and reduces enemy healing

Legolas:

  • Greenwood Blades: Damages, roots and slows enemies in close range
  • Woodland Shot: Range attack causing ability damage, slow
  • Silvan Agility: Teleport, invisibility, increases move speed
  • Elven Onslaught: Knockback, ability damage, reduces resistances

Runsig: 

  • Catapult of Angmar: Catapult with increasing range, damage, health
  • Unbending: Creates shields for allies and structures
  • Forceful Call: Increases movement speed and health for nearby allies
  • March of the Northmen: Speed increases for allies and structures

Arathron:

  • Staggering Shot: Ranged attacked with ability damage and stun
  • Chieftain's Focus: Damages guardian or creature, increases own attack speed
  • Dúnedain Blade: Area attack that damages and slows enemies
  • Ranger's Strike: Damages and slows enemies, enter stealth

In particular, I love the Witch-king's Death ability which turns former enemies into his minions. 

So what made me finally interested in MOBAs? It's largely thanks to the console controls. All the attacks are mapped out on the controller, streamlining the process of battle. You just need to hold the right trigger to attack in combination with the face buttons to perform magic spells like the ones described for the characters above. 

It's a simple setup, but hardcore fans of MOBA games shouldn't worry. There will be a more advanced setup available, plus there's a lot going on with how you can customize your characters before a match. And if the concept of a MOBA is still flying over your head, then know that there will be a tutorial system to help players out who are completely new to the genre. 

I feel like the more I play and learn from Guardians of Middle-earth, the more I'll feel confident joining the PC master race with all the other MOBA goodness. Expect Guardians of Middle-earth sometime this fall on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. 

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