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Guardians of Middle-Earth bends Lord of the Rings canon

Friday, 27 July 2012 03:21 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Monolith has had to risk offending hardcore Lord of the Rings fans with new MOBA Guardians of Middle Earth.

Speaking to Eurogamer, producer Ruth Tomandl said that the realities of game design just don’t allow for “purist” interpretations of beloved characters.

“We are bending how the match-ups would play out in ‘real life’. Obviously, every character needs to have a chance against every other character,” she said.

“This isn’t a game necessarily for purists, and the purists will realise that.”

Hence your opportunity to beat Sauron up with Gollum, or team Galadriel with a villain. We can hear you choking on your neckbeard from here.

Guardians of Middle-Earth releases in northern autumn on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, around the time The Hobbit hits cinemas.

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16 Comments

  1. Ghil

    I don’t have a neckbeard, but I am choking. That’s a really bad idea for a MOBA, and a complete disrespect of the base material.

    It’s not about being a purist game or not, it’s about having the respect to not touch something you can’t live up to. We’re not talking about the last hollywood blockbuster…we’re talking about a masterpiece of literature that took an entire life to realize itself. This is about respect and love of an incredible piece of art.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. viralshag

    @1, I think that’s bit of an extreme way to look at it. After all, they’re not rewriting any of the story or actually changing lore as such. They’re simply balancing characters for a particular game.

    I think it would be a little crazy for players, neckbearded fans or not, to not be able to get over that.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    All of a sudden, the MOBA space is starting to get a little crowded. But with Guild Wars 2 just under a month away and End of Nations on the horizon, I will stick to League of Legends until then. Cant beat a bit of Annie or Ms Fortune in Mafia skin :)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Hirmetrium

    @2: I think #1 is on the money though. Get your filthy hands out of an amazingly rich, lore filled piece of literature and come up with something original instead of bastardising it. I’m sure some developers would shudder at the idea of not playing true to your source material.

    And, after all, if you don’t pay your source material any respect, it stops becoming LOTR DOTA and instead turns into a cheap LOTR knockoff with all the same names and character designs from the movie.

    And a statement like this does nothing but set those alarm bells off. What else isn’t for the purists? the whole game?

    #4 3 years ago
  5. OrbitMonkey

    It’s a videogame… Who gives a shit? It’ll have zero cultural impact.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. viralshag

    @4, Fair point. I wouldn’t have thought it was that big a deal but maybe it’s because I’m not a die hard fan. I do like LOTR and I would probably give this a go.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Puggy

    So you are saying we get some basic stats like Strength, dodge%, Hit% and the like, put under a graphical shape that somehow resembles characters from a book?
    Well, at least the name will sell.

    And just for the record, Video Games do have cultural impact. I mean there were people who have worked hard to make video games accepted as a form of art. And let us not forget how video games have changed society and what people know about other religions, traditions and all.

    Just imagine somebody mentioning Sephiroth back in 1996. Most people would have stared at you blankly not knowing what you were talking about. Then about 1997 some game was released and loads of people started to google “Sephiroth” learning about its meaning and the Jewish kabbalah.
    Not to mention Diablo, Belial, generally demon and god concepts from the Megami series.

    Video Games do tackle to a degree some of today problems and some can be seen as criticism toward th current social systems. Sure, there are not that many, but they are there. Some games tackle scientific question like what is memory? What is personality? Do we exist?

    Then again, all things only have as much cultural impact as you want them to have. Movies? Just some moving pictures. Pictures? Just some paint on a surface. Books? Mere signs, strung together to be identified as a certain sound. Music? Just vibration of the air around you, perceived by your ears, interpreted by your brain. For more information on that topic, look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homunculus_argument.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. GrimRita

    @6 its a bit like Star Wars. When the cannon gets screwed over, fans throw their toys out of the pram.

    Like myself. I want to buy Star Wars on Blu ray, but wont thanks to those fucking awful changes made to Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi – one of the most powerful moments in movie history, and ‘NOOOOOOOO’ returns to haunt us *shudders*

    #8 3 years ago
  9. absolutezero

    The realities of dota-clone creation is that it limits the amount of creative freedom. All the character have to conform to some sterotype or another, all the moves will have comparable skills in every other dota-clone. The map will be the same with a slightly different texture, possibly some slightly different tall grass.

    The dota archetype is so defined and tight that this surge in games copying one another is really really off-putting.

    Especially for someone like me that thinks its the worst piece of game design for the past 10 years.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Gheritt White

    Tl;dr.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. OrbitMonkey

    @7, Calm down dear. Let me fix it. “It’ll be a shitty little cash in videogame etc etc”.

    Though videogames in general have little lasting cultural impact.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. GrimRita

    @9 yet so popular! lol. I think thats one of the reasons why I like Dominion in LoL – a bit different from the ‘norm’

    #12 3 years ago
  13. absolutezero

    I understand I’m in the minority when it comes to this, it just boggles my mind how many hours my friends dump into Dota 2 for instance. Despite trying Dota, HoN and LoL I just cannot for the life of me see any of the appeal.

    Its a game where one player can win or lose the entire match, the match can last upwards of an hour and because the gametype is so defined and so reliant on people doing what they have to theres next to no avenues for experimentation and improvisation. Every match is much the same as the one before it only theres slightly different particle effects floating around. Everything is mapped from what you should be buying in the shop, to how you have to play in order to be effective, to where your character should be on the map, to the best skill builds. You have to be effective otherwise you are wasting 4 other peoples time, and its a significant amount of time unless you want to get punished for leaving.

    It reminds me so much of WoW arena only its not over in 5 minutes and its not all that much fun.

    Its like someone created a recipe custom built to make every last player as angry as possible.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. GrimRita

    @13 maybe thats the appeal. WoW arena without the grind lol. But I think one of the key reasons for the success of this genre is a) its free to play b) clever MTs

    In LoL almost everything can be purchased with either Riot Points(which you pay cash for) or XP that you build up after every game you play. It’s this combo imo that has made it a successful game.

    Guild Wars 2 appears to be going in the same direction with Gems thus meaning the fear of ‘pay to win’ is not there.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. viralshag

    @14, I think you got that right. I play LoL, not a huge amount but enough that I have been able to purchase quite a bit of stuff unlocked just by playing the game.

    It IS a grind, but it’s a fun grind with rewards that are actually pretty good.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. DarkElfa

    @6, that’s why they’re doing this. They know almost any fan would give it a go. They know they can’t make the box fit the packaging, but it’s worth to much in name alone to go with something unknown.

    Easier to just change what makes it what it is and sell the name to people.

    …like a 5 dollar crack whore selling you the world’s worst pussy for 2 bucks, it cheapens both you and them.

    #16 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Ace indie giant-slayer Titan Souls will be released on PS4, Vita and PC on April 14. Publisher Devolver confirmed the date to Eurogamer. Those of us in Europe will have to wait until a day later for release. Titan Souls is a tough-as-nails indie game where you have one life to slay a giant enemy. […]

  • Destiny weekly update: lowdown on Inferno Crucible, Vault Transfer improvements

    Destiny’s weekly update has made some pretty significant changes – let Arekkz Gaming take you through them. Bungie has revealed the first release date for the new Inferno Crucible mode, and made it a lot easier to access your vault. You should subscribe to Arekkz Gaming. It will improve your life.

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory Feb 27, 28

    It’s Xursday again – what treats does he have for you this week? He’s in the North Tower, to the right of the Stranger’s room. Let’s take a look at the latest weapons and gear from your favourite Destiny trader. No Backup Plans [Titan Gauntlets] – 13SC ATS/8 Arachnid [Hunter Helmet] – 13SC Heart of […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will be stable on PC at launch, Visceral assures

    PC format is “by far the best gaming platform around,” says Hardline producer. “We’re doing what we can to take advantage of people’s different system with the graphics, framerate, controls, etc. We’re not just porting it over.” Battlefield Hardline developer Visceral is reassuring players that there will not be a repeat of the disastrous Battlefield […]

  • Win Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One

    We have 10 download codes for new indie puzzler Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One to give away. The be in with a chance of winning a code, just enter your details below and we’ll pull the winners from the hat on Monday March 2nd, after 2pm GMT. Pneuma: Breath of Life is a […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 delayed

    Life is Strange Episode 2 won’t make its expected release date. The first Life is Strange episode released on January 30, and we had expected the second to follow on March 13. Square Enix has since confirmed to Destructoid that the next chapter won’t make its release date. There’s been no word of the new […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: which character will be revealed tomorrow?

    Mortal Kombat X director Ed Boon is teasing a new character reveal. During today’s Mortal Kombat X livestream, NetherRealm said that a new character would be revealed “very soon”. Boon followed up with this teasing tweet suggesting the reveal will occur tomorrow: Very soon? As in tomorrow? :/ — Ed Boon (@noobde) February 26, 2015 […]

  • Halo played by Twitch is an exercise in great patience

    TwitchPlaysHalo is ridiculous. Halo: Combat Evolved is the latest game to be sucked into the “TwitchPlays” phenomenon, and the results are somewhat painful to spectate. If you’re not familiar with the setup, which debuted with TwitchPlaysPokemon, the game accepts commands from the channels’ chat stream. Although it doesn’t have the strategic RPG elements of Pokemon, […]

  • Gold Amiibo sold out, selling at five times RRP on auction sites

    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]