Guardians of Middle-Earth bends Lord of the Rings canon

Friday, 27th 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.



  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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 years ago
  5. OrbitMonkey

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

    #5 2 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 2 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

    #7 2 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 2 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 2 years ago
  10. Gheritt White


    #10 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 years ago

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