Can Warner Bros Interactive's console game stand toe-to-toe with PC MOBAs?
Guardians of Middle Earth was released originally for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles in 2012. Now, with the announcement that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will be bringing the title to computers, PC gamers will have a whole new way to experience the lands of Middle-earth.
We were recently granted the opportunity to try out the PC build and were happy to find that it seems to be making smooth transition from consoles. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Despite its origins on the PS3 and Xbox 360, Guardians of Middle-earth is built on MOBA mechanics that saw their foundations on the PC. Bringing the game to computers is, in many ways, less of a stretch than releasing it on consoles in the first place.
In turn, perhaps the biggest difference between the console and PC versions is the addition of a mouse and keyboard control scheme. The original version was tailored toward play with a controller, and while the PC port does give you that option, substantial work was put into making sure Guardians would feel natural and intuitive to MOBA veterans.
It's work that clearly plaid off. Skills and actions are well distributed across the keyboard and, once I'd grown familiar with the layout, I rarely forgot what did what and which button corresponded with which ability. I did sometimes lose track of my mouse cursor when things got hectic on screen, but generally that a negligible problem that took a second or two at most to shrug off.
During the allotted play time I was privy to all of the major gameplay modes. These included 5 versus 5 PvP and PvE modes, "Survival," and some handy training and tutorial levels. It's worth noting that Survival, which will be a native part of the PC edition, was originally DLC on consoles. Apt to its name, Survival drops you and up to four allies into a battle against endless waves of increasingly difficult enemies. It's fun, but my team, in most cases, was overwhelmed pretty quickly and after a few losses I was ready to move on to something different.