This led me to the 5 versus 5 battles, which are the clear centerpiece of the game. The PvP component is pretty self explanatory. You and your team fight against a team of opposing players. Likewise, the cooperative mode is probably nothing you haven't seen before, putting a team of players up against a team of AI controlled characters. To the game's credit, I was actually fairly impressed by the enemy AI in the PvE matches. While I'm sure it does things that experienced MOBA veterans would be able to exploit, more average players should the AI smart enough to hold its own.
Combat itself is pretty no frills on the surface. You'll start the game on one side of the map and then fight your way up battle lanes (one or three depending on preference) trying to destroy your enemy's base structures while they do the same to you. Your Guardian is one fighter mixed in the melee and you'll need to employ and upgrade your skills and equipment to help turn the tide of battles that are otherwise basically even.
Despite this basic simplicity, spending even a few hours with the game makes it very clear that to truly excel you're going need to do more than just mash buttons and hope for the best. You'll need to practice and above all, experiment. Guardians of Middle-earth features thirty-six unlockable Guardians all of which were available in the preview version. I spent a good deal of time experimenting with different classes and characters and the variety impressed me and even surprised. The character I wound up liking the most was well outside my usual preferences. Factor in things like equipment and the gem an relic upgrades each character can equip, and things get even more interesting. In the end, even with a cast of just three dozen, the game manages some solid diversity that should give players a lot of different options to play around with.
Based on what it is right now, Guardians of Middle-earth looks as though it will be a decent addition to the PC MOBA scene. There's perhaps room for improvement; we imagine the game will need to add more content down the line if it's going to compete with some of the more robust games already available (and in some cases free). That said, I came away from it entertained and think it has the potential to establish itself if it can gain a large enough fan base following its launch.