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MOBA Of Sauron: The Guardians of Middle-earth

Popular culture is slowly dripping into the MOBA genre. It's remained fairly resistant to the wider world until now (probably because the wider world is a noob and was shouted at until it logged off), and I can only think of DC's Infinite Crisis as an interloper from elsewhere. Now it's time for Tolkien's Middle-earth to form some lanes and take on Dota 2 and LoL: Guardians of Middle-earth, a console-based MOBA from Monolith, is coming to the PC this month. I have a trailer.

You can buy it as a full whack, or just the base and build up your hero deck through playing it or spending in-game currency. The six maps will drop you into places like The Shire and Mirkwood. PC treats will include match-streaming (via Raptr), and some exclusive skins. And how much for all this? You'd think that the prevailing winds would steer them into making a free-to-play game. You'd be wrong.

Guardians of Middle-earth for PC will be available at multiple purchase levels: the base game for £14.99 which includes playable, immediately unlocked Guardians Gandalf, Galadriel, Thráin, Gollum, Hildifons and Legolas and their alternate skins, and the Mithril Edition for £60.99 which includes all 36 playable Guardians, 36 alternate skins, the Mithril Guardian Relic and a buddy key. The 36 alternate Guardian skins will be available for purchase in class-specific bundles which include five Guardians and their five alternate skins for £11.99. In addition, gamers can purchase Smaug’s Treasure, which includes in-game currency and Smaug’s Greed Relic for £6.99.

I can't imagine why you'd charge for a game of this type when the two tent-pole releases are free-to-play and absolutely rolling in money. Particularly when the thing is a port, and not an original title. By all accounts it's a decent game, and it managed to take the complexities of MOBAs and squeeze them neatly onto a joypad. But even with the one name to rule them all, I worry it'll struggle to grow an audience.

Watch on YouTube

It's out August 29th.

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