Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have just announced their newest addition to the LOTR franchise – Guardians of Middle-earth, a new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Monolith Productions, which is set to debut in Autumn 2012 on XBLA and PSN.
Here’s the official skinny on the game, according to that announcement:
Guardians of Middle-earth brings up to 10 players together in five versus five competitive multiplayer battle arenas in the epic setting of Middle-earth. The game offers more than 20 iconic guardians, including Gandalf, Sauron, Gollum, Thráin and many more, for players to control in player versus player (PVP) matches. Gamers will have the ability to connect with other players via an in-game voice communication system, as well as access to a comprehensive online stat and leader board system where they can track friends’ victories and defeats, and more.
“The MOBA genre is wildly popular with PC players and we are excited to bring it to consoles through the lore of Middle-earth,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Production and Development at WBIE. “The heroes and villains of Middle-earth are crafted in a way that perfectly intersects with MOBA game features, allowing the development team to create guardians with deep skills and abilities for gamers to master.”
And here is the stunning-looking E3 cinematic trailer that swiftly followed the unveiling:
According to the first press releases, the game will feature tie-ins to Peter Jackson’s upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie: fans can look forward to several new playable guardians releasing in conjunction with the film, to allow gamers to actively participate in Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle-earth.
So far details are a little sparse, but there is some information relating to the upcoming title available – here’s the synopsis and features we can all look forward to…
shadow grows over Middle-earth as the greatest armies of the Third Age prepare for the coming battle. Take up arms in the clash over Middle-earth with the most powerful heroes from the greatest fantasy epic of all time. Form memorable and unlikely alliances with and against friends as the wildly popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre comes to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.
- Enter the fray in epic 5 versus 5 engagements with live players or AI combatants
- Fight as over 20 iconic guardians from Middle-earth — each with different strengths and abilities to develop and master
- Purchase items and buffs between matches using in-game currency earned through combat
- Track victories and defeats at any time through stat and leaderboard systems
- Coordinate with allies using in-game voice communication for a uniquely social Multiplayer Online Battle Arena experience
- Engage in the continuing conflict over Middle-earth with new guardians to be revealed post launch, with several released in conjunction with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey motion picture to deliver gamers a deeper connection to Peter Jackson’s epic film
You can follow all of our Guardians of Middle-Earth coverage on our dedicated game hub-page here, where you’ll find game details, trailers, screenshots and features focused on the MOBA title. The game is set for release in the Autumn of this year.