Ever wonder who might win if Gandalf challenged Sauron to a 1v1 fight? I know I have, and now it looks like we'll finally get to see how that fight might play out. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has just announced Guardians of Middle-Earth, a 5v5 MOBA akin to Dota 2 and League of Legends, set for release on XBLA and PSN this fall.
Pick from a roster of over 20 different characters well known from the Lord of the Rings universe, including: Gandalf, Gollum, Thrain, and yes -- even Sauron himself. Samantha Ryan, senior vice president at WBIE, chimes in on Guardians' direction:
“The MOBA genre is wildly popular with PC players and we are excited to bring it to consoles through the lore of Middle-earth. 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.”
Developed by Monolith Productions, known for F.E.A.R., Condemned, and recently Gotham City Imposters, you can be certain Guardians of Middle-Earth will maintain a high standard of quality. The title will also feature tie-ins to the upcoming move The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, including additional characters released approaching the movie's release date.
Overall, it's hard not to maintain at least a healthy amount of skepticism here -- Lord of the Rings, MOBA, on consoles, download only, with movie tie-ins. Beyond that initial skepticism though, Guardians of Middle-Earth sounds like an awesome idea. If Monolith can pull this off, and those guys certainly deserve our trust, it's something to be excited about.
Again, Guardians of Middle-Earth is set for release in Fall 2012 via download only on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.