GUARDIANS OF MIDDLEEARTH ★★★
12 cert, Warner Bros Games, PS3 (also Xbox 360)
While fans are bickering about the merits and flaws of the first
Hobbit movie, another Tolkien tie-in has been released with a lot less fanfare. Guardians of
Middle-Earth is a scrappy and complex third-person combat/ tower defence game. Leading a band of warriors, you play an iconic character (choose from Gandalf to Golum and beyond) in order to defend your towers and attack those of your opponents. Online multiplayer is a big part of the appeal, but thankfully, artificial opponents will also jump into the fray. Much of the game revolves around dense, crowded combat, as you swing a weapon, use spells and make snap decisions about what to attack and defend and when to retreat. The menus and control options are daunting at first, but once the combat begins it’s agreeably frantic.
Guardians of Middle-Earth is limited but fun, generally falling on the right side of abject chaos.