12 cert, Warner Bros Games, PS3 (also Xbox 360)

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN& GAMES -

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.


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