Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 44
  2. Negative: 3 out of 44
  1. Dec 14, 2012
    Between the simplified controls, easy to understand Guardian Belt system, and the optional timer for matches, it's also one of the best ways to get into the genre.
  2. Dec 13, 2012
    Even if you don't particularly care for Tolkien, there's a lot to love here in spite of the annoying server issues.
  3. Dec 10, 2012
    Guardians of Middle-earth is an excellent game hobbled by bad network performance. I am continually drawn back to the exceptional gameplay, only to be repulsed by a disconnection or unbearably long matchmaking queue. I can see myself playing this for months on end if and when Monolith solves the lag and connectivity problems.
  4. Dec 7, 2012
    I definitely think the game is worth checking out, provided the online issues get fixed quickly enough.
  5. Dec 11, 2012
    Guardians of Middle-Earth is a good surprise to be the first MOBA game for consoles. The new control system via gamepad works perfectly and the charisma of the Lord of the Rings setting do the rest. The only two maps are a frustrating limitation but although this tactical gameplay and balance are the real bonuses of Monolith production.
  6. Dec 12, 2012
    If the network code worked, Guardians of Middle-earth would have come highly recommended, but an online game that delivers a poor online experience simply isn't worth your money.
  7. Dec 10, 2012
    For the $15 asking price, you'd be hard-pressed to find another multiplayer experience on a console with this much meat on its bones.
  8. Dec 7, 2012
    Guardians Of Middle Earth is a clumsy debut of the MOBA genre on consoles. Some flaws of the gameplay make it only recommended for true fans of the genre and of The Lord of the Rings.
  9. Dec 11, 2012
    Monolith has done a great job making a MOBA game work very well with a controller. Will I say after putting the time I have into GoME have I become good at MOBA games? No. Will I say I had a fun time with the fast game play, deep customization and online play? Absolutely. MOBA players should look into this game, and interested in the genre should absolutely check Guardians of Middle-Earth out. It is well worth the $15 pricetag.
  10. Dec 17, 2012
    If you are craving some LotR action or want to play a bold new MOBA, there is a lot to like about Guardians of Middle-earth. It's a shame that its lackluster community and frustrating technical issues get in the way of that.
  11. Dec 10, 2012
    It's a good first step for MOBA's genre on consoles but it lacks depth during matches.
  12. Dec 5, 2012
    It's easy to see how Monolith has made Middle-earth as accessible as it can be for first-time MOBA players without skimping too much on all the trimmings of what makes the genre so much fun on PC. The developers have also created a game that manages to capture the magic of the LotR universe without alienating those unfamiliar to the series. Truly a crowd-pleaser, Middle-earth is a great example of what a console MOBA should feel like and easily sets the bar for more games to come.
  13. Dec 12, 2012
    Monolith has done great work in crafting a control scheme that feels completely without compromise and entirely suited to console, and has designed an accessible, familiar and extremely deep MOBA with the just as much panache as the games it imitates.
  14. Dec 5, 2012
    After playing Guardians of Middle-Earth every day for the past week, I'm happy to say that the title is a successful attempt to bring the MOBA experience to the console.
  15. Dec 11, 2012
    Being among the first of the console MOBAs, Guardians Of Middle-Earth could've been a gentle introduction to an intimidating genre, providing a welcoming hand for players new to the MOBA, but a split focus between accessibility and complexity means neither genre greenhorns nor greybeards will end up feeling truly satisfied.
  16. Dec 6, 2012
    With Guardians of Middle Earth, Monolith's purpose was to bring the MOBA genre to the console audience, trying to adapt the mouse & keyboard gameplay to the gamepad without sacrificing too much. Mission accomplished, since GoME really brings the MOBA spirit to console, but the lack of game modes and the few maps will bore you in short order.
  17. Dec 5, 2012
    With a slick interface and solid MOBA game mechanics, Guardians of Middle Earth gives a healthy dose of Lord of the Rings gameplay while being a very good title for everyone alike.
  18. Dec 14, 2012
    For representing an untested genre on consoles, Guardians of Middle Earth acquits itself pretty well. If only the online functionality was as airtight as its core strategy, we'd have a truly great mashup on our hands.
  19. Dec 27, 2012
    The game brings the MOBA genre to consoles and the LOTR franchise and made a nice start for it. The controls are simple to pick up and the game offers diversity in characters and upgrades. However, the game lacks this diversity in levels and is bugged bij lag and long waiting times in between matches. A nice start, but not yet the result we hoped for.
  20. Dec 10, 2012
    An extremely successful attempt to reproduce Dota style action strategy on consoles, with a game that's considerably more accessible than its inspirations.
  21. Dec 7, 2012
    Guardians of Middle-Earth is a good attempt to bring MOBA game mechanics to the console. It has tactical depth, it's balanced and is a great cooperative experience.
  22. 80
    With just one map for each lane approach (split between two play styles), Guardians' limited scope left us itching for just a bit more variety. But the game rewards obsessive, repeated play with extensive tactical depth, making such a streamlined approach remarkably effective.
  23. Dec 7, 2012
    In Guardians of Middle-earth, console players finally have the chance to investigate a hitherto unknown area of gaming, and it's arguably one of the most positive experiences I've had in the genre.
  24. Dec 10, 2012
    Controls are easy to pick up, the rank and reward system is motivating, the choice of playable characters is surprisingly large. But when it comes to maps and modes, the content falls short.
  25. Dec 6, 2012
    After spending time with Guardians of Middle-earth I can see why MOBAs on PC have a dedicated following, while at the same time I'm surprised that it took so long for a serious, full-fledged MOBA to appear on consoles. The game is a blast to play and it makes such great use of the The Lord of the Rings license that it's inspired me to want to watch the movies again for the nth time.
  26. Pelit (Finland)
    Feb 21, 2013
    Guardians of Middle-Earth is an entertaining tactical action RPG, which borrows its basic gameplay from the tried and tested DotA. [Feb 2013]
  27. CD-Action
    Feb 6, 2013
    Not only the first real MOBA game for consoles, but also one of the better ones in this sub-genre. There’s not many flaws I can point out in GoMe. If anything, I doubt its longevity – there are only 22 guardians to choose from and capabilities of building a community are much smaller than on PC. [CD-Action 02/2013, p.42]
  28. Dec 28, 2012
    Although Guardians of Middle Earth's gameplay can be enjoyable, and it does an admirable job of bringing those who play it into realm of the game's locale, the long loading times, lacklustre sound, and "at-best-average" graphics really bring down the whole experience to that of a mediocre title that could have been much better.
  29. Jan 2, 2013
    For ancient king and Elvish lord, Guardians of Middle-earth is stuck in the Mystical Bog of Latency Irritation. Its system's solidly built and there's the appearance of depth crying to be uncovered. However, those cries aren't being heard. This isn't the first time a multiplayer-only XBLA title has effectively been broken online. It deserved a better fate than this.
  30. 50
    It isn't entirely awful - even dodgy MOBA games can provide a lot of fun - but the myriad flaws suggests that it's badly misunderstood its audience. It's like being handed a love letter that was written by someone who had Googled 'seduction'. The effort they've put in is clearly endearing, but sorry - we're just not interested.
  31. Dec 18, 2012
    Guardians of Middle Earth gets the basics right--it's a playable MOBA that you can drive with a control pad. But in the process of streamlining this notoriously complex genre, it sacrificed a bit too much at the altar of accessibility.
  32. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Jan 29, 2013
    Monolith has managed to introduce a relatively difficult genre to consoles, only to fall at the simplest of hurdles. [Issue#94, p.79]
  33. Jan 14, 2013
    There is definitely something to like with Guardians of Middle-Earth and Monolith has done a good job breaking down the key points of MOBA and bringing it to consoles with its own controls.
  34. Jan 16, 2013
    It would be unfair to say that it does not have potential, but it's currently unbalanced, with few players and serious problems with connectivity to the servers. It may seem strange to some players, but it's still a well done adaptation of a genre with such particular gameplay.
  35. Jan 22, 2013
    Guardians of Middle-earth is the first game to bring the immensely popular MOBA -genre to consoles. Thankfully it does it well. Small, but clever changes makes controlling heroes easy, and the fights are both engaging and fun.
  36. Dec 5, 2012
    Easily as deep and addicting a MOBA as you'd find on the PC, Guardians of Middle-Earth should appeal to newcomers and veterans of the genre alike. Add in the Lord of the Rings flair and this should be money well spent for most gamers.
  37. Jan 1, 2013
    Guardians of Middle-Earth has many flaws. It's not pretty, spells are too bright and chaotic (you can't see what's going on), and there are some technical issues - lags are permanent, as well as random disconnections (and you can't return to a game you just involuntarily left) and sometimes you have to wait up to 10 minutes for other players. Plus the AI is stupid. So why such a high grade? The game has no competition on the consoles and gives tons of joy. The gameplay is very pleasant regardless of the player being hardcore or casual.
  38. Dec 7, 2012
    The game's not perfect, and if the genre doesn't already appeal to you, this probably won't be the entry to convince you otherwise. But it is a neat experiment in translating a very PC-centric experience over to the console space, and a fun throwdown featuring some of fantasy's finest.
  39. Dec 6, 2012
    A hardcore experience in just about every sense of the word. If you're looking for a simple hack-and-slash brawler, you'll need to look elsewhere. Strategy is paramount here, and while the skill - or lack thereof - of your teammates can indeed doom you to failure, the rewarding feeling of waging a successful war is well worth it.
  40. 80
    By all rights, doing a proper MOBA on console shouldn't be possible – but not only have Monolith managed to make it work, in some aspects Guardians of Middle-Earth actually feels and plays better than the PC games its inspired by.
  41. Dec 10, 2012
    Although hardcore professional players may scoff at the general lack of skill in public games, most of you will enjoy the experience, and the fact that the developers were able to actually create a solid MOBA experience on a console should be commended.
  42. Dec 10, 2012
    Guardians of Middle-earth sacrifices a lot of complexity to work as a console game. Hardcore MOBA fans will disapprove of the changes, but genre newbies looking for some team-based, Tolkien-inspired fun will happily take these heroes and villains to war.
  43. Dec 5, 2012
    I am really impressed with GOME, AI issues notwithstanding. As a gateway to MOBAs, this game hooked me in a way I did not expect. It's got that immediate gratification spirit to it, where I finish a match and immediately want to jump into another.
  44. Jan 2, 2013
    Speaking of shameless, Guardians of Middle Earth is unabashedly grind-based. As you play, you earn ingame currency you spend on new characters, on slottable character improvements, and on potions that you can use once. Potions that drain your resources so you have to keep playing to stay competitive. Weak potions are cheap. Powerful potions aren't. Spend to win.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 73
  2. Negative: 10 out of 73
  1. Dec 5, 2012
    quick games, great gameplay. AND ITS LORD OF THE RINGS!. How can it get any better. I've played Mobas for years, and this one appeals to me inquick games, great gameplay. AND ITS LORD OF THE RINGS!. How can it get any better. I've played Mobas for years, and this one appeals to me in a soft spot that none of the others can. My need for time (short games) and my love for middle earth. Full Review »
  2. Jan 25, 2013
    I love this game and they made an amazing transition to console with the moba genre that I was not sure could ever be done. So now your problyI love this game and they made an amazing transition to console with the moba genre that I was not sure could ever be done. So now your probly wondering why I gave it only a score of 4, well ill tell you. Since this game has been released I have not been able to play a full game. It has nothing but connection problems on the 360 version at least and although they keep promising a fix, each patch seems just as bad if not worse then before. I would love to say you should get this game but until they fix the ridiculous connection problems, and the slight snowballing that still exists, I just cant get this a better score. They should have dedicated servers and that would fix all their problems. I like to say if they dont have dedicated servers you know their not dedicated developers. They would love to have you believe Im the only one experiencing this but from talking to people in game I am in the majority not the minority and this is literally the only xbox 360 game I have any connections issues with, and I love multiplayer games so I can assure you its the game and not my connection. If they ever fix this issue I will return and update my review but as of now I dont see any fixes in the future and I feel robbed for buying a game and all its dlc ( I pre-ordered the dlc thinking the connection issue was only because it had just been released) and now cant play the game at all because like I said I already now I wont be able to finish a whole one. Full Review »
  3. Jan 4, 2013
    Easy to learn, but the tutorials dragged a bit. Easy to play, but it's repetitive and boring. Very nice-looking, but it all seems the sameEasy to learn, but the tutorials dragged a bit. Easy to play, but it's repetitive and boring. Very nice-looking, but it all seems the same after a while. Basic, plain, average - give it a try and see what you think. Full Review »