All this talk about action, accessibility, and features is meaningless without talking about introducing players to the game. Tutorials are a huge part of keeping the intimidation factor low. We were told that there will be numerous tutorials covering everything from basic map objectives to strategies you might form with your team. Because of this AI had to be put into place which means Guardians gets the benefit of some good ol co-op gaming. Guardians of Middle-Earth will support up to fives players in online co-op.
We were told there is actually a dedicated group of folks working on the bots for the game to make sure the AI is not only challenging and unpredictable, but also that they play fair and feel natural. Every guardian in the game is being carefully balanced for co-op play with specialized tools to adjust levels and timing of how they behave. "During play testing we've seen that the co-op is one of the most satisfying experiences," says Scott Thompson.
Better still for co-op players is the game's built in match making tools allow you to form groups or parties of players and stick together through co-op games. You can even play unbalanced co-op if you want the extra challenge of being out numbered.
Guardians of Middle-Earth was definitely our surprise game of E3 this year, and after talking with Scott and Ruth I'm frothing at the bit to get my hands on the title again. This is a game that's not a quick licensed tie-in, but rather it's a game that's been carefully crafted and created that just so happens to also contain a licensed property.
Guardians of Middle-Earth is slated for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network later this year.