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Lord of the Rings mobile game asks players to preserve Middle-earth’s history

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In The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth, which launched Wednesday for Android and iOS devices, tasks players with traversing a timeline of JRR Tolkien’s most beloved works. This means, generally speaking, recreating key events in turn-based battles where the good guys prevail.

But not all the time.

“In fact, there’s a part in the tutorial when we actually unlock the ‘Shadow Side’ campaigns where our narrator, Eärendil, actually talks to him,” Nikolas Reinhart, game director at Capital Games, told Play Gamez. “But basically, he’s a victim — he doesn’t like the fact that you have to go out of your way to make sure the bad guys win.”

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“Bad things still need to happen,” said design director Jay Ambrosini.

But the bad things will follow the rest of the good things that Capital Games has envisioned for The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earthIn the mold of a “collection RPG” star wars: Galaxy of HeroesThe very successful Android and iOS title that Capital Games launched in 2015 with Electronic Arts. As galaxy of heroes, heroes of middle-earth is a free-to-play game that revolves around unlocking, collecting and deploying some of the most recognizable characters from Tolkien’s canon as a squad of Champions sent back in time to set things right .

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Ambrosini said, “We were inspired a lot by being kids in the late ’70s, early ’80s, growing up with toys and playing in the backyard with action figures — it’s the same thing.” “That’s what we’re trying to recreate there. You have a lovingly created figure that you really believe is a representation of Frodo or Strider. And then you’re with your friends, and you are like Yes, what if Sauron was there? A lot of it has to do with recreating those moments of sitting down and playing with their toys.

The groove for it is, narratively, the player searching for “a ring unlike any before,” Reinhart said in a media presentation last week. “And with this ring, players can bridge time and space, bringing together characters of different ages to create incredible what if-Styled squads, mixing and matching characters that have never been together before.

In addition to these what-if team-ups, The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth will delve into the alternate timeline, proposing scenarios fans have long wondered about: what if Galadriel, for example, had accepted the One Ring from Frodo and become the Dark Queen she feared. Was? “We’re going to explore these questions authentically with our players,” Ambrosini said. “We’re excited to take literature and re-imagine it in new and exciting ways.”

heroes of middle-earth In development for over two years. Reinhart allowed that the game was born out of business decisions – as Capitol Games was looking for its next project, Reinhart said, the studio was asking if other fandoms could be served with something like this. galaxy of heroes, but instead of skinning galaxy of heroes How units dress and ship in Lord of the Rings is what Capital Games’ designers knew they had to start with a narrative that explained why an eclectic set of characters could recreate old battles.

Thus, there you have the opening sequence: Strider (Aragorn) and Frodo arrive at Weathertop on their journey to Rivendell with the rest of the Hobbits. They encounter the Nazgul in a combat tutorial sequence, with two characters unlocked for the player to use, and they make their way to Rivendell.

But along the way, players must recognize themes The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Reinhart said. Aragorn is a tank-like entity, drawing the attack on himself and away from the Hobbits. If he scores a critical hit, any hobbits with him will enter a stealth mode that both distracts and damages the opponent while limiting their own exposure.

“You’d never imagine Frodo standing front and center [and] be like, kill meAmbrosini explained, “while on the other hand, you get Sam[wise Gamgee]who comes over and soon, he’ll throw an apple over somebody’s head and be like, Hey! Over here, big man!,

In The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth, the Nazgûl corrupt Frodo by brandishing a sting.

The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth will task players with exploring an alternate timeline and restoring the canon of Tolkien novels.
Image: EA Capital Games / Electronic Arts

The Riders of Rohan, for example, are another unit among the 46 characters that are unlockable on launch day. Evidently, the capitol could not bring up the entire cavalry charge. heroes of middle-earth, whose squads are made up of four units. Instead, the Knights of Rohan are represented in teamwork attacks; The one shown to the media depicts the sword being tossed to a partner, who catches it in midair to deal with the blow.

When asked whether the free-to-play game would follow a seasonal or battle pass model of unlockable content, Ambrosini hedged. “There will be multiple deadlines; We are teaming up with Middle-earth Enterprises [the licensing authority for the Lord of the Rings franchise] on that,” he said.

Still, Reinhart, Ambrosini and the rest of Capitol Games are mindful of the risks of a rapid spread among mobile games, especially licensed ones. That is: A free-to-play game launches on a mobile platform, garners a lot of interest and attention for its first few months, then disappears from mainstream consciousness once its initial content is out.

heroes of middle-earth“The makers already have a full year of post-launch content,” Reinhart said. It consists of missions and encounters with three campaigns: Light, Shadow, and Guild, the latter beginning with a raid mission in the Mines of Moria.

“Live [service] Sports is a dance,” Reinhart said. “You have to plan that dance. We said in our presentation that we’ve got a year’s worth of content on our roadmap that specifically accounts for this issue. We’re giving them time, trying to make sure we’re doing the right things by the players — Are you giving them the right mix of stuff? – but also making sure we take a fair amount of time to develop something in relation to how they want to play the game.

Reinhart insisted that it’s all tied together into a single experience, narratively speaking, as opposed to a menu of silent missions that have nothing to do with each other. “Each of these is a different story told inside a concept,” he said, “which is, basically, we have a shadowy figure trying to disrupt these stories, and then you can create your own story.” Coming up with the heroes you’ve gathered to right that wrong, so that the story matches up in the end.

lord of the rings: heroes of middle-earth Launched on Wednesday, May 10 and is available for iOS and Android devices through the App Store and Google Play.

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