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It's December 2012, which means we're rapidly approaching the end of the Mayan calendar and the possible end of the world. While others …
We've been talking a lot about Guardians of Middle-earth over the past few months, with a steady stream of character reveals and tutorial videos for the Tolkien-inspired MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title. Though beyond the multimedia fanfare preceding its imminent release, Guardians of Middle-earth carries weighty ambition as the first true title of the genre developed specifically for consoles.
The MOBA is a notoriously delicate genre, requiring nearly constant post-launch supervision in order to maintain the balance of character power as player strategies evolve over time. That balance necessitates regular updates and patches, the kind of support that's seemingly at odds with the "closed system" of a console, which normally requires any changes be vetted by the manufacturer's certification process.
When we spoke with producers Bob Roberts and Ruth Pomandl last month, they briefly touched on their plan to issue real-time updates without needing to repeatedly pass through the lengthy and expensive, recertification process. In an interview with VG247, Roberts further explained the importance of fine-tuning character balance and how they intend to continue those tweaks after the title has gone live.
"We did also build a system for having a lot of our balance database saved in cloud storage, that you’re going to download every time you launch the game. It’s a very small, quick update that doesn't have to go through certification, so we can update it every day, every week – however often we need to if we see critical balance issues."
Over the last two months, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions have, like a sagely Mr. Miyagi, or a learned Obi-Wan, tried to teach us the ways of the MOBA. Today, those lessons are complete, as the final video in the "MOBA Mastery" series debuts in preparation for the December 5 launch of Guardians of Middle-earth. The multiplayer online battler pits teams of Tolkien-inspired heroes against one another, utilizing their varied skills and abilities to achieve control of the environment, and sweep the leg of their opponents.
The fifth, and final, video brings together all the elements discussed in previous weeks, culminating with team strategy and how a match unfolds. If you've missed any of the previous weeks, you can find week one, two, three and four, by hitting those links, and part five after the jump.
Thanks to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions and their ongoing efforts of to get your MOBA skills up to snuff, the fourth video in their MOBA Mastery guide is available for your dissection. The video series, aimed at exploring the genre in broad strokes and progressively finer detail in preparation for the December 5 launch of Guardians of Middle-earth, continues to peel away another layer of strategy this week. Like an unending, informative, Tolkienian onion.
Last week we got word that The Walking Dead: Episode 5 – No Time Left would shuffle onto Xbox Live Arcade on November 21. In order to ease the anticipation, or maybe to crank it up, Telltale Games has released the above trailer for your…enjoyment? Note that the video contains strong language. If that's not your speed, hit the jump to check out some screenshots from the upcoming season finale.
As the first season of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead nears its conclusion, the developer invites players to see how their decisions from episode four, Around Every Corner, stack up against the community as a whole, just as they have with the other three episodes. See the jump for more – but be warned, spoilers for episode four abound.
The comic mini-series that saw the Marvel universe torn asunder back in 2006, Civil War, is coming to Xbox Live Arcade. Zen Studios, the development house behind the addictive Pinball FX2, announced today that the new standalone DLC table, Marvel Civil War, will be available for download November 21 for 240 MSP.
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Warlords, the re-remake of the classic Atari mash-up between Breakout and Pong, invades XBLA today. In Warlords, players defend their castle walls from …
Planets Under Attack, the sci-fi strategy title that challenges players with aggressive expansion, is finally coming to XBLA. Microsoft's Major Nelson confirmed via Twitter that Planets Under Attack will hit the digital platform this week, and further clarified a launch date of November 14 for 1200 MSP.