The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense Review
- Unique approach to meshing TLOTR with TD gameplay.
- Detailed and cleverly rendered key areas.
- Poor unit selection for special attacks.
- Low frame-rates.
- Poor audio quality.
Despite a fast update to enable full iDevice support, The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense still lacks in a few key areas, obscuring an otherwise competent tower-defense title.
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So how does one actually go about making a tower-defense game out of The Lord of the Rings franchise? While there are moments in which a traditional TD could work, extending it to the whole story would seem out of place. But unsurprisingly, Glu have considered this obvious hiccup and the solution was an altogether elegant one: Why not make the heroes of the story in to towers?
Instead of literal towers, each hero and incidental character is turned in to an attacking unit that has a limited range; walking to meet the enemies directly if they use melee attacks or shooting from afar if they are ranged. To even the odds players can place obstacles in the paths of the incoming waves, redirecting them to choke-points or areas being covered by your units and super-abilities can be unlocked for each hero to turn the tide despite your inferior numbers. Cash earned can be spent on either adding more characters from the story or upgrading the abilities of each unit.
Each area of the game is cleverly designed to not only replicate areas depicted in key story points, but also to provide strategic advantages and disadvantages that need to be covered by the units on hand. While the Retina display is supported, it only really serves to sharpen the simplistic models and textures used in the game and despite the small amount of units on screen the frame-rate was inconsistent and only worsened by the need to speed up the game at points.
Outside of these performance issues, Middle-earth Defense is a surprisingly apt adaption of The Lord of the Rings in to a tower-defense title and only other niggling problems such as needing to manually target heroes to activate abilities hamper the game. Worth checking out if you can stomach the premium pricing.
DescriptionNEW: PLUS MODE, 3 NEW LEVELS, 2 NEW PLAYER UNITS & 2 NEW ENEMY UNITS!!
RETINA DISPLAY 3D GRAPHICS!!
From deep within the dark lands of Mordor, Sauron's power grows. Protect Middle-earth from his advancing ranks in The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense!
POSITION YOUR HEROES
Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas and more - and deploy ally units such as Elven Archers or Hobbits to defend strongholds from relentless waves of attacking enemy forces.
Upgrade your Heroes to specialize them in one of four categories: speed, attack, range and skill. In Story Mode, play through 18 levels set in 7 unique 3D environments with story elements based on all three films in the trilogy. Or opt for Challenge Mode, where you'll face endless waves of attackers until you’ve run out of Battle Hit Points.
Try to best your high score in each environment! The battle for Middle-earth has begun -- stand and defend against the evil of the Dark Lord Sauron.
STRATEGIC DEFENSE-STYLE GAMEPLAY
with expertly crafted 3D environments based on story elements from all three films in the The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, such as Saruman's Tower of Orthanc and The Black Gate of Mordor.
GAME CENTER ACHIEVEMENTS
Collect 20 achievement-based Trophies to unlock certain characters and environments
3 GAMEPLAY STORY MODES: STORY, PLUS and CHALLENGE
A total of 18 levels set in 7 environments
Cycle through 7 environments, defending against wave after wave of attackers, until all your Battle Hit Points have been exhausted
- Position Heroes (towers) such as Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli, and Arwen; and deploy ally units such as Elven Archers, Gondorian Soldiers, Riders of Rohan, and the entire Fellowship of the Ring, including Frodo, Samwise, Merry, Pippin and Boromir.
- Heroes can use special attacks to cause more enemy damage
- Set blockades to create chokepoints for waves of invaders
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