From the talented team over at Electronic Art’s Capital Games and the world of J.R.R. Tolkien comes Lord Of The Rings: Heroes Of Middle-Earth. If you were looking for a game to scratch that Lord of the Rings itch, then you got one right here.
As is to be expected from a game of this infamous series, there are various reasons to play Heroes of Middle-Earth.
Whether you’re someone who prefers an engaging story, or a gamer that wants an addictive gameplay experience, we guarantee there’s a little something for everyone. No, we aren’t just saying this because we love Lord of the Rings.
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Of course, it wouldn’t be The Lord of the Rings without captivating visuals. As soon as you install and launch the game, you’ll be watching a beautifully animated cutscene.
While you can indeed choose to skip this, we highly recommend you watch it. After all, it’s the best way to understand the overall story they’re building up.
With the cutscene done, you’ll find yourself thrust into a battle from the get-go. That’s right, the tutorial would have started.
If you’ve played other turn based combat games like Honkai: Star Rail or Oz: Broken Kingdom before, then you’ll know exactly what to expect. Starting off with two characters, Frodo Baggins and Strider, you’ll make quick work of the enemies in the first wave by following the tutorial’s instructions.
However, you’ll end up wiping out, which will introduce you to the game’s primary way of getting new heroes. That’s right, there are several characters you can unlock and control in this game.
With that being said, this game’s way of unlocking new characters is summoning them through the power of the ring. Hey, at least now people unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings can connect the dots too.
After summoning your heroes, you will be led through some more core mechanics until the tutorial finally comes to an end. When it does, you’ll be given the option to either link your progress with a google play account or to continue playing as a guest.
Naturally, we would recommend you use a google play account, as there’s nothing worse than getting far into a game and accidentally losing your progress. Trust us, it hurts.
Understanding the Story
As we mentioned above, players that want something new from The Lord of the Rings universe will find it here.
The core plot of this story revolves around a new ring that has been found. This particular ring has the power to change the past by rewinding time.
The new ring will be introduced at the very start of the game during the opening cutscene and will continue to be the driving force of the main quest line.
We’re sure most of you can understand where this game’s story is going with the whole time traveling thing now, right? The game takes a rather bold decision by going the “what if?” route.
Familiar characters are found in familiar situations, but the circumstances and context are changed. One could even say this game’s story acts as an alternate universe to Tolkien’s masterpiece.
This means that Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-Earth doesn’t retrace the same popular story we all know and love once again. However, it also doesn’t tell an entirely new story.
With the new ring’s power to change the course of history, different timelines are created. It’s up to the players to bring order back to these branching timelines by clearing various little quests.
These timelines also serve as a convenient way of allowing players to have more freedom with their choice of teams. Different versions of the same character can be added to the same team since it’ll be chalked off as being some typical time shenanigans.
Of course, the story wouldn’t be complete without an antagonist or two, and the game delivers in that aspect too. However, you should save that little surprise until you play the game for yourself.
Charging into Battle
Now, the combat system of Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-Earth is honestly nothing to write home about in terms of being unique. However, this simplicity is also what makes this game more accessible to a wider audience.
At the start of every battle, players are asked to make a team with the characters they’ve unlocked. Players can have up to five characters in their squad, and they have to select one team leader.
Depending on who your team leader is, your entire team might potentially get some game changing buffs that make the entire ordeal even easier. Therefore, be sure to experiment with different team compositions.
As you start a battle, a small screen showing the number of waves will pop up. Naturally, the only way to clear a wave is to take down every enemy that stands in front of you. Clear the last wave to win the battle.
With that being said, how do you defeat enemies? Well, remember when we said turn based players will find this game very familiar? Well, this game has the generic turn based combat system down flawlessly.
At the bottom right of the screen, you’ll see two icons. These icons will be how you decide what your character does. Once it’s your character’s turn you can tap on any icon to make them perform a specific action using these icons.
The first big icon has the character’s weapon inside (bow, sword, etc), and is used to perform a basic attack. This attack won’t require any stamina or anything like that, so it’s almost always safe to use.
The second big icon is used to perform your character’s unique ability. Every character has a different type of ability that they can use, and some of them even have short cutscenes play.
However, keep in mind that special abilities require stamina to use, which is represented by the bar above this specific icon. Therefore, you can’t spam special abilities in every match and have to be a little strategic about it.
One more thing that adds strategy to this combat system is the fact that anyone on the battlefield can be subjected to debuffs or buffs.
Some special abilities of enemies and heroes alike can apply these said buffs or debuffs to themselves or other characters. Because of this, it’s crucial that you keep an eye out for anything unexpected.
Embarking on Quests
One more thing players have to get themselves familiar with is the quest system of this game. After all, there are so many different quests and rewards that many players might get overwhelmed.
First up are daily quests. These are quests that get refreshed every day and can be completed pretty easily. In exchange, the rewards players get aren’t all that grand either.
Then come regular quests that don’t have any time frame to complete. As you progress in this quests, the tasks required from you continue to increase as well. However, most of these quests are there to guide you on how to progress with the game, and as such will naturally get completed as you continue your journey.
Speaking of journey, there are currently three different paths on your journey you can take and more are expected to be added to the game soon. Every one of these campaign quests uses up energy, so don’t expect to blitz through them in one day.
The first campaign is the Light Campaign which will be unlocked from the very start. This game will be you saving Middle Earth from forces that want to use the time changing ring for dastardly reasons.
Up next is the Shadow Campaign. If the Light Campaign is the path of good, then this is the path of evil. In this campaign, you play as goblins and other familiar evil characters that are up to no good as usual.
Finally, there’s the Guild Campaign. In this campaign, you fight to protect the citizens of Middle-Earth from evil invading forces.
Every campaign has multiple chapters, and every chapter has multiple battle quests. The end battle quest for every chapter comes with a boss fight which can either be very easy or really hard.
Every quest gives multiple rewards for your troubles, but keep in mind that you have to claim most of them manually otherwise, you won’t get them.
Rewards you get range from gold that is used for things like equipping gear to heroes, to gems that you can use to purchase chests and bundles from the in game store.
The more quests you complete, the more experience you’ll get, and the more you’ll level up. Naturally, leveling up also has its own benefits.
In addition to the expected resource rewards, players also increase their guild energy and campaign energy by leveling up. There’s also the fact that the maximum level a character can be is the same level you’re at.
Therefore, say your player level is 4. In this scenario, you’ll only be allowed to level up your unlocked heroes till level 4.
New and Old Heroes Join the Fight
Do you want to play as some of the most recognizable characters of the Lord of the Rings franchise? Yes? Then you NEED to get on this game.
While most games that play similarly to Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle Earth adopt the gacha system, this game is a little different. Here, players are able to summon whatever hero they want willingly. However, there’s a catch.
The catch is that it’s crucial for players to first have enough shards for the character they want. Shards are earned through a variety of means such as opening chests, completing quests, or straight up buying them.
Once you have enough shards, a pop up on the screen notifies you that you can summon the hero. All you have to do is go to that hero’s screen and tap ‘summon’ to unlock them permanently.
With your unlocked characters, there are various things you can do. Of course, the first is you can use them in battle by adding them to your squad. Since every character has a unique special move, it might be a good idea to experiment with every new hero you unlock.
Additionally, you can also level your heroes up. A leveled hero will be significantly stronger than one that’s at level one. This is because leveling up increases a hero’s stats such as health, damage, and armor.
If you want to increase a hero’s stats even more, then it’s also possible to equip various pieces of gear to them. Pieces of gear are either earned or crafted by putting together resources that you find from completing quests or opening chests.
You should also take the time to explore the different hero classes, such as warriors, archers, mages, and support characters. Understand their strengths, weaknesses, and roles in a team.
Once you’ve done that, all that’s left to do is to construct your team, which we would argue is the most important part. A good team covers every base and is as diverse as can be.
Link up specific characters and you might even get some surprise benefits from it. Maybe linked special ability cutscenes or something? Wink, wink.
You Don’t Have to Be Alone
The final thing we want to go through is the fact that you don’t necessarily have to play this game completely alone.
As a matter of fact, there’s a chat system in this game that allows players to talk to each other any time they want. All you have to do is go to the main hub and look toward the bottom of the screen.
This constant mode of communication allows players to share some of their in game accomplishments with each other. Now everyone can know you unlocked your favorite Lord of the Rings character.
Finally, there’s also the in game arena that you can unlock and use to fight against other players. Construct the best team you can and pit them against the teams of other players to see who truly deserves to be called a hero of Middle-Earth.
With that, we’ve gone through everything you need to know before you jump into Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-Earth. From how the combat system works to how you can unlock new heroes and villains to play as.
Heroes of Middle-Earth is an extremely fun game with so much for both fans and newcomers to the series. Other games of popular series (gaming or otherwise) include League of Legends: Wild Rift and Mighty DOOM.
With such an active and dedicated team, we’re expecting the content in this game to be doubled in no time, so better get in on this game as soon as you can. Otherwise, you might have a lot of catching up to do.