Thursday, August 29, 2013

GoMe, GoMe, Gone?

Guardians of Middle-earth was finally released for the Personal Computer earlier today on Steam and I was so excited when I finally got a chance to play it. I like the PlayStation 3 version, and I was hoping that this PC release was going to improve upon the original console release. Well, unfortunately, to my shock and dismay, that didn't happen. Let's get one thing out of the way: the game finally looks like it is being played on a machine that is not about ready to self-destruct, that is to say that the game is now running at a fluid 60 frames per second versus less than half of that on the PS3. I ran the game on 1920 x 1080 and everything looks crystal clear and though things do look sharper, no improvements were made on spicing up the graphics. The character animations are not the best while the textures found on the map are really bland. The improved game engine performance dramatically boosted the game's overall feel until... We get to the keyboard and mouse controls.

At least all the characters can be unlocked using in-game gold in this version.

Yes, the game still allows you to play with the controller and based on how the mouse and keyboard controls were implemented, perhaps the developers wanted to keep it that way? The mouse movement is quite laggy and the game doesn't want to allow you to perform ability combos because for some reason, it just wouldn't read the fast input. This resulted in the game feeling frustratingly unresponsive. I remember that on the console version, you have to hold on to an ability button and then release it to trigger an ability and I believe that this design is the culprit because things are more immediate with triggering abilities using your keyboard and mouse. Did anyone actually test this PC version before it came out? Did they test the game using just the controller? The keyboard and mouse controls should have improved upon the experience and instead, using such setup actually felt like a chore to me. The fact that you can't customize the controls to your liking made everything even more unforgivable. The worst part however is that you can't even go back to the controller. When I finally had it and chose to go with the controller, there existed a weird bug where the character would move automatically after every auto attack. There is still hope for this game, despite the problems described here as well as the moronic decision to charge players an admission price to access the game, but Zombie Studios must go deep into the mouse and keyboard control scheme and revamp it thoroughly instead of merely assigning inputs from the controller without touching up on the actual mechanics. A patch better be released quick because with DOTA 2 and League of Legends out there, failure to act swiftly is fatal. If you are interested in reading the gameplay details of GoMe, click here for the PS3 preview article.

Update Note: 08/30/2013 - The game was patched today and the controller bug had been dealt with. Though not the most optimal solution to further GoMe's agenda on the PC - that requires a complete reworking of the keyboard and mouse controls - at least the game is now playable with the controller.


tvkiki said...

I'm not a big fan of MOBA's and I only tried this because I like Lord of the Rings. I think this game is really not that good. Maybe if someone plays it who like MOBA's can enjoy it more than I did.

Loner Gamer said...

Compared to the top-tier MOBAs on the PC, GoMe is at the bottom of the totem pole mainly because of the poor PC optimization. I still like the game but there is just so much that can be done to make the game better.