Since the original film release of Lord of the Rings, a series of popular games have been made that take after the thrilling trilogy. For those of you who enjoy the epic battles of the film, you may have enjoyed the PC game: Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth. Recently, the second installment has been released and it is proving to be even more satisfying to play than the first one!
Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle Earth II is a very in depth real time strategy game that puts you right in the middle of epic battles featured in all 3 films of Lord of the Rings, along with many other locations featured in the books. Some of these locations include: The Shire, Misty Mountains, Dol Guldur, Helm’s Deep, and Mirkwood. You can play with factions from the previous edition, along with 3 new factions: elves, dwarves, and goblins! There are also new heroes!
In this game you can play as good or evil. You can play as the dwarves and defend Dale or you can play as the baddies from Isengard and attack the hobbits in the Shire! Battles can take place on land or at sea. Other than the brute force of the troops you can also: summon dragons, create whirlpools, make lightning strike, cause volcanic eruptions, use catapults, and more! There are a total of eight campaign missions, each with massive battles and a huge battlefield.
The battlefield itself is an improvement over the previous version of the game. On this battlefield, you can build whatever you want, whenever you want. Build your own castle, fortresses and walls. Customize them as you wish and place them as you wish! Use your resources wisely and disperse them as you wish. Some of these resources are lumber mills and mines.
Your hero and your units are fully customizable. This makes it to be more amusing. You never play with the same character twice!
The enemy AI (artificial intelligence) is much more evolved than the previous game. This makes for more difficult battles which is a much welcomed change. Not only does the enemy AI anticipate your attacks, they also aggressively attack you, sabotage you, and more! You must plan your strategy, formation, battle methods, tactics, etc. Plan wisely or you are sure to lose!
Graphic are gorgeous with this game! However, some of the proportions seem a tad off. The lighting and shadow effects are remarkable, along with the detail. It is always amusing to watch a fireball blaze threw the air and crash down on some unsuspecting elves, flailing bodies through the air. The sound effects and musical score are excellent and coincide with the feeling of the game quite nicely.
There are a few problems with the game that can get annoying. One is that your own troops like to walk into friendly fire. Another is that oftentimes, when your troops are attacked, they just sit there. It is no fun to have your ship get blasted with a barrage of firepower and it just sits there. This can be corrected by clicking on the ship and ordering it to do something. But if you don’t, it’ll just sit there until it is destroyed! Your choice.
There are 2 other modes of play. One is the War of the Ring mode, which is similar to Risk. The other is the multi player mode.
Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth II is now available for your PC. It will be available for XBOX 360 in the summer of 2006. It has an ESRB rating of T for teen. This is because the game features violence.