the good: campaign is amazingly fun and well spread out, playing as the bad side is always fun, excellent voice overs, base capturing and upgrading is different but good, battles can reach to massive in scale, heros can turn the tide of battles (which has its ups and downs), overall a great rts game.the bad: skirmish mode isn't all that fun.
The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth Review
As befits its source material, The Battle for Middle-earth is a huge game, and there's a lot of great real-time strategy gameplay to be had in it.
- Big battles that capture the feel of the movies
- Campaign map lets you decide where to go next
- Excellent graphics and sound effects
- Voices provided by most of the movie cast.
- Heroes can get in the way at times
- The battles tend to be long wars of attrition
- AI is easy to manipulate.
Gandalf didn't "die" in Moria. In fact, the old wizard slapped down the Balrog and marched out of the mountain with the rest of the fellowship. Meanwhile, King Theoden of Rohan managed to get cut down at Helm's Deep and, oh yeah, Boromir lives. Is this revisionist fantasy history at work? No, it's just a campaign as the good guys in The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth, EA's real-time strategy game that spans the entire saga of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies. The Battle for Middle-earth has a lot going for it: This is a big game packed with beautiful graphics and two huge campaigns. And while it doesn't achieve the same epic sense of scale as Jackson's movies, it's still an engrossing and well-made real-time strategy game that captures the essence of J.R.R. Tolkien's wondrous world.
While some might have expected that The Battle for Middle-earth would rival the size and scope of a certain other major real-time strategy game released this year, the truth is that it's more on the scale of traditional real-time strategy games, though its battles are still quite big. What makes The Battle for Middle-earth work is the fact that it allows you to rewrite the history of the War of the Ring as either the forces of good or the forces of evil. The game does this by combining an overarching turn-based campaign that's stitched together with real-time strategy missions, allowing you to decide where to take the fight to next. This way, you can control the armies of good or evil as you march across the world of Middle-earth, conquering province after province along the way.
At the heart of the campaign game is the living world map, which is exactly what it sounds like. This is a 3D view of a living, breathing Middle-earth, divided into more than 30 provinces, each of which has special properties that you earn when you control it. One province may give you bonus resources, another will give you power points that you can use to invest in powerful abilities, and yet another will give you extra command points, allowing you to lead more troops in battle. And as you gaze upon the living world, with its little details like the Nazgûl flying through overcast skies, the sonorous tones of Ian McKellen or Christopher Lee (both reprising their roles from the movies) will guide you.
Admittedly, the strategic layer of the campaign is a bit thin. You have only two or three armies at your disposal, and the goal isn't so much to crush the opposing army as it is to simply conquer as many provinces at possible. When you select an army, the game will highlight any adjacent hostile provinces, and you'll select which one you want to attack next. You'll then drop down into the real-time portion of the game to resolve the battle. Once that's done, you'll switch back to the campaign map to do it all over again. There doesn't appear to be any hurry to get anywhere, either, as the final battle for both sides can wait until you're ready to proceed. That means you can spend time mopping up isolated provinces and building up your forces.
The strategic map does incorporate some welcome features, such as continuity between missions. In other words, the army that you have at the end of one battle is the same army you'll have at the beginning of the next. This not only gives you an added incentive to preserve your units, but, more importantly, it also allows both your heroes and your regular units to rise in experience level, making them even more powerful than before. And, in a nice touch, you can rename your regular units to give them some personality. It's easy to turn a noted cavalry unit into the Light Brigade, for instance. This also makes it easier to recognize which units on the battlefield you want to preserve.
- Player Reviews: 309
- Game Universe:
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (XBOX, GBA, PS2, PC),
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PS2, GBA, XBOX, GC),
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (PS2, XBOX, GC, PC, GBA),
- The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2, GC, XBOX, GBA),
- The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II (PC, X360),
- The Lord of the Rings: Conquest (X360, PS3, PC, DS),
- The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest (WII, DS, PSP, PS2, PS3),
- The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (PS3, X360, PC),
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (MOBILE),
- The Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard (PC)
- Online Modes:
Competitive, Team Oriented
- Number of Online Players:
4 Players Online