The Lord of the Rings: the Battle for Middle-Earth II, review by mindprobe

Points: 9
I just got here
1 thumbs up

Changes are both intriguing and disappointing.

I must first say that I enjoyed the first game in the serious a great deal. Therefore, I was eager for the release of this game. I played the demo quiet a bit prior to purchasing the game. This could have resulted in some “let down” when playing the full version. I like the addition of new races, units, and buildings. The ability to construct buildings anywhere on the map was somewhat of an unexpected disappointment. This does not cause you to have to spread yourself thin, which was initially a good thing I thought, but then it seemed to take away some of the strategic aspect of the original game and it made it similar to most other RTS games. You can build walls in this version but have found that they are more trouble and expense than they are worth in most scenarios. The graphics, sound affects, and music of the game are good. You feel like you are in Middle Earth.

The number of missions in each campaign is greatly reduced compared to the BME I. There are just 8 for the Good armies and 8 for the Evil armies. By the time all of the special units and abilities are unlocked the campaign is over so you don’t get to use them accept in the last battle.

The addition of the different style “board game” option was also interesting (similar to Risk). The War for the Ring option of the game is over all entertaining. However, not being able to have more than 3 armies that can invade neutral or enemy territories is frustrating. You can create more heroes but they cannot lead armies plus they take up one of the slots of the 6 units you are allowed to group into an army if you decide to use them. I also do not like that when you decide to resolve the battle in RTS mode and not automatically it is like playing a full scrimmage. You do start with the units that are actually in your army but you have to start constructing buildings and creating units making the starting size of each opposing army nearly irrelevant. I would like it better if it were like Total War where you fight with what you got. Also, the units and buildings you create do not exist in the game after the particular battle is resolved.

Over all this is a good game and if I had it to do over I would buy it again, though I wouldn’t by the Collectors Edition like I did this time. Having the new units, especially the dwarves and the dragons, and the new structures, especially the various castles, adds a lot to the game.
Posted on 05/06/2006 09:03
8.4 superb