This is the sequel for Battle for Middle Earth 2. It is a great game, fixing almost all the flaws from the original, and adding many more things to the game.
The graphics are incredible. From the water, to the characters, to the environment, everything looks great. Sadly, as great as the graphics are, they just aren’t up to the graphics in Empire at War.
Gameplay is similar to most other RTSs, with a couple of large twists. First off, unlike the original, you can build your base anywhere you want. No more using the same small building area. There is still only one resource, and it is almost as simple as in the original. The difference is that now your mines and such have a specific radius. If 2 or more mines are built in the same area, they don’t produce as many resources. This means that you have to expand in order to get resources. The new wall building setup is nice, though they took out the feature that allowed you to place your men on the walls. Your citadel can be upgraded with all sorts of cool things, from a huge catapult, to flaming oil. It is a lot of fun upgrading your castle, and then building huge walls to surround your base. For those of you who are wondering, walls can be destroyed by swordsmen, but it takes a long time to do that. The new special powers are great, and range from summoning in a huge dragon, to causing an earthquake. You can also bring in the watcher in the water, and much, much, more. The two factions or sides in this are the Goblins and the Dwarves. Goblins have no walls, and their soldiers can climb over walls. They are also can build dragons, trolls and giants, along with goblins and spider riders. The dwarves are the perfect defense faction. They can build walls, guard them with all sorts of towers, and then build different types of dwarves and battering rams. Laying around the maps, there are neutral buildings that you can capture by walking your guys near. When you capture them, they give you a special ability, ranging from building boats, to providing more resources, to regenerating your special powers quicker. The AI is good, though sometimes they would attack stupidly, and end up losing all their guys. One new feature that has the potential to be interesting is the Ring hero. Somewhere on the map, Gollum is randomly generated. The player who kills him then gets the ring, and has to carry it back to their fortress. Once it is there, they can then build Galadriel, if they are the good guys, or Sauron, if they are the bad guys. They are two super heroes that have tons of special powers, and are a pain to kill.
No problems here, though it wouldn’t run on a Duron 750.
Typical RTS controls.
No bad language. Violence, but in the demo, all you are killing are fantasy creatures, though humans will be in the full game. There is some magic, but it is just generic fantasy magic, nothing occultic.
This is a great RTS, and I recommend it to everyone. It blows Empire at War out of the Water.
Final RatingsAppropriateness Score = 45/50 Killing non-human, fictional beings (-3.5 pts)
Fairy tale type magic is used in game by player. (-1.5 pts) Gameplay Score = 45/50