View Full Version : Metareview: LOTR Battle for Middle-earth II

March 6th, 2006, 16:56
After procuring the literary rights to The Lord of the Rings, EA was hoping to breathe some new life into its prized gaming franchise. However, their first attempt resulted in the disappointing Lord of the Rings: Tactics for the PSP.

Last year's Battle for Middle-earth was a moderate success, and the new content inspired by the novels has allowed the dwarves, elves, and goblins to join the party in the sequel. There are also new maps and modes to explore, as well as some moderate enhancements to the graphics and gameplay.

So far, the results are consistent with last year's effort, giving EA another solid entry in the RTS category.

IGN (90/100) enjoyed the sequel, but cautions the more casual RTS fan who might be expecting the simplicity of the first game: "There's a lot to experience with this entry into the series including three new factions, a redesigned base building mode, some awesome new powers, terrific improvements to the engine, a tighter campaign mode, and both skirmish and War of the Ring."
GameSpot (83/100) really enjoyed one of the new modes: "The good news is that things get really interesting once you play with the new War of the Ring mode. Essentially, War of the Ring links all the real-time battles to an overarching strategic campaign, but one that's deeper than the superficial strategic mode in the original Battle for Middle-earth."

Yahoo! Games (80/100) found the battle AI lacking, but raved about the game's presentation: "It's a beautiful-looking game, brought to life with spectacular maps, excellent models, and a real flair for visual design from opening sequence to game-over screen. You'll be spending most of your time zoomed out, but you'll still enjoy watching your troops stomp about Middle Earth causing havoc."

GameSpy (70/100) was even less impressed in the AI department: "Both unit AI and pathfinding can be extremely troublesome, particularly when it comes to the game's naval battles. Not only is your navy incompetent, they also seem unable to avoid friendly fire. And the problems extend to your land-based forces as well. I can't count the number of times I saw my boys come under enemy fire and not respond."