I got Lord of the Rings battle for middle earth several years ago when I was at Wal-Mart, I decided I hadn’t had a good RTS game in a while so I decided to pick this one up. So is battle for middle earth worth your precious money or is it something that should be cast into mount doom.
Several thousand years ago the dark lord Sauron forged a ring (actually he forged several but the game simplifies a lot of the story) and with it he tried to gain control of middle earth. The free people rouse and fought him on mount doom and was able to defeat him. However the one ring was lost but has now come into possession by a hobbit named Frodo Baggins, now Frodo journeys to Mount Doom to destroy the one ring.
The game pretty much retells the trilogy and has all the big battles from the movie and then some. Playing has the good guys you will follow the story through Gandolf or Aragorns eyes (the scenes are narrated by Gandalf) , playing has the villains and Sauraman will become the narrator has you battle against Rohawn and Gondor.
The graphics were great several years ago but they have aged a bit but you can still tell your different pieces on the board from each other. The cut scenes look beautiful and the corner that shows your map will sometime flash to scenes from the movies when a major story event happens. All in all not bad looking considering how the game came out during the age of standard definition.
While I do believe none of the actors from the movie have come back to voice overs EA got some really good sound alikes and they do a good job. There is also music from the movie and it fits the scenes perfectly.
Lord of the Rings is an Real Time Strategy game meaning you build your army and move them around in real time. Hunting and scavenging up resources should be the first priority, then build an army, and then defend and attack. Each time you build a camp or a base little markers appear and shows you what you can build. Farms provide resources, wells can heal anyone who stand near them, and barracks, archery ranges, and stables can build different kind of military units to crush your enemies. Each team has different abilities in this. Rowan farms can produce presents that can fix buildings faster and if you use a special ability can equip weapons to fight has low grade solders, Gondor is more expensive but there castles can be better fortified and there solders have more upgrades. On the bad guy side Mordor orcs are free to purchase but our weak but you can always send them to a slaughterhouses for a few extra resource points.
Next to the standard pieces each side has it’s hero I mainly played the good campaign and heroes like Gandolf and Aragorn our essential. Not only do these hero pieces take more damage but they all have special abilities to help in battle. They can level up troops around them faster or have special abilities like Gandolf lighting sword. Leveling up and keeping heroes around is essential for surviving the last several fights in the game.
Finally one last thing separates the two side has you battle and level up your soldiers you will also be able to upgrade special abilities through a tree system. It lets you summon extra help like giant eagles, horsemen, or of course my favorite an army of undead (good guy side and all though they last then a minute before disappearing they can completely tear down an enemy camp if summon right into the middle of them) to help you out when the going gets tough. Once unlocked these powers function on a cool down system once used you can’t use them again until there refilled. Each side has different one the bad guys for example can use the eye of Sauron to take a peek at the enemies camp when no bad guy units are around.
Has far has winning the campaigns each battle begins with you clicking on your army and deciding what area you want to conquer and get the upgrades from. After a few side battles a main battle from the movie begins (like the battle for helmsdeep) these story battles can be tougher has there are a lot more enemies and you usually have to battle until a timer runs out and reinforcement arrive before you can attack the enemies base and actually win. Other story battles put a limit on the amount of troops you can produce so there’s a challenge there too.
While the game did have a good online once upon a time the fact is EA lost the rights to the lord of the rings so not only can they no longer sell this game but they no longer provide an online service.
Lord of the rings battle for middle earth is a fantastic RTS game unfortunately if you want to buy it now it’s going to be on Ebay and with the online removed.
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