This is a very challenging and fun game. It has bigger battalion sizes and more room for customization than its predecessor, BFME 1, and the Create-a-Hero option makes for even more exciting gameplay. The build anywhere feature is also nice, allowing you to build wells, towers, and unit production structures right next to the enemy's base. I really liked the way it has Gondor and Rohan fused into a single faction. You can expand your command point limit without modding the game, so you can get enough troops to swarm the enemy and defend your base at the same time. There are features that let you select your entire army across the map and have it form up automatically in the most sensible arrangement. Furthermore, all the archers have a "bombard" feature, which allows them to shower arrows continuously on a specific location.
However, there are no prebuilt walls, meaning the enemies can just rush you and destroy your buildings before you even have a couple of battalions of infantry. Also, the resource-generating structures need a HUGE area of free space around them to generate resources at 100%, so money doesn't add up fast enough to build up defenses before the enemy starts swarming you. You can build walls for some factions, but they're frightfully expensive and until you download the patches, enemy swordsmen can take them down. The game also lacks the charm of its predecessor, and with the new units and structures not based on the movies it seems less like Lord of the Rings and more like some other fantasy, with the Goblin and Dwarvish factions being particularly cheesy. Some people may not mind this, but being a die-hard LOTR fan I do.
I still gave the game a rating of "good", though, because of its strategic features, the fact that the technical aspects which I didn't like can be fixed, and the fact that the game can be modified heavily. In fact I would have given it an "excellent" were it not for the game's departure from the story. Using an editor for .big files, you can edit the ini.big file to change things like health, cost, damage, and command point consumption of units and srtuctures. Reducing the FARM_MONEY_RANGE to 5 from 300 allows the farms to be built close together and still produce resources at 100%, and reducing the wall cost to 0 and the battle tower cost to 150 makes the game much more playable. After these changes and after boosting the damage, health and range of the heroes and archers, gameplay becomes infinitely better and more fun, much more fun than in BFME 1.
So all in all I give this game a "good" rating and I recommend it. BFME 1 is really better for the "feel" of Lord of the Rings and for reliving the battles of the movies (in fact you can only play the Fellowship's journey from Moria to Mordor in BFME 1). But as for versatility, strategic options, challenge, and battle size, BFME 2 comes out on top.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Now the BEST RTS on the market !
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
I am an "experienced" RTS (real-time-strategy) gamer... started with the original Total Annihilation & Warcraft etc.). I have played the turn-based games, but prefer the Real Time games. Have played Command & Conquer, Supreme Commander, Starcrafts, Rise of Legends, various Total War games, and many more. My All-Time favorites are RAge of Mythology & Age of Empires... and now THIS GAME !!
This game has it all:
- excellent game engine / AI... realistic movements and "brains"
- awesome graphics (as good or better as any rts)
- excellent game options... you can define every variable to your personal tastes and skill level... even includes a Total War kind of game option where you have a turn based game with rts battles
- the best variety... play as many different heroes and races
Obviously I highly recommend this game.
I believe it is the single best RTS to date !
Welcome to Middle Earth
First, there are three RTS games available from EA Games under the title Battle for Middle Earth. The first, Battle for Middle Earth, is good but frankly if you like playing evil it is not worth the price. The second, Battle for Middle Earth II is excellent and is the topic of this review. Play the Witch King of Angmar mounted on a Fell Beast or dismounted and wielding his mace. Take a Nazgul out for a ride and use his Morgul blade to turn a hero into a wraith (lots of fun). The second improves upon the first retaining the voiceovers from the Peter Jackson films but allowing one to build anywhere, construct walls (save of course of you play Mordor who still cannot construct walls) and to build a central fortress which at its height is quite formidable. It also contains a wider array of races including elves and dwarves while the original provided only Gondor, Rohan, (combined in II as "men") Mordor, and Isengard. One can play on an array of maps including most of the primary strongholds such as Helm's Deep, Minas Tirith, Minas Morgul, Isengard, and even the Black Gates of Mordor. But the best part is the ability to locate and capture the one ring. Find Gollum jouncing about, kill him, claim the ring and take it to your fortress and you can purchase a ring hero; for good Galadriel and of course for evil the dark lord himself, Sauron. Each is quite formidable although not impossible to defeat. If defeated one can take the ring and then make use of it. The game still retains a War of the Ring Campaign although it is now an interactive game with an opposing AI which will not simply defend against attacks but initiate attacks on the world map attempting to take back lost ground (in BFME the computer merely allowed you to slowly move accross the map defeating location after location). This is an awesome game and an absolute must for one looking for a good RTS who loves LOTR.
Cons: There are a few issues one should be aware of. The good heroes have a wider array of powers than the evil ones and as a result are a bit funner to play and the online multiplayer engine is a bit of a bear to deal with for setting up private games with friends but these are minor issues compared to the problems with the original Battle for Middle Earth.
Helful Hints: Nazgul on Fell Beasts are suckers for arrows, especially Elven arrows or those of the Ithilien Rangers (especially fire arrows). If you are playing the Witch King dismounting him makes him quite formidable plus he can blitz a unit in 3 hits. If you have a bunch of Nazgul on horseback do not take them into pikemen they will die horribly. Dismount them and then take on the pikemen as it changes them from calvalry to infantry and makes them very effective against pikemen. The opposite is true for standard Gondorian soldiers and archers, ride them down. Always allocate someone to finding the ring.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
IF you like Real time strategy, this game is for you. IF you like LOTR, this game is definitely for you! You can play campaign on either good or evil across several different exciting maps and missions, many of which can be found in the movies. Build structures ranging from wells which regenerate health to massive assault towers used to invade strongholds. Six different fractions with a variety of units make it very hard to lose interest. As well as a online server, free to use with a substantial player base makes this, a players choice.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Battle for Middle-earth II
I have yet to play all the game modes but I have to say that this game is very good. The battles are just like your good old RTS, with resource gathering and base building. Something that RTS's seem to be moving away from, I think its great.
Next is The War of the Ring mode, this is great. It is a mix between Total War's campaign map and the RTS game play, all set in Middle Earth. The map it self is awesome. So, with the campaign map you get to take land, this give give you X bonus, and on that land you can make X amount of buildings that will help you over all. This will mean moving your army's around and if you move into land were there is an enemy army then you can go into the RTS battle.
You also have hero's and special abilities, much like WarCraft and Age of Mythology. You can even make your own hero, but I would have liked to see more options, many for the looks of your hero's. All your units can also level up that adds a nice mix to the game.
I have only played for a few hours and am going to play some more right now, but so far this game is well worth getting. The only thing that bugs me is the camera view, can't zoom out as far as I would like, but that's nothing to get upset about :P
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.