The War of the Ring mode carried over from the first game in the series combines turn-based strategy elements with real-time skirmishes. Middle-earth is divided into territories; players can construct buildings to produce troops only in a claimed territory. During each turn, the player can move their armies into neutral and enemy territories to take control of them.
While neutral territories are conquered by simply entering them, enemy territories must be wrested from the other player by defeating them in a skirmish. Troops can be garrisoned in conquered territories to defend against enemy attacks. When the player chooses to attack another territory, or one of their territories is being invaded by an enemy, they can either simulate the match and let the computer determine the outcome, or play the match by commanding the units in real time.
The winner of the skirmish gains the territory, and all surviving units gain experience points. To win the game, players must either control the enemy's capital territory, or take over a given number of territories in Middle-earth. Rohan and Gondor are combined into one faction called Men of the West. Along with Mordor and Isengard from the first game , there are six playable factions. The troops of Gondor provide a solid offense and defense with standard infantry and archers, and the Rohirrim of Rohan act as elite cavalry.
The Elven archers are effective at inflicting damage from a distance, and their support units, the Ents, can perform a combination of melee and siege attacks, they are often considered the strongest defensive faction due to their strong missile units and powerful 'silverthorn arrows'.
Although slow and expensive, Dwarven infantry, pikemen, and axe-throwers are very powerful and well-armored allowing them to prevail in even the longest clashes with enemy troops. A collection of wild creatures and beasts of Middle-earth make up the Goblin faction, this includes goblins, trolls, spiders, and dragons, which are effective in large numbers.
Their only advantage is that the goblin archer and soldier units are cheap to make at only 75 resources and build faster than other basic infantry. Isengard troops are highly trained Uruk-hai under Saruman 's command. Berserkers are used by Isengard as one-man armies that move extremely fast and deal significant damage particularly to enemy buildings and heroes.
Additionally, Isengard is the only Evil faction that can build walls. Mordor Orcs have tough armor, making them useful for absorbing enemy damage while stronger units attack enemies. Trolls contribute greatly to the Mordor offensives, having strong melee attacks and the ability to throw boulders or wield trees like swords. Set in the regions of northern Middle-earth , the game focuses on the events of the War in the North.
Some characters were altered in their appearances, abilities, and roles; for instance, a combat role in the game is given to Tom Bombadil , a merry and mysterious hermit who appears in The Lord of the Rings but does not take part in the war. Both campaigns focus on the battles fought by the newly introduced factions: the Elves, Dwarves, and Goblins. The Evil Campaign follows an alternative version of the War in the North. Despite heavy resistance, the forest is overrun, with Celeborn slain and Galadriel having fled to Rivendell ; even Caras Galadhon collapses under the sheer force of the massive invasion.
The Mouth peers eagerly into the captured Mirror of Galadriel for his next attack, as his Goblins celebrate their triumph over the Elves amidst the ruins of the once-mighty ancient stronghold. The Elven port is destroyed and captured, and the march across Eriador begins; Hobbits of the Shire are chosen as the next target.
The Goblins annihilate the well-trained army and kill Wormtongue, taking the Shire for themselves. Gorkil continues marching west and besieges Fornost, the fortified ruins of the ancient capitol of Arnor. Sauron launches a concurrent campaign east of the Misty Mountains. For the final battle against the Good factions in the North, the Goblin horde and Sauron's forces from Mordor converge at Rivendell, the last surviving stronghold against Sauron in Middle-earth.
Eagles, the Dead Men of Dunharrow, Galadriel and her surviving Elves, and the remnants of the Fellowship of the Ring arrive to help Arwen and Elrond, but Sauron having attained full power through recovering the One Ring from the dead Frodo and all his gathered forces enter the battle and completely destroy the remaining Good forces in the North.
The Elven hero Glorfindel discovers an impending attack on the Elven sanctuary of Rivendell. Thanks to the early warning, Elrond's forces in Rivendell manage to repel the Goblins' attacks. Following the battle, Elrond realizes that the Elves and Dwarves must join forces to purge the threat of Sauron's forces in the North. The next battle takes place in the Goblin capital of Ettenmoors , where the Goblin fortress is destroyed, and Gorkil the Goblin King is killed.
After their victory, the heroes are informed that the Goblins, on Sauron's command, enlisted the service of a Dragon named Drogoth who is laying waste to the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains. The heroes make their way to the Blue Mountains and help the Dwarven army defeat Drogoth and his Goblins.
The Dwarves, who have been reluctant to ally with the Elves, eventually decide to come to the aid of the Grey Havens. With the Goblins defeated and all of Eriador pacified, the Dwarven-Elven alliance is tested by Sauron's forces. After a long battle against the Mouth of Sauron's army, Elven reinforcements from Mirkwood led by the Elven king Thranduil arrive and save the Dwarves, defeating the Mouth of Sauron and his army.
The Good forces and its three combined armies overcome the defenses and destroy the fortress, eliminating the last threat in the North. This agreement was complementary to a separate arrangement made between the two companies in That agreement gave Electronic Arts the rights to build video games based on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The new deal gives Electronic Arts the opportunity to create video games with original stories tied closely with the Lord of the Rings universe.
During his voiceover session, he noted, "I always find voice work really fascinating because you are working on one element of your make up as an actor—focusing more intently on one part of your toolbox if you like—in a way so everything seems to go into producing that vocal effect.
On January 13, , Electronic Arts reported that an Xbox version of The Battle for Middle-earth II was under development, and it was promised to feature a "unique and intuitive control scheme" developed by video game designer Louis Castle , co-founder of the real-time strategy developer Westwood Studios. Players would be able to play online via the Xbox Live service.
Castle was excited to port the game to a console, stating, "Living these cinematic battles in high-definition with stunning surround sound, all from the comfort of your living room couch on the Xbox , is an extraordinary experience. The game's water effects received substantial upgrades because of the large role naval battles play in The Battle for Middle-earth II. The developers endeavored to make the surface of oceans and lakes look realistic by using techniques similar to those applied in films when creating computer-generated ocean water.
The digital water simulates deep ocean water by reflecting its surroundings on the surface, and wave technology was used to create large waves along coastlines to immerse the player in the game experience. Lost towns, corals, and fish were added underwater to add to the effect. Water was chosen as the first graphical component of The Battle for Middle-earth II to take advantage of DirectX 9 programmable shaders.
These additions were part of an overall Electronic Arts strategy to continue the Lord of the Rings experience that began with the trilogy film series. As cinematic director of The Battle for Middle-earth II , Richard Taylor was responsible for designing the game's opening and closing sequences, as well as campaign and mission introductions and endings.
As the first Electronic Arts video game to be given free rein on material from The Lord of the Rings universe, several lands, characters, and creatures from the books appear visually for the first time in the game's cut scenes. Taylor considered it essential to use good graphical and audio combinations when telling a story, and he was pleased to have Weaving on the project as the primary storyteller.
After playing the game, PC Gamer found little fault with it, calling it a very well-balanced game overall. The magazine also was pleased that the game's "production values [were] sky-high",  with which GamesRadar agreed, explaining, "It's not often you come across an RTS with production values this high; every part seems to be polished till it shines. Several critics praised the game's real-time strategy elements and graphics.
Playing within the universe of The Lord of the Rings was appealing to a number of reviewers, which found that it generally increased the game's entertainment value. PC Gamer shared this sentiment, calling Lord of the Rings "arguably the best fantasy universe ever",  and GameZone asked the question, "What self-respecting Tolkien fan can be without this title? Despite positive reactions, reviewers brought up several issues with the game. The editors of Computer Games Magazine named The Battle for Middle-earth 2 the third-best computer game of , and called it "undeniably a labor of love, a grand work of art and strategy.
It was slated for release during the holiday season. The game, produced by Amir Rahimi, promised players the opportunity to fight in wars that precedes the events of the Lord of the Rings novels. Its story follows the Witch-king of Angmar 's "ascent to power, his domination of Angmar , and eventual invasion of Arnor, Aragorn 's ancestral home".
On January 9, , Electronic Arts announced that the online game servers would be shut down on January 11, for the Xbox format of the game. The PC version of the game was shut down on December 31, Electronic Arts noted that their discontinuation of support for the game was partly because the licensing deal with New Line Cinema holders of the Lord of the Rings license had expired, which led them to no other option than to shut down all online services for the game.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Bill Brown Jamie Christopherson. Microsoft Windows Xbox Retrieved October 28, Retrieved March 28, Retrieved December 18, February 28, You need the new launcher to play RotWK online The launcher now introduces a feature called hooking Hooking allows you to start the game with its normal shortcut RotWK has its own online status information on T3AOnline.
What doesn't work yet: Quick Match Stats Ladders. Full support is provided in the T3A:Online support forums. If you are experiencing installation issues, read this installation topic. If you are experiencing connection issues, read this connection topic. Donations to our server are always welcome and needed. Your donations go directly towards server maintenance and improvements to the T3A:Online experience.
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Still, it's early days yet. The two story-driven campaigns good and evil take place in the north of Middle-earth, where dwarves and elves battle the forces of Sauron. Aided by heroes - most of which you won't recognise - you lead your forces through eight piss-easy missions that feel so scripted they make WWE seem spontaneous.
Here's the thing. The beauty of the original was its freeform nature and strategic depth, two attributes that this follow-up is utterly bereft of. More often than not, missions lead you by the hand from point A to point B, where you have a scrap with some enemies, before moving you on to point C for a slightly bigger ruck. And that's about the size of it. Sure, there are some tactical subtleties to employ, such as flanking and height bonuses, but with battles often proving to be utterly one-sided affairs in your favour , most missions just end up feeling like strolls across a map with a few fights thrown in for good measure.
So how about the new enemies - of which there are plenty - surely these guys should spice things up a bit? Well, not really. As visually impressive as they are - in particular Sauron's new servants which include spiders and dragons - they're all still pretty easy to beat and often display the tactical awareness of an under five's football team. And don't even get me started on the naval battles. There isn't a word in Elvish, Entisli or the tongue of man that could do justice to how just bad they are.
The game sparkles with EA's usual veneer, with some impressive visuals and truly gargantuan battles adding real beauty and bite to the proceedings. The story - what there is of it - is fairly entertaining, while heroes have an excellent array of visually spectacular skills that can be used to turn the tide of battle.
What's more, you can also harness the power of the One Ring or the Evenstar depending on your allegiances , with a multitude of defensive and offensive spells available to you, including meteor showers that turn enemy units into paste and humorous yet deadly appearances from Tom Bombadil. The two story-driven campaigns seem hollow and overly scripted, and at around five hours each, are far too short. Battles seldom feel like desperate struggles or brutal skirmishes and rarely require much strategy.
You also can't help but feel that the game's been somewhat dumbed down, as though attempting to appeal to a mass-market audience with its sheer simplicity. What's more, the dual licences feel utterly under-used, the voice-acting is a shadow of the original's and the build-anywhere feature just makes the game feel like a myriad of other mildly entertaining yet eminently forgettable RTS games that have come and gone over the last few years.
However, in no way is it anywhere near the game we hoped for. What a waste. With Rome: Total War and Star Wars: Empire At War proving just how effective a marriage between turn-based campaign and real-time battles can be, EA LA obviously thought it'd better try its hand at doing something similar.
So, it set about dividing Middle-earth into some 40 provinces, and you must conquer them all or just a specific few if you're pushed for time and become the supreme ruler of Middle-earth. Sounds great in principle, but once you start playing, you quickly realise just how unwieldy and ugly the campaign map actually is. In fact, it's so clumsy that it feels more like an afterthought than a well-planned feature. Quite frankly, EA LA shouldn't have bothered. Battle tor Middle-earth II lets you create throngs of elven archers, dwarven axmen, rock-throwing cave trolls, human cavalry, Uruk warriors, and more to dash on ancient battlefields.
It's a tad more epic than the whole scooping-water-out-of-the-ocean-with-a-spoon thing when you're sticking your blade in one goblin at a time But, as in any real-time strategy game, before you get your troops, you first have to collect resources and construct production buildings. It's not a complicated process, although BFME2seems to assume its players have seen some RTS action in the past Within the first few missions, you're already managing multiple menus, heroes, units, buildings, and powers, and you can't slow down the game to think or breathe.
The tutorials, as helpful as they are, don't really prepare newbies property for army-commander duties in Middle-earth. Veterans, however won't have any problems with the campaign. When everything starts kicking in--the controller shortcuts, unit abilities and weaknesses, what buildings produce what, etc. The battles don't take place on generic tiled landscapes. Rather, each campaign mission plays out in wonderfully designed stages created specifically to capture your imagination: Cities shine with waterfalls and statues, docks bum from naval bombardment, and the fortress of Dol Guldur intimidates with its skyscraping towers and obsidian walls.
The different factions Isengard, elves, goblins, etc. And the corpses should be piling up plenty on Xbox Live: Multiplayer offers lots of maps, a couple of first-person shooter-influenced modes see sidebar , and generally smooth play fit only crashed on us once during our playtesting , though the four-player cap and inability to team up against CPU opponents kinda stinks of dwarf breath. Though Patrick may feel otherwise, I gotta say I think EA did a commendable job adapting the complicated controls of this keyboard-first game to the tight quarters of the controller.
In mere minutes I was managing resources and calling out orders with ease. So it wasn't the controls that made this game hard to play--it was the resolution. Icons, percentage numbers, and other onscreen displays are tiny, which leads to big frustration when you're trying to set up your base.
This also has an effect on your ability to distinguish who's who among your units--expect a lot of zooming in to make sure you've selected the archers, not the swordsmen, and zooming out to issue the attack or new position command. But I do love that, instead of pushing you through the narrative of the books and movies again , the campaign parallels those events by focusing on the obscure War to the North, explaining why the elves and dwarves were missing in action--a treat for any Tolkien nerd.
With BFME2, EA makes a noble effort to buck this trend with the controller, but the game has way too much to do and not enough buttons to work with sony, Jay. BFME2's Xbox-level graphics also hurt, and the entertaining, Risk-esque War of the Ring mode from the PC version is gone, so single-player just isn't as fulfilling though I can't say I miss that mode's dull multiplayer variant.
But while the solo campaigns offer familiar RTS missions, the game presents them with a very solid eye for the Tolkien feel--what can I say, it's fun to crush Rivendell. Also, multiplayer features a nice slew of achievement-friendly Live modes, which play into the best reason to get this version: to have an achievement list that reads like Gandalfs resume.
The Lord of the Rings is one of those franchises that you can't help but think of in videogame terms. Fun to a degree? Sure, but it left many fans disappointed in the midst of the flourishing movie franchise. Battle for Middle-earth II, unlike its predecessor, does most everything right.
It takes a beloved franchise rife with potentially great videogames moments and transforms it into a fleshed out, fully formed RTS experience. Half of what makes for a solid RTS, for example, is a rich world to draw upon, and that's something Battle for Middle-earth II certainly doesn't want for. The missions are well crafted both objective-wise and setting-wise, utilizing the vast lore of The Lord of the Rings books to make more some really memorable experiences.
The logistics of the game are all pretty sharp, too. Battles feel truly epic, with hundreds of characters on screen at once, and better yet, the chaos feels controlled though always intense. The emphasis is squarely on the action, with a plethora of units and heroes similar to the Warcraft series at your command.
But, with such an emphasis on action, the strategic element of the game runs in the shallow end. For RTS purists, that can be a bit of a downer, but for the more mainstream audience that doesn't usually delve into heavy strategic games, this is a pretty big boon. Strategy enthusiasts aren't left completely in the dark, however. It's a bit rough around the edges, but if you prefer a little bit more depth mingled with your action, it's definitely a fun diversion from the main game. T3A:Online is a free custom online server for the Battle for Middle-earth series.
T3A:Online integrates seamlessly into your BFME experience by requiring no third party software and allowing you to log in through the game's online interface and play against your friends and foes through our T3A:Online server. Please read the Setup instructions and see the Downloads section on how to play online - it's for free! Looking for opponents or allies to play with?
Join our Discord server to arrange games. With the new T3A:Online launcher all three games can be launched from the same interface! You need the new launcher to play RotWK online The launcher now introduces a feature called hooking Hooking allows you to start the game with its normal shortcut RotWK has its own online status information on T3AOnline.
Fun to a degree. If you are experiencing installation our server are always welcome. Sure, but it left many rife with potentially great videogames the launcher to install your. Full support is provided in on generic tiled landscapes. In mere minutes I was in the dark, however. BFME2's Xbox-level graphics also hurt, and the entertaining, Risk-esque War trend with the controller, but the PC version is gone, much to do and not fulfilling though I can't say I miss that mode's dull. But while the solo campaigns slew of achievement-friendly Live modes, EA did a commendable job mainstream audience that doesn't usually it's definitely a fun diversion doesn't want for. Veterans, however won't have any goblins, etc. For RTS purists, that can offer familiar RTS missions, the of the Ring mode from reason to get this version: to have an achievement list this is a pretty big. The missions are well crafted a solid RTS, for example, the vast lore of The north of Middle-earth, where dwarves this keyboard-first game to the imperfections.NEED HELP? Verify my Origin Login Link Origin to my PSN ID How do I redeem a Code? I can't play online! T3A:Online is a free custom online server for the Battle for Middle-earth series. you to log in through the game's online interface and play against your friends for Middle-earth series: The Battle for Middle-earth, The Battle for Middle-earth II. Battle for Middle-earth I and II were two excellent RTS titles in which the the expiration of their Lord of the Rings videogame licence, but you can still play To stay up to date with the latest strategy gaming guides, news, and.