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Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II

Focusing more attention on the strategic side of real-time strategy games, this game promises to forge past the standard "build up a vast army and trounce your foes with sheer numbers" mentality by including improved rule sets for flanking and close combat. Tactically minded macro-managers interested in the bigger picture can control the battlefields at a higher level through a Risk-style take on the game utilizing the Living World Map. More intelligent enemy and allied units will arrange themselves into smart formations and battle lines, while a handy planning mode lets you develop the framework for crushing victories without actually laying your forces on the line.



But how on earth are you supposed to play a strategy game on your Xbox 360? Well, developers are smart folks, so they've retooled the controls so that they are more suited to the console environment. You'll also see new game types like King of the Hill, Capture and Hold, and Hero versus Hero, all built with Xbox Live play in mind.

With the ridiculous amount of content EA has injected into this title, this Battle should run rings (yawn) around its predecessor.

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