LOTR: Battle for Middle-earth II - multiplayer hands-on, part 2

Hero vs. Hero, the final multiplayer mode, is also the most unusual. Each side gets a fortress (minus the ability to customize or expand it) and four heroes… and that’s it. All you really have to do is wander around, fight random monsters, discover treasure, level up and ultimately duel your enemy’s heroes in order to obliterate his or her fortress. Sure, it isn’t deep and it isn’t complicated, but when the heroes in question are characters like Gandalf, Aragorn and Shelob (yeah, the spider) – each with unique and pretty spectacular skills and powers – you can end up with quite the cinematic Middle-earth deathmatch on your hands.

Above: Want to duke it out with your favorite characters from the movies and books? Hero vs. Hero mode is for you.

BFME II doesn’t hit stores for another week, but check back in a couple of days for our impressions of the single-player experience. If it’s as well-crafted and open-ended as the multiplayer, 360 owners will want to start brushing up on their hobbit command skills now.

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