LOTR: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king

Turn back the clock... the hour of darkness is upon us

We all know howThe Lord of the Rings ends. Evil is defeated, the tide of darkness is turned back and peace returns to the happy lands of Middle-earth. The squeaky hobbits and their singing elf pals win, while the side with giant wolves, man-eating dragons and bloodthirsty trolls... loses. Doesn't seem fair, does it?

The creators of the successful real-time strategy game Battle for Middle-earth II certainly don't think so. That's why they're taking us back to the beginning - the root of all evil - with their upcoming expansion pack for PC, The Rise of the Witch-king. Set thousands of years before Bilbo Baggins discovered the One Ring or Frodo took his first fateful step outside of the Shire, Witch-king's all new single-player campaign will give you control of the titular antihero (seen as the mace-wielding leader of the Nazgul in director Peter Jackson's films) and his wicked army of Angmar. Your mission? Drive the northern men of Arnor- ancestors of the future king, Aragorn- out of their homes in preparation for the return of ultimate baddie Sauron.

You'll get plenty of nasty help too. Although we weren't able to see any of the actual Witch-king's powers (unless rocking a tastefully sinister blood-red cape counts), we were shown what a few of his sidekicks could do and how those abilities might affect strategy. For example, the Thrall Master can summon any basic unit out of thin air, right where and when you need it the most. However, he can only summon one at a time and, if he is killed, that unit will weaken dramatically.

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