Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth II review

Tons of spectacular battles surrounding one tiny little ring

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While the game is balanced with a rock-paper-scissors system, certain units can be upgraded to the point where they're virtually unstoppable in large numbers. (Elven archers, we're looking at you.) But not to worry - special weapons like the evil side's Watcher in the Water, which bursts through the ground at a chosen location and lays waste to enemy armies, can destroy even the strongest armies and prevent players from sitting back and building up impenetrable defenses.

There's also a new naval combat element to the game, but unfortunately it's nothing we haven't seen in every RTS since Warcraft II a decade ago. The more interesting addition is the War of The Ring metagame, a turn-based Risk-style board game campaign to conquer all the territories of Middle-earth. Wherever two armies meet, you jump into RTS combat to determine the winner. It's a great way to expand a simple multiplayer match.

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DescriptionThe only thing better than hacking orcs to pieces? Commanding an army of screaming, blood-crazed elves to do it for you.
Platform"PC","Xbox 360"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"12+","12+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)