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Differences That Players Of Both Versions Will Notice
Now, this second part of the Lord of the Rings PC game offers a better strategy version than the previous release, but it does have some new aspects that make the game worth trying out overall, even if they did need a bit more strategy and work. But, I have to agree with some of the other reviewers out there: this is probably the best Lord of the Rings PC game out there, aside from the MMORPG version. It encompasses all of Tolkien's mythology, instead of from just from one or two books, so it helps those who are really into the books get into the game more. To me, this is a big plus. But, there are other differences that you will notice if you played the first version.
Electronic Arts really make some great changes to the battlefield tactics and other areas on this version, but they are not huge ones. For example, those who played the first version of this game will notice that the naval warfare is a great addition, especially with some of the great graphical items that the game designers threw in. But, the ships themselves are only used a few times in the game, and you don't even mess with them most of the time. And, if you prefer to play in the War of the Ring mode, then you may not even see them at all.
Also, there is a huge emphasis put on building up your defenses in the game, but the walls are super easy to knock down and the towers are even easier, so it really makes them less valuable than one might think. So, when you are building up your defenses, this is really something of a problem, as the other side can almost walk through them.
Another difference that isn't really as good as it could be is the build a hero part. While this is neat to be able to build your own hero, or heroine, and have them appear in the game as a hero unit, the building part is really light. But, the build a hero is really lacking in it's functions and you cannot alter your toon's appearance except for just a few armor, weapons, and some colors. You have no control over anything else - which stinks for us MMORPG players who are used to controlling everything on how their toon looks. So, since Electronic Arts offers so many other games that offer thousands of different appearance choices, I think that they could have done a bit more on this front.
But, Electronic Arts did put in some sweet demons that you can control in your battles. In both the books and movies, the Balrog is one of the most feared creatures in the land. Well, in LOTR: Battle for Middle-Earth II, you can actually summon these fearsome creatures, as well as other superunits to fight on your side. Sometimes, these massive monsters can make all the difference.
In the last part of this series, we will go through some of the visual differences and the online multiplayer mode that you can use while playing LOTR: Battle for Middle-Earth II.
This is an in-depth, four part review that will take those who love the Lord of the Rings games through the latest release from Electronic Arts and show you the good and the bad.