The Lord of the Rings is a work of fiction like no other. It’s a world many of us have wanted to live in.
We’ve always wanted to live in that stunning, pristine part of the world called The Shire, where life is simple, happy and the biggest problem you’ll face is what time you need to eat second breakfast.
JRR Tolkien’s legendarium was a stunning, immense panoply which featured some very iconic landmarks. From the rolling meadows of Rohan, home of the horse-lords, Gondor, oldest of the kingdoms of men, and the Elven haven of Rivendell, to the Dwarven mountain fortress of Erebor, and of course, the Black Land of Mordor, home to Sauron, the Dark Lord of Middle Earth and founder of the One Ring, we wished we could pack a bag and travel across the length and breadth of Middle Earth. In a safe manner, that is. Fortunately, The Battle for Middle Earth does just that.
EA Games – the same people that brought us Mass Effect, Road Rash, Need for Speed, and FIFA, have teamed up with Tolkien’s people to put gamers right in the thick of the action across some of the most epic battles of Middle Earth and the perilous adventures of the Fellowship of the Ring.
This real-time strategy game is one that bridges the gap between lovers of the books and the movies, and gamers, and creates a brilliant offering that you want to play over and over and over again. The game starts pretty simply: Frodo, Gandalf and Co. are being guided by Gimli through the Mines of Moria to rendezvous with Lady Galadriel and the elves of Lothlorien. The Fellowship battles goblin patrols as they reach the Bridge of Khazad Dum, and while the game’s tutorial ends once you reach the other side of the mines, the action rockets skywards from there.
The game is initially split into three separate storylines: The retaking of Rohan from Saruman and orcs of Isengard, Gondor’s unceasing battle with Sauron’s forces, and the Fellowship’s journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, before merging into one glorious adventure during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, when the Riders of Rohan gallop to the aid of a besieged Minas Tirith, the capital of the realm of Gondor.
Players are thrust into the Battle of Helm’s Deep and have to prepare the ancient fastness for Isengard’s orc hordes, guarding it with whatever troops your armies have mustered before the orcs hurl their might at the fortress walls. Troops who will be supplemented by a cohort of Elves, who, true to the movies, do help stem the assault for a time.
Until, of course, Eomer rides to the rescue with the Rohirrim, knights who are feared throughout Middle-Earth for their skill with steed and spear. But the number of horses Eomer actually brings to the fight depends on how long you spend building up your forces: Everything in The Battle For Middle Earth has a domino effect: You need to get things just right, otherwise you run the risk of going back and starting all over again. What you do in one mission will have repercussions in the next.
Of course, these are largely avoidable when you have hundreds of elite cavalry charging towards the enemy, but the game is also sprinkled with missions which sees you lead small groups of commandos to cause havoc behind enemy lines. Here, caution is key, and how much you’ve laid the foundations for their success is dependent on your actions in previous missions.
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth is like no other strategy game I’ve ever played. It puts you in the thick of the action, whether you’re sneaking past the goblins of the Mines of Moria, or thundering towards the enemy alongside the Rohirrim. With stunning graphics and an epic soundtrack to match, EA’s version of Middle Earth is pretty amazing, making this your game to download this weekend.
– [email protected]
Name: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth
Genre: Real Time Strategy/Action
Publishers: EA Games
What it’s about: Explore Middle Earth in this brilliantly crafted, lovingly made game, as you decide the course of the lands and its people.
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Where to Buy: Amazon, EA, GOG Games
IGN Rating: 8.3/10