Since it was requested I went ahead and played LotR:BfME2(Holy acronym Batman!)
If you have never played Battle for Middle Earth II or the original and do not know what an RTS is, and would like to know what it is, start reading here. If you have move on to the paragraph after the first.
Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II(from now on BfME II) is a real time strategy game. Basically the point of these type of games is you must gather resources, research upgrades, build up your base, defend it from enemies while training troops to destroy your enemies. You take command of multiple types of unites and point and click where they go. Now that you understand what kind of game BfME II is, on to the review!
BfME II is obviously the sequel to he original BfME. It changed some things that I liked, and didn't like as well. Starting off though, the controls and hot keys seem to work well. The graphics aren't great, though it was made in March 2006, (almost 5 years ago!) but can be ignored easily unless you're a graphics-whore. The AI is mediocre, and has sometimes caused me heartache such as a when a single unit told to stand guard at a spot ends up chasing an enemy hero across the map and yells at me "We're under attack!".
The game differs from the original in that it now offers new factions. The Men of Gondor and Rohan has been combined into Men. Elves, Dwarves, and Goblins are all new additions and of course Isengard and Mordor are back. I really liked the fact that they added new fations giving a more complete feel to Middle Earth. There's also a couple of other things I liked about this game more than the original. I for one enjoyed the fact I could build any building anywhere including walls. Though it did take some strategy out of the game. I also liked the new create a hero mode where you can make your own hero and use them in game. I also like the new War of the Ring mode, albeit it is a little simple. The new size of armies is also nice, since it makes the huge battles we remember from the movies/books actually seem big. Unfortunately with the good, comes bad.
The games campaign in my opinion seemed rushed and poorly done. Unlike the original game's which actually took you through all of the movies locations and then some. I also wish the create a hero was a little more in depth on the customization. I would like to also see units being able to mount walls like in the first game. War of the Ring, while fun, is too simple and easy to build. Most of the complexity is taken out since you can only build 3-4 types of buildings on the map.
If BfME III ever comes out, I would love to see some of these things implemented alongside some more things. Perhaps Knights of Dol Amroth? Or even possibly make the game about the second age instead of the third. I would also like it if they would make the campaign on the good side more engaging and the evil side needs a complete rework, because as it stands it wasn't very much fun at all. Either way I enjoyed the game quite a bit and still find it fun to play from time to time. I don't expect to see another sequel anytime soon however, which I find disappointing.
Together we guard the white tower!