"All war is deception"

Friday, October 14, 2016

First Impressions: The Lord Of The Rings: Battle For Middle-Earth

Where can you play through the entire storyline of the Lord of the Rings as the Fellowship... and then in the perspective of the bad guys? And not only the main characters and heroes, but also commanding whole armies in the process?

Battle For Middle-Earth! That's what.

I haven't read any of the books of the series except The Silmarillion, but watched the movies. While I'm not a die hard fan except the book I read, I enjoyed the story.

I first played with the Battle School, the tutorial for the game. They are all video tutorials, detailing the main concepts.

I then started the campaign for the Good guys. It's literally called the "Good campaign". No moral ambiguity, here, which I like.  The game seems to follow the movie from when the Fellowship is first forged.

The first mission is to lead the Fellowship heroes into the mines of Moria. You encounter goblins and cave trolls along the way. It seems to be a buffer missions to upgrade your heroes.

Each hero unit has skills and abilities, which leads to some micromanagement. I used mostly Gandalf's skills as he is a wizard after all. Aragorn's healing ability also proved useful.

The mission is littered with cinematics and also triggered scripted voice acting, all from the movies. Some of it was not timed right, especially if you wanted to backtrack.

The minimap is hand drawn, like pencil. That was the most original rendering of a minimap I have ever seen.

One thing I didn't like was when using hero skills and abilities, one had to left click on the ability, and then right click. I am very used to left clicking for any button skills. Oh well.

Leading them through to the end leads to the fight with the Balrog. And in this case, as the Fellowship flees, you play as Gandalf to finish the Balrog, which is not shown in the movies. Pretty cool, huh?

And thus is my first impression of the game. I will add more along as I play more.

If you want to play it and support Faction Calculus, check out The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth in Amazon!

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