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BfME2 [old review found]

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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
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Location: ROTFLMAO in Belgium.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:35 pm     Post subject: BfME2 [old review found] Reply with quote

Found another review I wrote, about the pre relaese (demo) for BFME2 .....

The Battle for Middle Earth 2 // DEMO

Alternative tittle: BFME 2.
Publisher: EA - Electronic Arts.
Genre: RTS.
Release date : expected march 2006.
Platform: Windows XP.
Xbox later this year.
Single player.
Multiplayer (Broadband advised).

EA's sequel for 'The Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle-Earth' (2004). Going further on the same elan they decide developing a second one. That is always a risky business, certainly if the first one is an excellent game. And the first one was and still is an pretty good game. The story is based on J.R.R. Tolkien's books, the creator of Middle Earth and the creatures living on it, and yes, Sauron is still the evil one.

The demo opens with a trailer movie, giving you views of the game in a later stage when you should have gathered armies, build camps and fortresses. The 'good' ones unite to fight Sauron's mighty armies, of course if you're more for the evil side you can join the Orcs, Goblins, Giants, Trolls and other lowlifes at your choice. Should you prefer sea battles: you will be served with BFME2.

Well thought-out tactics are highly advised in this game, you have full control of the armies you command. This isn't a mindless slaughter party, work will have to be done creating your armies, building your camps and conquer the necessary breathing space for your man. Training an elite troops core with high skills is indispensable, without neglecting the other units. You will not win massive battles with only a limited number of good-trained units.

The demo gives a good idea what the final game will be. Interface is based on the first game, very intuitive and easy to learn. For those who don't know the first one they included a full learning stage, even those who know the first game should go through this stage, many new tactics and possibilities are to be learned for BFME2. The camps and fortresses are much improved, new castles and upgrades for the different wall structures are added. The hero or vilain can be costumised as you want. The game interface is a close relative from BFME. Selectioning one character, an unit or several units is only a matter of clicking and dragging your mouse, intuitive and easy. Game menus are easy in use, detailed and furfilling their goal. Yo ucan call different statistics regarding your progression towards the opponent, good eligible and detailed status graphics.

Graphically this sequel beats BFME, improved, detailed artworks. I have tested this demo on a 19" CRT screen, the effects are overwhelming, the massive scenery impressive.

Al good then? Would be too good, isn't it?

EA will release two versions: a regular box and a collector's box. The collector's one will be shipped with extra's, HDTV support, more in-game creatures and whatnot, an extended regular so to say. Strange politics if you ask me, gives the idea that the regular game is crippled.

The ingame sounds are a bit repetitive, hearing two hundred times the same cry: "THE ENEMY" , pfffff, boooooooring.

The AI seems a bit improved, but still lacks some reality feeling. The enemies defend themselves in a clumsy, even an awkward manner. More than once testing this demo I could employing only two high level trained units raid 4 or even 5 enemy units and slaughter the opponents bit by bit, using attack / retreat guerilla tactics .

You will need a high-end PC to play this game fluid in high resolution, on my PC I had to play in 1024x768 and medium details to get the game agreeably fluid. Setting higher resolutions gives a jerky gameplay.
My configuration:
AMD Athlon 64 3500+
Vidcard: GeForce FX 5700VE (128 MCool.
19" CRT
Windows XPsp2.

They state at EA minimum system requirements as 1.6Ghz / 256MB-RAM / 64 MB vidcard, those requirements are a joke.
The recommended are as usual more the minimum ones for playing fluid in higher resolutions:
quoting 'EA' : W-XP, 3.0GHz Intel CPU, 1GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA6600 or 6800Ultra or 7800GT or GTX .
Begin saving for a high-end 256MB videocard or better.

To conclude:
A great demo, great in size, 1.36 Gb download, and 2.02 Gb installed.
It was worth it, every bit of them.
The game will need about 5.5 GB available hard disk space, hopefully also worth it.

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