The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle Earth II: Rise of the Witch King
List Price: $9.99
Our Price: $9.99
Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-Earth II: The Rise of the Witch-King expands the universe Tolkiem created. This expansion pack to the fan favorite game series lets you command the rise of evil in Middle-earth while experiencing the epic battles that took place before the films. Become the leader of an evil faction and lead an invasion of the peaceful kingdom of Arnor, home of Aragorn's ancestors. To fully experience the evil side of Middle-earth, gamers can now play as the all new Angmar faction in skirmish, multiplayer, and War of the Ring modes.
Innovative new units will help to tell the story of the evil Witch-King's rise to power, domination of Angmar, and invasion of the great kingdom of Arnor
Upgraded Create-A-Hero features - The new roll class boasts additional weapons and armor, for more customization
War of the Ring, the risk-style meta-game, offers upgraded army persistence, a new siege dynamic on the Living World Map, and unified territories that serve as major control points
Includes all-new content from Tolkien's original stories, delving deeper than ever into the story behind the award-winning movie trilogy
Insanely hard campaign highlights a mediocre expansion BFM 2: Rise of the Witch-King is an expansion pack of mixed emotions on my part. This expansion focuses on the Witch King's rise to power just when everyone thought EA had covered all of middle earth. I get this game for christmas and begin to start the single player campaign. The first mission is alright in which you have to win over the trolls and the black numenoreans (evil men). At the end I am surprised with 2 minutes to prepare for a large army of black numenoreans attacking my ill-defended string of citadels. This surprises me but there is more to come in the 2nd mission. In this mission, after securing the aid of the wild men you are forced to attack two arnorian citadels armed to the tooth. The soldiers are fully armed and at rank 3 with tons of trebuchets. You have a wild band of wild men and are expected to attack 2 castles that often go on the offensive. You are forced to frantically defend your land in return. I find this campaign to be ridiculously hard even on easy. If you look at other modes of the game, the hero mode is very over-hyped. The price system and troll class are decent additions but don't make the game spectacular. If your a fan of the War of the Ring mode (unlike me) you'd get more enjoyment from this game as i've heard its very improved. The nice thing is the additions to each faction, making skirmish play more fun and the factions more complete. Despite good additions, a good chunk of this game is a disappointment in my eyes. If your a die-hard war of the ring player then buy this game. If not, you should take a pass on this one....more info
Astonishing level of detail given to terrain, story line, and characters makes this game a winner The level of detail that went into the planning of this game is extraordinary.
I haven't played the War of the Ring, so can't comment on that. Frankly, for *me*, it's too massive and time consuming, and I just don't have the requisite time/energy/desire to take it on. But anyone can see from the reviews posted here that it's a remarkable feature of the game. (Which just makes the game seem that much more incredible to me.)
What I can comment on is the Campaign, and the Skirmishes, and how true to Tolkien's Middle-earth the game is.
The Campaign is that of the Witch-King's successful attempt to destroy the realm of Andor, a northern kingdom in Middle-earth. One of the lead reviews posted here mentioned that even on the "easy" setting, the Campaign was extremely difficult. I'd have to agree with that. I slowly made it through on the easy setting, and I won't be going back for more. It was interesting, but not quite interesting enough to do what I would think of as torture--try and try again to beat a game that will always beat me.
The Campaign is interesting in that it presents a new faction: Angmar, and the Witch-King is a major character in many of the tasks that comprise the Campaign, although he seems to be (in the Campaign and the Skirmishes) a bit on the weak side. More so as a hero in Mordor, where he rides the winged beast (he has the option of dismounting), than in Angmar, where he sits a horse. All of the new additions are carefully thought out, and while they all don't follow the canon of LOTR, the direction of the Witch-King's assault on the kingdom of Andor does, and that in itself is impressive. In the Angmar faction, the "heroes" are not canon, with the Witch-king's notable exception. The others have clever backgrounds, that do reflect canon, but they're fictional-fictional creations. One, Morgomir, is said to be one of The Nine (he's not), and when using him as a hero, he is, at times, much more effective than the Witch-king himself, with "powers" that have a more direct impact on the game. That's mostly true if you're playing against the computer, but if you're playing against another person, who would ostensibly know how better to deploy heroes (i.e., send them out with troops, have them fight alongside troops, and try to stay alive to level up and reap the benefits of higher-level powers, as opposed to acting like kamikazes), then the Witch-king's major power, a resetting of all heroes special powers to "used", is actually a major power.
Along with Angmar come new troops: Thrall Masters, Black Numenoreans, Dark Rangers (who fire bolts of ice, rather than silverthorn or fire), Dire Wolves, Snow Trolls, Hill Trolls, Seige Engine, and, the newest introduction to the entire BME universe, Sorcerers who, if used correctly, can be devastating.
Also, the walls that Angmar builds are strong. They can be upgraded with "ice", and once done are very difficult to knock down.
All of the other factions received upgrades/changes; most importantly, they each received elite infantry units, with limits to the number you can have on the field. For the Elves, there are Noldor Warriors. You can have three units on the field at a time. They come fully upgraded with banners (though one isn't visible), silverthorn arrows, and armor. They can also switch to fight with swords at close range. Used correctly, and leveled up, they are a mighty force.
The Men of the West get Knights of Dol Amroth. Only three units can be on the field at a time, and if you pair them with other units on horseback, and, say, Eomer as a hero, once the knights level up appropriately, they lend extra experience to surrounding troops and can make for daunting cavalry.
Dwarves get Zealots. I haven't played the Dwarves, so can't comment on them.
Isengard gets Uruk Deathbringers. Played correctly, they are fearsome.
Mordor gets The Black Riders. Only one Black Rider at a time may be in play. In reality, it's six horsed men in black--the Nazgul--and again, they become more and more terrible as they level up.
Goblins get Fire Drake Brood. Only two may be on a field at a time, which amounts to 6 individual fire drakes. Like others, they are more effective as they level up, but are too easily dispatched. Best to pair them with a summoned Fire Drake from the Goblin fortress.
There are other additions and changes to units and buildings, but that's a long enough list.
In the first Battle for Middle Earth, the Campaign was much more exciting, as it followed the story of The Lord of the Rings reasonably well--it certainly followed the movie. The skirmishes were less exciting, as the terrain didn't change much from one place to another, with minor exceptions, and that's where BME2 and BME2RWK really shine.
Just as in writing, it's all in the details.
When you skirmish in Lorien, the colors of the forest are gorgeous and alluring, as in the Shire and Rivendell. The maps, and the lands portrayed within the maps, are much so more detailed than those in BME1, and your ability to customize the terrain to your liking (choosing where to build structures, how many you want to build) is greatly improved.
Good is represented by Dwarves, Elves, and Men. All have their good and bad points. With the elves, you can upgrade to "silverthorn" arrows, and once you have an armored group of archers with silverthorn arrows, the game turns in your favor pretty quickly. Elves are the premier archers of the game. They have three different types. Lorien archers, Mirkwood archers, and Noldor warriors. The more elite the archer unit, the further back the archers need to be to hit their targets. (Compare this with goblin archers who seem to need to run up to the enemy and French kiss them before firing.) With elves, if you develop your archers quickly, get them the silverthorn upgrade as soon as possible, and purchase Haldir as a hero, pretty soon you'll be ruling the battlefield. The drawback to the elves is that it's difficult to raise resources. Other factions have ways to generate extra resources. Mordor and Isengard have lumber mills in addition to their main resource generator, and Isengard has a power that, when selected, allows you to raise the output of a slaughterhouse by 300% for the duration of the game. Add that to the lumber mills, and you're raising money quickly.
But the bad guys need the extra resources, because they can't heal. Their bannered units don't replenish as quickly as the good guy's bannered units do, and there's nowhere for them to go (no Mirror of Galadriel, or Well of Healing) to quicken their healing. If you're playing the evil side, and find yourself run over by a bunch of horsed lancers, your forces take a serious hit. The harder the game selection, the more forces will be thrown at you, so you don't have idle time to wait for your troops to heal. You need to create new troops, purchase new banners, armor, arrows or weapons, etc.
Evil is represented by Isengard, Goblins, Mordor, and Angmar. If you play the Goblins, watch when you build a tunnel--you'll see two goblins kind of playing catch, although they're supposed to be working. One is throwing rocks out from inside the tunnel, the one on the outside is catching them. When the goblin on the outside loses track of what he's doing, the one from the inside comes up, smacks him on the head, and they resume their tasks of throwing and catching rocks. Like I said--details.
If you capture the ring, you get to call out Sauron himself. He's pricey--10,000--but has an insane amount of health, 15,000, and must be wearing armor that's stronger than mithril. He's nearly impossible to hurt if he's being utilized correctly, and if you're playing an evil group and get the ring, make sure you bring Sauron out. He is the one character in the game--the only one--who can change the tide of a battle. I was playing level 1 Goblins against level 4 elves, and while not being soundly trounced, I was definitely losing. That is, until I captured the ring. As soon as Sauron came out, the tide shifted, and I won. He's not terribly quick on his feet, or speedy with his mace, but once that mace connects to anything, watch out. He can cause whole battalions to become airborne.
Compare that to calling out Galadriel, who is the hero that the forces of good can call upon when they've captured the ring. Her health is 5,000. You can custom-make heroes that have more health than Galadriel. She's not a game changer. She has some cool powers--fear, and a wicked tornado that picks up virtually everything, and that, when positioned over an enemy's fortress can cause severe damage--but the way they've drawn her character she looks more like Stevie Nicks throwing karate kicks than the Queen of the Elves.
My only real beef with this game is that patches to the original version weakened some heroes. Gandalf, for instance, wouldn't stand much of a chance against the Black Riders of Mordor, and we know from the books that he's more than a challenge for any of them. He also can't stand up to the Witch-king, which is absurd. (If all you know is the movie, what happens between Gandalf and the Witch-king in Gondor in the Extended Version of ROTK could not possibly have happened.) Gandalf is better matched against the Balrog that the evil forces can call upon, but even the Balrog is weaker than it should be. Remember: Gandalf, the Balrog, Saruman, and Sauron all share a similar origin. They are all Maia, essentially angels (or fallen angels). No man should be able to withstand Gandalf's wrath, especially when he returns as Gandalf the White. Yet many can.
Still, that's not much of a beef.
When playing equal sides, level 1 Goblins against level 1 elves, it's usually a cake walk for the goblins, with me playing the goblins and the computer playing the elves, for example. It's not quite so easy playing it the other way, playing the good guys. But that's fine--that's canon. Evil was stronger than good, and the "forces of good" really had to dig down deep to pull out a victory.
Very good improvements! The expansion pack is very good. It was better than I expected. I for one love the campaigns, and it was interesting to have it fully based on the evil side. The changes are also very good, such as how quickly the opening screen works as opposed to BFME2. I like the new maps and the new added units. The Angmar faction is very different from the others....more info
witch king expansion pack the expansion pack doesn't offer much that's different from the original game....more info
Unable to play due to errors After receiving and installing the game was unable to play due to an dat.error. Apparently this is a known issue from EA forums that many people experience after instillation. DO NOT recommend buying as EA has not released a fix. The only way is to download a torrent with a no cd crack which is not a fix....more info
"Awesome Strategy" This game is really fun, and has great strategy. It also has unique units, buildings, and heroes for each of the seven races:
All New: Angmar
This game adds on to The Battle for Middle Earth 2, with all new heroes, units, and faction. It is a must have for any Lord of the Rings fan....more info
This game gave me anger problems this game could have been so much better, this game is SO umbalanced. the new faction Angmar is easily the most powerful faction in the game next to the drawrves which makes me so mad because, this is a pretty good game other than these problems, the other problem is the worst AI known to man, (next to superman 64) it will completely ignore your units and go for your resource buildings (espicialy on brutal) maybe... just maybe a patch will come out and fix the bugs and if so get this game
Not a Bad Deal If you enjoyed battle for middle earth II then I would recommend this expansion, as long as your not paying more than about $15. It takes care of a lot of the glitches and balances the civilizations a bit, while adding a new civilization that has powerful, but expensive troops. This is about all it does though, graphics and AI remain about the same. Overall I truly enjoyed the original and this addition certainly does not detract from it, just don't expect too much from it....more info
still has problems There are a few problems yet remaining to be fixed with the upgrade. I've been playing the War of the Ring scenario, and it can get so frustrating.
First, you have to wait for your units to come as reinforcements. Not so for the enemy. ALL the computer troops get to attack you at once. Secondly, you do not know where exactly the enemies may be. ALL of them know exactly where you are. This is a major problem, as they will quickly outnumber you if you do not attack their buildings, yet you cannot go looking as the other enemy forces will come in from another direction and destroy your camp. Third, the targeting needs to be better. There are some units, such as the 3 drakes as well as some cavalry units that move extremely rapidly. If you are not exactly on the right spot or they run too quickly, your units will advance instead of fire. Fourthly, your units may not respond to commands. You can order them to move, yet if an enemy fires at them, units will stop. They do not move again until you tell them to. When 3 enemy forces are attacking you and you're waiting on the reinforcement clock to expire, you cannot possibly watch every single unit all the time. Yet of course, the AI has no problem doing that. Fifthly, and my biggest complain, it doesn't matter what race you select, enemy units will ALWAYS have a longer firing range than you do. His archers will outshoot yours, his catapults with always reach farther than your fortress can return fire. Elevation such as towers for archers or hills for your big guns do not matter. You have to abandon towers or move your units into enemy fire in order to return fire.
I'll throw in a sixth complaint. Fortesses may as well be made of straw. They're almost useless because they are so very expense to make yet so easily knocked down.
The campaign is not so frustrating, but getting into the other solo games can be. ...more info
An excellent addition While the witch king does not dramatically change game play, it does add to the original game.
The Angar faction is a wonderful addition. They have added new, much needed, units to the other factions, additional maps, and beefed up the create a hero system. They also added a few heroes to some of the factions, like the Dale hero from the dwarven side.
I heard that the War of the Ring additions are also great, but I haven't had a chance to dig into that.
Overall, this expansion has peaked my interest in playing the game. I mostly play it on skirmish mode with other players. If you like the original, you will definetly like the additions with this expansion.
The best of all four!!! This game is the is the best of all four!!! I mean its excellent! the new heroes, the new faction: Angmar and it's cool powers, The new campaign story mode, the new ideas, the new "create a hero" options and it's new class: the trolls, and even more!! What i really like is that there is the new faction (Angmar). The snow trolls are special because their clubs are strong enough to kill Eowyn!! "That is if you have two packs of snow trolls". And Angmar is really good! if there are sixty groups of enemies, an avalanche could kill all of them in two rolls!!!
If you try inflicting fell wind on an enemy hero it gives you the chance to strike him/her while on the ground! The game is just so nice!!!
Really, this is a game that DESERVES five stars. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! IT'S WAITING FOR U OUT THERE!!!...more info
No great changes from LOTR II The quality and style are all equalled by Battle for Middle Earth II. The Witch King provides additional characters without change in style and game play. I still give top marks to EA for this game and it's previous version. My review of LOTR II applies to this game as well. Enjoy!...more info
Good expansion for a classic game This is an expansion pack that does what all expansions should do: it improves upon the original game and adds new content. While RotWK does not revolutionize the basic gameplay of BFME2, it is a worthwhile addition.
Gameplay: The expansion simply adds more to the intense, visually stunning RTS that is BFME2. The single-player campaign introduces the story of the Witch-king's rise to power and allows you to play the bad guys, which is fun in this instance. There are 8 mission, plus an epilogue that allows you to play the kingdom of Arnor (a carbon copy of Men of the West). The campaign, at least on normal difficulty, can be quite hard in places, and you might be surprised to find yourself repeating a few of the missions. Overall, it is an adequate diversion, which will take about 5-6 hours to complete.
The create-a-hero system is much improved. Now, you can create your own in-game avatar using a power-purchasing system that makes sense and will allow for some diversity in the game. You can make a "cheap" hero, who can be afforded during the early game, or make an expensive one that will almost rival Sauron. A few new powers have been added, along with a troll class and some more clothing/armor options. Truthfully, the new power-purchasing system should have been added with a patch, so that people with the original game could receive this fix. In any event, the new system here is much welcomed and makes player-made heroes more balanced and interesting.
The best improvement of the original gameplay comes with the changes to the War of the Ring (WotR) mode. Now, the armies that you create in the RTS skirmishes carry over to the strategic map and can be moved around with your 4 heroes. There is an upkeep cost that keeps this army persistence feature from getting out of hand. Also, you can build more things from the strategic map, such as siege maps and unit upgrades. Finally, the AI plays a bit smarter. For example, it will retreat when it is losing a fight. Also, AI opponents put up a better fight than before and will build walls occasionally. The WotR mode also has about 10 new territories added to it.
The major addition to the game is the new Angmar faction, led by the Witch-king. It is a mixture of fallen men, trolls, and sorcerers. It's distinctive enough to be truly considered a separate race. The most fun unit is the thrallmaster, who can summon a squad of units on the fly to fit most any situation. The sorcerers are interesting too, but fragile and require some close micromanagement. Angmar's heroes are decent, with the Witch-king and Rogash (a powerful troll) being the best ones. Each of the existing races get a couple new units, including an elite "mini-hero" horde, which is not always worth the high cost (compared to just recruiting a new hero from the fortress).
Graphics: Basically the same as BFME2, which is to say that they are quite good. On a good computer, you'll be able to enjoy some beautiful textures, convincing unit animations, weather effects, and other nice graphics.
Sound: The music is based on the movie soundtrack, which is great. Voice acting is pretty decent. As with BFME2, the ambient sounds, unit acknowledgements, and combat audio are well done.
Stability/technical issues: The game has been quite stable on my machine. I used to get a crash or two on the WotR strategic map, but no more. The manual does a decent job explaining the new faction and improvements to gameplay.
Replayability/Value: With the improved create-a-hero system, more persistent armies in the War of the Ring Mode, new units for existing races, and the new Angmar faction, this expansion gives the original game even more longevity. The single-player campaign, though a challenge, is largely forgettable. However, it's the skirmishes and the WotR strategic game (finally fixed!) that will keep you coming back to this great game....more info
LOTR: Witchking Just and add on, it's battle for middle earth 2 only you can play as angmar. a few extra option to customize the appearance your heroes but no new powers. Same game new campaign, buy this if you're hardcore about these games....more info
The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle Earth II: Rise of the Witch King Great Expansion, must Expansion don't give you much. But this Expansion made the game even better....more info