Electronic Arts Ships New LOTR RTS Game

Electronic Arts announced today that they’d shipped real time strategy game The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II to retailers for a March 2 release. The game is available for the PC and priced at $49.99 for the regular edition or $59.99 for a collector’s version which includes a special behind the scenes making of the game DVD and extra in-game content. An Xbox 360 version of the game will be made available this summer.

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, said EA, draws upon the New Line Cinema films as well as new content from author J.R.R. Tolkien’s original fiction for its inspiration. The game is set in the Northern regions of Middle-earth where players can command Elven and Dwarven armies or fight on the side of evil with heroes and creatures that were not seen in The Lord of the Rings films. Actor Hugo Weaving reprises his role as Elrond and lends his voice to the game, helping to set the scene and tone for each mission.

Players can customize their experience by creating their own hero and building all new customized RTS units. Castles with customizable and upgradeable fortresses and walls can be built and players, if the choose, can control the entire war with War of the Ring Mode; a high level “Risk” style game on the world map with a new strategic AI.

“The Lord of Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II introduces players to new heroes, creatures, places and stories from Tolkien’s fiction brought to life in the visual style of the films from New Line Cinema,” said Mike Verdu, Executive Producer at EA LA, the studio that developed the game, in a statement. “The game combines a rich and wonderful world with innovations in real-time strategy game play to deliver the complete Middle-earth experience. This is the Middle-earth you’ve never seen.”