The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II

BFME2 multiplayer patch

BFME2 multiplayer patch

No more quitting out on 360.

Electronic Arts has patched up the Xbox 360 version of Battle for Middle-Earth II so that the game now punishes people who disconnect before the end of a game in the hope of avoiding a loss.

Patch 1.01 is an automatic update, which makes it so that if you disconnect on your opponent in a multiplayer match, you will get an automatic loss, while he or she gets an automatic win.

The patch also sorts out an issue with friends not showing up in the lobby, and corrects a couple of other minor problems. You can read more about it on the game's official website.

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BFME2 360 maps released

Cost you a couple of pints.

Electronic Arts has released three new maps for the Xbox 360 version of The Lord of the Rings, Battle for Middle-Earth 2.

LOTR 360 demo goes live

Battle for Middle-earth.

As promised, EA has released a demo of The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II through Xbox Live Marketplace.

LOTR 360 demo today

Plus, NCAA for US/Canada.

Xbox 360 owners who've dispensed with yesterday's Frogger release and picked their way through all the other recent demos might want to check in with Live Marketplace anyway later - as a Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II demo is likely to make an appearance.

The Lord Of The Rings: Battle For Middle Earth 2

The Lord Of The Rings: Battle For Middle Earth 2

A nice big cave troll of an RTS.

This latest real-time enactment of the Middle Earth conflict is a healthy improvement on its predecessor. As the game of the film it has considerable inherited potential to work with, and while it might only have waded through the shallow edge of the genepool in its first iteration, it is now completely submerged - and growing stronger like an orc gestating in verdant sludge.

While never genuinely challenging or surprising, BFME2 does deal its blows with feeling. It's a nice big cave troll of an RTS: never too fast or clever, but awesome when beating drums or upgraded with armour. After seeing how weakly Empire At War delivered its now-familiar subject matter, it's gratifying to see an RTS that openly revels in itself.

Battle For Middle Earth 2 takes the Tolkien universe and shakes it roughly by the trousers, just to see what shiny things fall out which might be of use. What appears from its deep dark pocketses are spiders and goblins riding giant scorpions, orc chiefs leading hordes of their lurching brethren, tentacle monsters summoned from below, blazing balrogs, shiny heroes clad in mithril and light, and even some plump little Hobbits. Rather than being a limp film-license, it is a vibrant, colourful exploration of the terrain (PC games are all about good terrain) - it's an exploration that delivers pleasing alternative Middle Earths to us for pillage and plunder, or for pious defence.

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The Battle For Middle-Earth II

Plotting against presumably evil people.

There's something dishonest about RTS multiplayer. Your enemy is not a single avatar to be hunted and shot - he is a system, a mechanism, an unseen controlling force. And he's out there, with malign intentions. With the fog of war blanking the field you can't tell exactly what he's up to. But it must be something sinister. It must be, because you know he's out to get you.

Battle for Middle-Earth II on 360

First Rings game for Live, too.

Electronic Arts is planning to bring The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-Earth II (what a time to discover the comma) to Xbox 360 this summer.