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This game allows you to be both the good and the evil forces from tolkien's world, and it takes part at other battles not in the original book.
There are 6 armies for you to control, Dwarves, Men of the West and Elves on the good side and Goblins, Mordor and Isengard for the evil side. Each army contains a variety of units including Riders of Rohan, Elven Archer, Mountain Trolls, Dwarven Seige weapons and many of the heros featured in the movie including those featured in the book.
The game has both good and evil campaigns and the usual single battles against the computer. there are several skirmish options including hero battles, normal battle, quests for money to name some.
The X-box live part of the game allows you to play there games against anyone across the world adding extra playtime once the single player is finished.
The high definition graphics are great if you do not view in HD though they may be a little blotchy and hard to see exactly what is going on on screen.
I have played a couple of real time strategy games on consoles before and everytime the control system lets the game down badly. This time although not as easy on the PC they have done a very good job at the controls. There are several smart functions that allow you to jump around the screen and pick what it is you want to do.
With the 6 different armies and the multiple play modes this game does give you a good level of replabilit. however i found that i still began to grow tired of the game and trying to get all of the achievements on offer can get frustrating. Also if you have a little too many characters on teh screen at one the system can slow down.
Also the hero creation mode that is present on the PC is not on the X-Box version. there are a few unlockable heros but i still think the hero creation would have a good addition.
overall the game is very good and enjoyable and if you like real time strategy game you will love this. Those who love the lord of the rings world will also love this game. there are a couple of problems but not many