I think I have said this earlier: Lord of The Rings: Battle for Middle Earth (BME – the first product, not the sequel) is the best RTS game I’ve ever played. I like it more than old games like Dune 2, Warcraft 3. I like it more than old and new Command & Conquer games. There are several reasons why I like BME so much:
- Unequal forces: I’m fan of unequal forces in all games. In Battle for Middle Earth there’s multiple factions that are all very different (yet, well enough balanced). Playing Mordor is totally different from playing Gondor.
- Placement of buildings: In BME, there’s only a limited number of places where you can build something. This means you cannot get all the buildings you’d like. You have to choose whether to get stables… or perhaps something else. Limited options is a very fine game design in this game.
- Lord of The Rings: Okay, I admit that Tolkien’s world is giving an extra bonus here (I buy all kinds of Tolkien stuff: DVDs, board games, video games, card games… no, I don’t wear hobbit clothes or anything like that).
- Walls, and an opening gate!: You can open the castle/fortification gate. That might seem like a trivial thing, but I really like how it’s done. Now as I really think about this, it sounds pretty stupid… but I dunno, there’s something fun about having walls and opening the gate (hmm, I enjoyed opening a lego castle gate when I was a kid. I wonder if that has something to do with this gate issue). Maybe this is one of those “tiny details” that make a great game.
- Massive (enough) battles: I’ve really enjoyed seeing a massive number of orc hordes rushing to the walls, and battling against each other. Sure, there are games with even more troops but BME has enough of them. And that’s a good thing.
- Visuals and sounds: They’ve done a great job with the graphics, music and sounds. I really enjoy them in the game.
- Multiplayer: I’m a multiplayer, I admit it. I’ve never played BME in single player mode, and will keep it that way. I just like the multiplayer experience.
What about you – what’s the best real time strategy game you’ve ever played? Care to share reasons why?