It’s been nearly 4 months to the day that I’ve owned an Xbox 360. When I finally gave in and abandoned PC gaming, I had recently purchased The Battle for Middle-earth 2, which would hardly run on my system. And now 4 months later, I find myself once again fighting the good fight (well, for now – I haven’t started the evil campaign yet) for Middle-earth. This time, on my PlainBlack Xbox 360 (get it?).

I must say, they’ve done a stellar job of handling the complex controls of a RTS game quite nicely. This was my biggest concern when I heard they were bring BFME2 to the Xbox 360. Believe it or not, they’ve really found a nice layout that feels very natural once you’ve got them down. Along with a few button combinations, I found myself feeling right at home in no time at all. After a couple brief tutorials, that is.

EA, with their never-ending ability to disappoint their customers, have dropped the ball once again. When I forgot how to create bookmarks (used to group battalions together for quick access), I jumped on the official BFME2 website for a refresher. No surprise at all, I was met by a coming soon page. Way to go, EA! I quickly turned to the gaming community for a little help and found that others were also in search of a control scheme reference guide. While I didn’t find the bookmark instructions here, I did find a very nice outline of all controls. I hadn’t figured out how to select all of a certain unit type, so this was super helpful to me.

A- Select unit/battalion

A, A- All units on screen

LT + A- All units on screen

LT + A, A- Entire army

LB + A- Add unit/battalion to current selection

LB + A with unit selected over ground- set waypoint

RB + A- All units of that type on screen

RB + A, A- All units of that type in your entire army

RT- Access menu (its a P word I’m not going to even try to spell

Up D-pad- scroll through heroes

Right D-pad-scroll through powers

Down D-pad- scroll through builders

Left D-pad- Press once for your entire army (automatically your first bookmark), keep pressing for more bookmarks

B over unit- deselect unit

B over ground- deselect all

Y- jump to where you’re being attacked or whatever

X- go to selected, hold down to follow

Left Thumbstick (click)- go to fortress

Right Thumb (click)- reset camera

So, there it is in a nutshell. Kind of neat that there’s some double button pressing in there. Makes it feel more PC like, for sure.

I’ve played through the first few battles of the Good campaign and am having a ton of fun with it. I will admit, I’m finding it a little hard to distinguish unit types at times and some of the text is wicked small. But I’m sure this is not the case if you’re using a HDTV. I will be sure to try it out using my monitor before writing my review. Speaking of which, I’m definitely going to be reviewing this game, but it might be a couple weeks off. I like to complete the game before I review it, and there’s a lot of game here. Also, I don’t want to rush it. Once I’m done the game, I’ll be re-playing certain battles to try for the Achievements. BFME2 is one of those games where you have to perfect everything to get the points for it. Secondary (optional) objectives included. Kind of a drag, especially since you can’t simply go back and reply the battle once you’ve finished it. You can however, after you’ve completed the entire campaign. So I guess that’s what I’ll be doing.

Anyone else playing this yet? How do you feel it holds up as a console RTS?

10 Comments

The last RTS game I played was Age of Empires 2, I’ve moved on to FPS and never really wanted to go back to controlling impersonal litlte units.

I am dying to play this game. The only RTS game I ever got into was Warcraft 3. How does this compare?

@Luke L: I hear you. I’m not much of an RTS fan myself. Especially those that require tons of mico-management. But it’s a nice change from the first and third person shooters I normally play.

@David: Couldn’t tell you, I never played Warcraft 3. It’s more of an action RTS, if that helps? Lots of fighting and pretty large battles. I’d give it a rent if you’re into RTS games at all. I’m having a lot of fun with it and I’m mostly a shooter guy myself.

Yeah, the best thing I remember from AoE was making the custom maps with 1000+ heavy troops intermixed and just letting them fight each other.

On another note, I just got my August issue of PC Format and there’s a screenshot of feedicons.com in it, just thought you’d like to know.

@Luke L: Oh awesome! Was there an article on feeds or something? Feel free to email me directly via my contact page if you don’t want to reply here.

@David: Ok, I change my recommendation to "you gotta play this game!" I just finished the 5th battle, the Grey Havens. It lasted about 45 minutes and had me scrambling over land and sea, fending off swarms of goblins and other baddies. Man, it was great! I figured out how to use the bookmarks, so I was able to easily manage to concurrent battles. Just when I thought I was going to get my ass kicked, the Dwarves returned to reinforce my army. So good!

It’s funny how into this game I am. I never liked Lord of the Rings until a couple months ago, and even still, I’ve only been able to sit through the last movie. And I’m not the biggest RTS fan, but this game has me hooked and totally stoked! Now I’ve got eagles at my disposal. There’s gonna be eagles fighting dragons and shit. Oh man, can’t wait!

I’ve really really wanted to try this but my fear of RTS on consoles is still strong. I’ve heard decent reviews, but I’m really waiting for a demo to hit the MP or maybe rent it soon.

Im still playin WC3 the Frozen Throne. haha. This looks exciting though. I love Micro Management. Thats what makes the game fun. 1v1 matches rule.

Nice roundup! The demo is on Live now so I think I may give it a go. Graphics look pretty great from the screenshots too.

This game was so boring it made me sleep like a champ:)

(Hey you wanted a comment big shootah!) 🙂

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