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?