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The Lord Of The Rings: Battle For Middle-earth is easily one of the better video game adaptations of Tolkien's work to exist. Released back in 2004 when EA had the license to publish games based on the Peter Jackson films, it offered epic real-time strategy battles using the monsters, armies, and locations of Middle-earth. It was awesome.
Unfortunately, the idea of a proper sequel or remake is probably unrealistic. The video game license went back to Warner Bros. in late 2008, meaning the fate of Battle For Middle-earth lies in a confusing mess of licenses and legalities that nobody fully understands... or at least cares enough to understand to the extent needed to bring it back.
The good news is that a group of dedicated fans are once again doing what they do best: cutting through the red tape to give the people what they want. As reported by Kotaku, Battle For Middle-earth: Reforged is a passion project that's been in development for years. The aim is to rebuild the entirety of the cult classic in Unreal Engine 4, and things have come a long way since its initial announcement in 2018.
The Reforged team is made up of fans from around the world. Some dedicate most of their free time, while others dip in and out where they can. All of them are working together to give Battle For Middle-earth a proper visual overhaul that includes new assets, textures, lighting, effects, and even all-new gameplay features. Take a look at the 18-minute gameplay demo below for an idea of how things are shaping up. Spoiler: It's looking amazing.
"Though our project is non-commercial we can do things on a high level by paying attention to all details and honing our own skills in game creation," the team writes on its official website. "Our programmers have gone far in developing the essential gameplay mechanics. We expect the development speed to skyrocket after the upcoming release of the beta-version with two factions, so adding another four factions to the game will be comparatively quick."
The team shares regular updates on YouTube and its website, so be sure to check them out if you want to find out more about Battle For Middle-earth: Reforged. You can even find out how you can get personally involved with the project, if you're so inclined. Remember, this is a team doing this out of love and for no money, so help out in any way you can!
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