We’re back with our weekly Monday Mods feature. What we have to offer today isn’t so much a mod as a full-blown remake of the classic 2004 real-time strategy title The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth.
For anyone who sampled the EA-backed franchise back in the day, which spawned two stellar titles, this will not only trigger waves of nostalgia, but some serious excitement, given that the games are virtually impossible to obtain by legal means nowadays, and even harder to get running on modern gaming rigs.
Although we’ve known about The Battle for Middle-Earth: Reforged since 2018, the ground-up remake returned to the spotlight recently thanks to a meaty 18-minutes of alpha gameplay showcasing the progress made by the aptly named BFME: Reforged Team. The key takeaway is that what we have here isn’t a rough fan attempt to revive the game, but a complete remake in Unreal Engine 4 with all the graphical upgrades and gameplay improvements that entails.
We’ll hand it over to the team behind The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth for a quick overview:
“The team behind this project is introducing The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth franchise to a brand new game engine – Unreal Engine 4. Relive the magic that made this franchise stand out in the RTS genre in glorious high definition.
Unlike other projects that are modifications made to the original SAGE engine, The Battle for Middle-Earth: Reforged is being completely rebuilt in every aspect in Unreal Engine 4. Prepare for a completely new experience in the greatest addition to The Battle for Middle-Earth franchise that has ever been attempted.”
The game is developed as a non-commercial project to avoid the licensing nightmare and litigious meddling that would undoubtedly come with trying to sell the game.
Sadly, the game isn’t ready to be let loose into the wild, but based on the gameplay video, we’re in for a treat. Indeed, the project is nothing short of ambitious as you can tell from peeking at the planned features:
- Rebuilt in Unreal Engine 4.
- New models that are ten times more detailed than those in the original game coupled with souped-up optimization.
- Magnificent maps and landscapes.
- New units, buildings, and abilities.
- New special effects.
- Higher FPS.
- Expanded multiplayer, including online play, rating system, and tournaments.
- New upgrade system.
- 4K resolution support.
- New shaders for physically correct lighting and shadowing.
- New global map single-player campaign.
If you fancy delving into some of the new assets and more, BFME: Regorged Team are doing well to keep fans updated courtesy of regular posts over on the Moddb listing for The Battle for Middle-Earth: Reforged, which you can check out here.
The BFME: Regorged Team has its sights set on launching a beta featuring two factions next, although there’s currently no time frame for when this might happen. As with any fan-led project, there’s no guarantee the team of part-time contributors will carry the project to completion, but let’s hope it does.