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The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II Public Beta LIVE Now!

In The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Real-Time Strategy game The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth you will experience all that Middle-earth was meant to be. And now through the public beta -- YOU will have the chance to experience the Middle-earth you've never seen -- and before anyone else!

With all new content from J.R.R. Tolkien’s original fiction, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II will delve deeper and engage in new battles that go beyond the award-winning movie trilogy. Wage war in the Northern lands and assume command of the most storied races in all of Middle-earth history – the Elven and Dwarven armies – or fight on the side of Evil with heroes and creatures never before seen in The Lord of the Rings films. Defend or overtake new lands such as Dol Guldur, The Misty Mountains, and Mirkwood as you unleash powerful new weapons and abilities - summon dragons, cause volcanoes to erupt, or bring down a cataclysmic lightning strike.

This public beta test features a specific part of the larger game and is now available exclusively to those who pre-order the game. This online multiplayer beta includes two brand new out of six total factions - the mighty Dwarves and treacherous Goblins. In the beta test, both factions boast all their units, heroes, structures, and powers for players to utilize against opponents online. Players will also experience two brand new maps to wage battle against; Harlindon and Withered Heath. The map Harlindon is partially composed of a sprawling ocean that showcases the game’s new naval combat feature. Players can use this to their advantage by launching attacks from sea or land. The Withered Heath map is a wide open snow plane complete with surrounding mountains and caverns that will thrust players into in the middle of epic battles, perfect for strategic sneak attacks.

The public beta also includes two tutorials with over 45 minutes of gameplay that will explain all the new features and more.

The public beta will be available to everyone who pre-orders The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II at participating retail stores until the full version of The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II ships in early 2006. Currently, the pre-order promotion is available at the following North American retailers:

Gamestop & Gamestop.com

Ebgames & Ebgames.com

EB Canada

For each pre-order purchase, retailers will provide consumers with a unique 20-digit registration/install code. Once you have the code, you can visit http://www.bfme2.e.com/beta to register for the beta test.

Please continue to visit http://www.bfme2.ea.com for more information on the public beta test, as well as new details about The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II which will ship in early 2006 and is rated T for Teen by the ESRB.

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