The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War has now launched its first closed beta test in Australia and the Philippines. The test is set to run for around three weeks, and with players delving into NetEase's strategy epic, some early gameplay footage has now emerged (thanks, PocketGamer.biz).

This one was first announced back in June and promises to deliver a "visually stunning and completely faithful rendition" of Tolkien's Middle Earth, fit will fan-favourite characters and well-known locations from the fantasy series.

Along with the beta came news of recommended specs. Android devices with a Snapdragon 652/Exynos 8890/Kirin 950 CPU or above should be good to go, and you'll be needing around 3GB of RAM or above for a more optimal experience. That being said, this is an in-development build that's still being optimised for a wider range of devices.

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Video credit: WadaGames

Once the beta is over, all player progress will be wiped. And it's also worth noting that the current version features no monetised features.

It sounds like we'll be seeing more of these regional beta tests in future, though a global launch is likely still a ways off. In the meantime, you can check out some early gameplay footage in the video above.

It looks like a fairly straightforward mobile strategy game, with unit lineups to customise, bases to build up, and hero characters to upgrade. More updates are set to arrive via the game's Facebook page

This isn't the first time Warner Bros. has partnered with Chinese mobile games giant NetEase. The pair's Harry Potter RPG, Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, launched into beta back in May. There's currently no word on when we can expect either game to head westward. 

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