Hmm...so the game has to be real enough that pikemen attacked at the rear die, but there are no objections to the fact that there is no setup time involved in getting the pikemen ready for a cavalry charge? For that matter, why don't rider units fall off horses when the horses trip in holes during the charge? Honestly, I could care less about that kind of realism. It may be "realistic", but that doesn't equal "fun".
The IGN review DID suck regardless of the game being reviewed, because it was poorly written: riddled with poor grammar, scattered ideas, and failing to give a good feel for what the game experience was like. It would have sucked even if the author gave the game a 97.
The designers of the game built it specifically to involve a great deal of combat, forcing you to send waves of units against the enemy. Sounds fine to me, except that some writers have indicated that there is not a great deal of unit variety, which is a concern with a game so focused on combat.
And, I've had a long history with Warcraft II, Age of Kings, Starcraft, and Warcraft III. Although I haven't played anything newer (Age of Mythology, Rome Total War, Rise of Nations, C&C etc.) they appear to be the same style of play with more complex management in each new generation. Maybe a completely different change of dynamic from that type of RTS gameplay will be refreshing.
Incidentally, Tolkien would have been rolling over in his grave just upon seeing the Balrog. I'm sick of that overgrown ball of fire that looks like it came straight out of Diablo.