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PC Reviews: Warcraft III Reign of Chaos

 

Warcraft III Reign of Chaos Screenshots

actual in-game screen shots

The Final Say!

Gameplay
9.5

Graphics
8.9

Sound
9.4
Value
9.5

Warcraft III Reign of Chaos
reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 5 July 2002
Review Score: 9.5/10 
Distributor: Vivendi Universal Interactive

"Need something to keep you busy till the next Lord of the Rings movie comes out... than Warcraft III is that game"

Once upon a time in the far away kingdom of Blizzard, a game would be released that would change the face of PC gaming...this game would be called Warcraft. It would spawn the world and become the #1 best selling action & strategy game of all time. In its wake would follow Warcraft II Tides of Darkness and now the most anticipated sequel of the Warcraft series is finally here...

Warcraft III Reign of Chaos

If you haven't heard of the Warcraft series, then you've probably been living under a rock but if you're reading this review... *eerie music* Warcraft is one of the most popular RPG action and strategy games and it has a cult following around the world. It was one of the first games to support multiplayer gaming on the internet via Kali and Battle.Net. 

Warcraft III takes place 15 years after the last devastating war between the humans and the orcs. The world of Azeroth is now quiet and an uneasy peace exists between the two races. The prophets have warned the two races that an ancient evil is about to be unleased on the world of Azeroth. The orcs have been told to regroup their legions and travel North in an attempt to reclaim their ancient homelands and save the world. While the humans have been told to travel west to meet this deadly and ancient evil.

If these two races fail to defeat this new threat, then the world of Azeroth will be extinguished of all life and the Burning Legion will turn the beautiful lands of Azeroth into a fiery hell. For the demons have returned to the world of men and orcs.

Warcraft III features two additional new races that can be played in conjunction with the humans and orcs. These two new races are the reclusive night elves and the horrifying undead. Each of these four races have various strengths and weaknesses that must be used in conjunction with the other races in order to successfully complete the game.

Warcraft III features a new 3D engine that allows you to zoom right into the action. This new engine utilizes the power of 3D graphic cards by allowing for a variety of special effects such as various terrains, weather and lighting effects. The graphics of Warcraft III are truly spectacular and features some of the nicest graphics I've ever seen on a action/strategy game.  

Although Warcraft III may look a little cartoony, it really suits the atmosphere of the game. Everything is sharp and colourful and the attention to detail is outstanding. All characters in the game are made up of polygons and gone are the days of bitmap characters.

The gameplay of Warcraft III is almost identical to its predecessors. Controls are done via a point and click interface, as the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". The game does feature a plethora of new features such as new legendary hero units that gain levels and various abilities as they progress through the game. This helps give the game a true role-playing experience, so players are not just some godlike observer but actually puts you in the midst of the action. Apart from these new hero units, there are various special items that are littered throughout the game or can be purchased at neutral buildings. For example, the Cloak of Shadows allows your hero and nearby units to become totally invisible at night when they are not moving or attacking. 

Another new feature of the game is that the game progresses through a real-world time schematic, that is, night and day actually passes in your gaming environment. The developers have also added a neat feature that actually lets you see less at night than you would during the day. Hows that for realism?

The basic premise of Warcraft III is to use your peasants to build houses (for food), mine gold (for creating buildings, weapons and upgrading your units) and to chop trees for lumber that is used in building various items. Once you have established a base, you can build barracks, temples and various defences to protect your base from the enemy. When your town becomes too big, a portion of your gold must be used to maintain its upkeep. 

Apart from your hero units, there are various other characters that you can build and control during the game. For instance, an advanced human town contains the following units that can be created;

Peasant, Militia, Footman, Rifleman, Knight, Priest, Sorceress, Gyrocopter, Mortar Team, Steam Tank and the Gryphon Rider. 

As you can see, Warcraft III has gone beyond the basic elements of the original. Even though Warcraft contains many more buildings and characters that can be created and controlled in the game, the gameplay doesn't suffer because everything is extremely easy to learn. There are some special characters that I will not mention in this review because the less I say the better. This game should not be spoiled. 

Combat in Warcraft III is done by left clicking your mouse button onto a unit or by dragging the mouse button to select a group of units than right click on the enemy. Your characters will then automatically attack the target you have selected. Even with twenty or units engaging in a battle, the gameplay does not slow down. Blizzard have done an extremely excellent job at programming this game. 

The music of Warcraft III has a very orchestral and movie soundtrack feel to it, which helps give this game a Lord of the Rings feel to it. Just watch the introduction cinematic to send some shivers down your spine. All character voices have been professionally done and like the previous games, you can keep clicking on all characters to get some amusing one-liners. As with the graphics and gameplay, the sound effects of Warcraft cannot be faulted and is of a high quality from start to finish.

For one of the most anticipated games of 2002, Warcraft III Reign of Chaos has delivered what it's promises and much more. Even when you have completed this game, you can still keep playing online, on a LAN or in skirmish mode for hours of additional fun. Warcraft III also comes with a World Editor that lets you create your own maps, scripts for units, spells and a whole lot of other cool features. You do not need to have played the previous versions of Warcraft because it contains one of the best gaming storylines I've ever seen for a action/strategy game for a long time. Even if you are not a fan of action/strategy games, then this game is still for you because it contains a mixture of role-playing elements, action, strategy and adventure to make this one enjoyable PC game. It has something for everyone. Go out and buy this game from your local computer store...

Highly Recommended! 

- Andrew B

Copyright 2002 www.impulsegamer.com