Review by TKDBoy1889

"A fun game with some great concepts, but also some bad ones..."

I wanted to love this game. As a fan of Warcraft 2, I had anticipated Warcraft 3 ever since it was announced, practically drooling over the wait. Of course, when the game came out I bought it within a week or so. I started playing and at first thought it was one the most amazing games I had ever played. But as I played more and more, I noticed more and more flaws and drawbacks, some which really started to hinder my experience until I realized the game was not it was cracked up to be.

Warcraft 3 aimed to take the previous games and expand upon them. There were many great features that I liked right away. For one, there were four playable races. In addition to the orcs and human, one could also play as night elves and the undead. These four races didn't just differ in terms of a few tweaks or unit changes, they were completely different. The closest ones in similarity were the orcs and humans, but the undead and night elves were completely different. They differed in everything from having completely different units, different ways of building structures, to even having different ways of collecting the resources of gold and lumber. The result is four unique races, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and each providing a unique experience when playing. Each of them is fun in their own way. They have completely different military units, different magic users, and all around just completely different experiences to play as. This was a nice upgrade from the two races of Warcraft that were rather similar in deign, only differing in terms of magic spells mostly.

Then the game featured a day/night cycle. This was more than just a cosmetic addition, there were big differences. For example, the Undead and the Night Elves had certain advantages during the night, such as invisible units. And random monsters fell asleep at night, making it possible to avoid random fights with wilderness creatures at night. At night, units could also not see quite as far. This was a pretty in depth feature that added a lot of different mechanics to the game.

The game even added some RPG-like elements with it's heroes. Every race had three different heroes that could be made. Heroes were unique units that started weak, but gained experience in combat and could level up, becoming incredibly powerful forces that wielded intense magic spells and powerful attacks. They could also pick up items scattered throughout the map that had various uses. Heroes were like units that could be used to lead armies into battles, and they were a great concept that made the game much more intriguing.

Not to mention, there are neutral buildings scattered throughout the game maps that will, for a price, sell you items or mercenary troops that fight to the death for you.

All of these elements hooked me into the game and had me playing non-stop through the campaign. But, as time went on, it was discovered that there were concepts and mechanics that started to really drag the gameplay experience down.

Food limit

First it was discovered that there was a food limit of 90. Food is essentially the population limit of Warcraft Seeing that Warcraft 2, a much older game, had a food limit of 200, this was somewhat disappointing. But 90 I figured was still a good limit, as I could have 90 units. But then I learned that almost every unit in the game took more than 1 food slot. In fact, peasants and workers were just about the only unit that only took 1. The basic of soldier units took at least 2 counts of food, sometimes 3 or 4. Heck, the basic grunt of the Orc race takes up 3 slots. 3 counts of food for the most basics soldier. This means that you can never have too many units. Between making a balanced army and keeping workers around, the food limit is really limiting. But this was made even worse by something else.

Upkeep

Upkeep was a new feature that basically, as you created more an more units you had to give up a percentage of the gold you mined as a means of keeping the city flowing. I understand what they were trying to do. They were trying to make it realistic. In real life, you would need to pay your soldiers as well as maintain the city through the treasury funds. However, realistic does not make it a good feature. It's a very annoying feature to be honest. Once your food count is over 40, 30% of the gold you mine is lost for upkeep. So you mine 10 gold but only get 7. And if you reach a food count of 70, you only get 4 gold for every 10 gold mined. Essentially, you can't go near your population limit without essentially cutting your economy in half. And getting high upkeep is something you don't want to do because it will essentially cripple your economy, and result in a lot of waste. This feature, while realistic, should not have been implemented at all. It's just annoying, and crippling.

No water units

It didn't take long before I asked myself "Where are the naval units?" Naval battle were an incredibly fun part f Warcraft 2. You could have battles on land, sea, and air. Well, I found out pretty quickly that there are no naval units you can create. The closest you can get to that is renting ships from neutral docks. This cut out a third of the battlefield variety. Now battles could only take place on land and in the air. If you're on a map with water, you either have to rent naval ships or create air units to cross over. This was a bad move. The naval aspect of Warcraft 2 was an awesome aspect, and here it's almost non-existent.

For what it is worth, the game still has value and can be enjoyable. The Single Player Campaign is long and has a lot of variety in it's mission, as well as let's you play as all four races. It's a really good campaign experience and the story is pretty good. But the game feels rather limited, like the game is forcing you to stick to small armies and stay on land or occasionally air. It added a few extremely cool features but then it also added some features that were painfully hindering on the gameplay experience as a whole.

If you're an RTS fan, I'd check this out for the heroes and the different unique races you can play as. But you'll be disappointed if you want naval warfare or if you prefer RTS games that let you have large armies.

Pros:

-Four very unique playable races
-Heroes add some RPG-like elements to the game
-Day/Night cycle has some effects on gameplay strategy.

Cons:

-Food limit is way too small, and units take up too much food.
-Upkeep is very annoying and practically forbids maxing out the food limit
-Naval aspects are practically non-existant.

Final score: 6/10

If you're a big RTS fan, I'd check this out for the heroes and the different unique races you can play as. But you'll be disappointed if you want naval warfare or if you prefer RTS games that let you have large armies.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/25/12

Game Release: Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (US, 07/03/02)


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