"Strategy has seen the sun"

Through waging my own Epic war, while seeing the tides shift, and a breathtaking story be played before my eyes, I literally was on the computer 18 hours a day. The storyboard team at blizzard has always intrigued me to say the least, but I have never been so impressed with a game, period. With the possible exception of Final Fantasy VII and Chrono Trigger no game could possibly compete with this titles addictive nature. The strategy required in this game literally is a bit limited, you need not use all the units, but it is still enough to think through your plans carefully, like a general I suppose. The story is just awesome and the superb graphics including cinematics unmatched by any other game period, advance it at a great pace. The game also has so much to offer, aside from 35 missions that can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour each, the game has multi-player that takes everything you loved about battle-net, and adds more. Overall, if you know you have a PC at home and don’t know what to do with it, I’ll give you three guesses as to what you should ask Santa Claus for next Christmas

Graphics

I have to hand it to blizzard, the cinematics are gorgeous. The PC just offers what console gaming cannot in this department. Even though graphics are possibly the least important aspect when making a good game, you’ll be glad that blizzard made extra strides to make this so stunning. In game play its also really cool, especially if you just played warcraft II. The worlds are SO good, and I really cant put that any other way, as to the diversity in terrain and the units and their animations.

Control

OOH. The interface is very user friendly, just play the intro that wals you through gameplay basics and you’ll be ready to save the world in no time. Blizzard also took their sweet-ass time thinking up all the ways they could help you in the heat of battle, so theirs no confusion. Through hotkeys you can control any unit you deem important enough easily never having you scour the map, and units can spawn anywhere you want be it on the front lines or safe at the base for defense. (Starcraft players, you know what I’m talking about.) You only need a two button mouse and the control key basically. The number pad as well

Sound

The Voices are very very well done and at times, hilarious. The music does set the mood, though I didn’t listen to it in great detail preferring MP3s of my own fancy to help me eliminate enemies. But the voices are great and seamlessly added to the cinematics, which I can only imagine how much of a pain in the ass that must have been, but all the more reason to thank blizzard for the experience.

Gameplay

(Malevolent laugh), now some of you real skeptics are going to say, isn’t this game a redundant hack ‘n slash that your armies just do time and time again. And I’ll say technically no. While for the most part that is kind of correct if you’re a complete pessimist and want to look at it that way, it really is a lot more. This puts the grandeur of fantasy epic warfare into your fingertips, and there’s a lot to consider. What types of units did you need, did you want a lot of air or ground damage. Did you need a lot of siege damage for taking out enemy bases. Also strategy, can I flank enemy bases (never underestimate this tactic!) or the use of traps and your own defenses. Units also come with a load of their own abilities like healing, slowing, nets(for air units), Magical onslaughts like firestorms and the like, increased statistics, confusion, persuasion, instant death, and a lot more. Most of these can be set to an auto cast for the middle of warfare so you don’t actually have to must anything at all for them to cast it.

Also THE coolest addition, that will make every strategy gamer re-measure this title is the Hero. While your units and all this warfare stuff is cool, enough to make the game a stand-alone title already, the Heroes ad that “ummph.” Heroes are a lot like Diablo, but obviously not that complex. Hero units are units you carry with you from mission to mission and as you play more levels and destroy more enemy units, they level up. Increasing their statistics, and earning more powerful spells which can be truly devastating to anyone who apposes you. Also as you progress their will be items that your hero can carry that make him/her even better (think Diablo again.) Ex: A cloak of shadows will automatically allow your hero to be invisible, Claws of attack plus nine will add nine damage ontop of every hit regardless of how much damage your doing currently. This IS the reason for the games addictiveness.

Story

I love it. Warcrafts story was nothing really special until this game. Anyone who reads R.A. Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms books, or Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time should be very impressed with this game as well. Corruption, betrayal, an undying love in a land filled with chaos, yep, its all here, and there are enough turns, climaxes, and shortnesses of breath to keep you playing for a long time, or a short time cause you literally wont do anything else until you beat this game.

Replay

A lot. If you like the game there are tons of ways to play multiplayer until the end of eternity. Most gamers will want to go back and beat the game on hard again, but even if your not one of them, the battle-net will allow the action to last forever.

Overall

Buy it, there’s mot much to say here but just reiterate what I just said, which doesn’t sound that appealing so if you like Role playing, or Strategy games, this one is guaranteed not to disappoint period


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/09/03, Updated 01/09/03


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