Review by General Raynor

"Just set "Win" to Auto-Cast..."

A good portion of the people who clicked on this review found it because of the ''4/10''. Why did I give this game a 4/10? Because an equal portion of people who are Starcraft ''veterans'' have flocked to this game with a Big Game Hunter hang over, and end up getting stuck on my team. However, that is not the only reason for this games low grade. Read on...

Gameplay - 2/10

BAD. DOUBLE BAD. TRIPLE BAD. QUADRUPLE BAD. And so on. The only reason I didn't give it a -5 was because the game DOES have an awesome (Yet cliff of a learning curve) of a map customization editor. The problem with Warcraft III is that it gets boring.... FAST. Even during the first days of Warcraft 3 in it's public release, the game got boring after three easily won games solo games.

Unlike Starcraft, which required micromanagement (And I'm not talking about ''micro'' as in ''Carrier spam on Big Game Hunters''), such as Psi-Storming grouped enemy units, D-Matrix, Dark Swarm, and the infamous Plague. Expanding to more then just one different location was a must, unlike on Warcraft 3, where one expansion (mostly likely right outside your base) will last you pretty much the entire game.

However, the less-then-mediocre Big Game Hunters players started whining because expanding past the infinite minerals in your home base and doing something other than building 24 Battlecruisers and squashing a computer along with 6 other players was ''Too hard''. Blizzard responded to the cries by releasing ''Auto-Cast'', a feature which pretty much does most of the battle micro for you. Now the only true micro in this game, other than base micro, is trying to outcast the Necromancer spammers with ''Purge'' (WEAK) or ''Dispel Magic'' (Effective), or using the ''Lich'' hero effectively... Oh wait, I take that back. People started whining because it was ''too powerful'' because people knew how to use it other than the ''Spam Blizzard'' or ''Level up to Star Fall and PwNaGE!!1!'' mentality found in the other heroes... So, naturally, it's abilities got the shaft.

Another some what rejected, yet still effective and fun tactic, ''backstabbing'', was completely nerfed. It's impossible to unally in ladder games, and most skirmish games can be set with a ''Locked Team Option'' which caters to the people I used to nail by sneaking into ''7v1 COMPSTUMP BGHZ!1!1'' and raising a little hell. Backstabbing was the epitome of fun in the dying days of Starcraft... Unfortunately, it's not even possible in the birthing days of Warcraft 3.

Multiplayer - 2/10

Let me sum up solo for you... It's like squashing on helpless little bugs for the first 393939 games, and when you finally raise up to a challenging level on the ladder, you're usually pitted against someone who has mastered the art of setting ''Raise Skeletons'' to auto-cast, and usually packs a hack of some sort as well. Like I said, after 3 games of solo you'll be popping your Warcraft 3 out of your CD-ROM and putting in Battlefield 1942 or Simcity 4. Hey, if the weathers nice, you can head outside and have a super soaker war or something. It's a lot more challenging to shoot someone with a watergun than it is to face off against 3/4 of the people on Battle.net in Warcraft 3.

Team Games? Sink of the clumsy players you faced off against and squashed in solo, and now have them on your team. Expect little help when a swarm of 33938 archers is mowing down your base. Unlike Starcraft, winning in a handicap is about as easy as upgrading an iMac while in a swimming pool of tar.

A nifty little feature, however, is that a teammate drops (Most likely one person in the game will have their connection hit the fan), the rest of the team can still control their base. Of course, it slows down micro a little bit, and usually your teammates insist on having the dead base pump out riflemen whilst running out of minerals and not expanding.

Graphics/Sound/Music - 6/10

The music is catchy... But the sound effects seem a bit cartoony and annoying. The graphics too are somewhat cartoony, and require a monster of a computer machine to handle them on full blast... But overall, on even the lowest settings, the graphics are crisp and the environments are beautiful and stunning. A defininate high point in this disappointment of a game.

Story - 3/10

The story wasn't too good. It just seemed like a ''Warcraftization'' of the Starcraft storyline. Betrayals, unstoppable antagonists, assimilation to a spooky race, and even a similar ending. The ending to Warcraft 3 is basically a cheesy, confusing, and nonsense filled version of it's Overmind Killing brother. The only good storyline is the Orc, with an equally stunning ending video. If Arthas asks another question, I'm sending him, and this Warcraft 3 CD, onto the freeway during rush hour.

Overall - 4/10

Experience Starcraft players should stay clear away from this newbie-catering mess. Big Game Hunters-only players might find some enjoyment in the fact that the game does most of the playing for them, but overall, it's best to let this, and it's upcoming expansion, die a quiet and quick death. This game could have been A LOT better if Blizzard had kept an overall Starcraft feel... With manual micromanagement and more demand for mineral expansion. Low unit armies I don't mind... It makes it a little easier to micro, yes, but it's still incorporated quite well in the game. The hero system was also done well... Though some parts still need tweaking. They had the right idea with the Paladin and Lich (Both are unstoppable with effective micro)... But, naturally, they got nerfed faster and harder then corpse explosion in Diablo 2.

Lets just hope Blizzard learns from their mistakes when they make Starcraft 2. It's bad enough they are releasing ''Starcraft: Ghost'' (AKA ''C&C Renegade rip''... C'mon Blizzard, usually it's Westwood that rips YOUR ideas off!) for console only.... But if I see ''Psi Storm'' or ''Defense Matrix'' with an autocast option... I just hope hell is ready to freeze over because I am single handedly going to send Blizzard there.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 04/02/03, Updated 04/02/03


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