"One of the best RTS games. Period."

Surely if you are an RTS gamer, you have played WarCraft, if not, you've definitely been missing out! While WarCraft III is a dated game, I have seen the graphics STILL better than most other RTS games, and in terms of fun-factor, WarCraft III definitely takes the cake. Blizzard has created a perfectly rounded gem, making it both balanced in Single Player, and Multiplayer.

Story 10/10
The story is deep in WarCraft III (just try looking through the manual), and you need to play WarCraft, and WarCraft II to fully understand the complex story of WarCraft. However when you play WarCraft III, Blizzard sums up things nicely, and doesn't get into things that would confuse you about the other stories. WarCraft III has many sides to its story, so I will sum up some things in all the campaigns.

Prologue
It has been about a century since the Orcs suddenly appeared, and the humans and orcs still have old feuds with each other. You begin as Thrall, a young orc warchief who had a vision in his sleep about great danger, and a prophet who seeks him out. The prophet tells him that he must lead his people out, because a great darkness is coming. Thrall eventually accepts the prophet’s advice and sails west.

Human Campaign
You play as the young Prince Arthas, as you attempt to stop Orc Invasions from villages. Your quest eventually leads you to finding infected granaries, and that the village people are turning into zombies, with a plague of undead creatures hunting your every move. Can you stop the Undead, or will the Undead stop you?

Orc Campaign
Once again control Thrall, and continue his quest as he moves his people west. Once there, he meets his new friend, Carine Bloodhoof, who helps Thrall in his quest. Thrall once again seeks out the prophet in his journey, with both Undead and Humans preventing him in his journey. Also his stubborn friend Grom Hellscream is not making the trip any easier!

Undead Campaign
Control a special Death Knight, along with the Lich Kel'zhud and bring death and corruption to the realms of Lordaeron. Attempt to revive Archimonde, the ultimate warlock of the Undead, and attempt to destroy mankind completely.

Night Elf Campaign
Control Tyrande Whisperwind, a Priestess of the Moon who notices the corruption of the forests due to the Burning Legion. Tyrande awakens Malfurion Stormrage, a powerful Keeper of the Grove who aids Tyrande at pushing back the Undead Scourge from defying the lands of Kalimdor. They even awaken the imprisoned Demon Hunter, Illidan Stormrage in hopes to turn the tides on the Undead.

Graphics 10/10
Many would argue that the graphics in WarCraft III are 'cartoony' and look stupid. I don't consider it cartoony at all, and I consider it....graphics....whoa. If you take games like Age of Empires, with very dull 2D graphics, with little graphical interaction, and overall very basic graphics for an RTS, WarCraft III set the standards for future RTS developers a like, that the graphics need to be crisp, low on graphical demand, and lots of eye candy.

Sounds/Music 10/10
First off, the music in this game is amazing, the best RTS soundtrack I have heard at this date. Each race has 3 songs when you play as them. With plenty of additional songs for events. This totals about 15 or so songs! Most RTS games would just put in 5 lousy tracks to say they had music in it. WarCraft puts in music, and puts it in right. The sound effects in this game are also as top notch as the actual sound effects themselves. Nearly every unit in WarCraft III has its own weapon sound, such as Orc Grunts hitting with a powerful axe, and humans slicing with sword. Shamans throwing little lighting balls which make a sizzle sound on impact. Even the simple sound of trees falling makes a nice realistic sound. The part in which I believe makes WarCraft III unique in another way, is unit responses. StarCraft integrated this way back when, that if you clicked a unit, it would talk back to you, or if you sent it to attack another unit, it would make a warcry. WarCraft III has the same thing, except way more responses. Each unit probably has around 14 responses to things, and there are too many units to count! They have normal clicks, if you click them once or twice, and then 'pissed quotes' if you start to excessively click them, which are very humorous quotes, and some sound familiar movies and other games. Then they also have warcrys when clicking to attack someone, and even commands when issued an order. Wow! That is a lot of interaction! Not many games are going to have all that!

Gameplay 10/10
Well hopefully you know about RTS games, so I can keep the overall brief of it short. It's the type of games where you build workers to get resources and construct buildings, then build an army in a barracks in which you use to defeat your opponent. In WarCraft, you can upgrade your bases to something stronger, in which you can build more powerful units. WarCraft III has 2 main forms of attack, ground and air. Air can usually hit ground and other air, while ground only attacks ground, unless the ground unit is ranged. So does this make air the way to go all the time? Yes and No. Yes in terms of air is definitely a good addition to your army, and is a must if your opponent is going all ground melee. However air is very weak against 'anti-air' something specialized in defeating air units, if your opponent has this, you will notice your air units gone pretty fast. So WarCraft III definitely keeps the balance in terms of ground and air. The only resources collected are gold and lumber, with some food buildings to build to continue unit production, the gameplay is not too frustrating with having to manage a lot of resources at once.

The major addition to the RTS realm is heroes, and creeps. Heroes are special units in which have a mana pool, and high HP, unlike most other units. They also have their own type of attack and armor. As you kill 'creeps' or attack your opponent, your hero gains experience, in which you gain special abilities to use against your opponent to defeat them easier. You can have up to 3 heroes, one per town hall upgrade. While it helps a lot to have 3 heroes, the downside is shared EXP. Creeps are computer controlled units which stand all over the map, waiting for someone to come and attack them. If you approach them, or attack them, they will obviously attack you back. Depending on the 'color' of the creep camp, it will mean it's difficultly; green means the creeps can be killed with a very small army. Orange means you should have a medium sized army, and red means you should bring a large force to take them out. Obviously a red creep would drop rare items in which your hero may carry, and give more experience. This adds to the factor of actually taking your army out of your base, instead of sitting in your base, waiting for your opponent to attack, or going to your opponent to attack them. This definitely adds to the enjoyment factor. WarCraft III has so many features that many RTS's lacked.

Multiplayer (Battle.Net) 10/10
Multiplayer is what takes a great game like WarCraft III, and makes it even better. Battle.Net is one gigantic server that is the home to Diablo, StarCraft, and WarCraft. Battle.Net is no charge to play on, and has reliable games most of the time. There are various things you can do on Battle.Net, you can join a regular game using Battle.Net's auto game finder, which is very convenient and time saving. You can play a solo game, 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4, which ever one suits your tastes. If you happen to win, then you get a win on your account (with along with the race you played), if you lose, then you get a loss on your account. Battle.Net also awards you if you get a lot of wins. 25 wins on a race earns you a special icon for that race. It can go up to 1500 wins, 1500 obviously being the best icon to achieve, and is a long road to achieve as well. The second half of Battle.Net, which keeps the flavor going once the real games get dull, is the addition of custom games. Custom games are special games made by fellow players of WarCraft III; these games are built how they want it, and can follow, or break the standard gameplay of WarCraft III. These games are definitely very interesting to see how the creative people of WarCraft III construct their maps!

Replay Ability 10/10
With the Single Player Campaign, Custom Games on Single Player, and Battle.Net, this game is going to keep you entertained for a long time! Enough said. World Editor is also what you use to construct your maps, a very deep editor that Blizzard used to make their maps, you can practically do everything you could think of, and impress your friends on Battle.Net :).

Recommendations
Definitely get The Frozen Throne expansion if you loved WarCraft III, I have it, and I don't regret getting it one bit. The expansion adds more creeps, 1 hero to each race, new items, a totally new campaign, new units, and so much more.

Worth the Money?
If you just read this review, with all the 10/10's definitely BUY this game. But if you are an Age of Empires junkie, and are unsettled if you should enter WarCraft with the heroes and other things, then download the demo at Blizzard's site. If you are an RTS fan, you will be blown away.

Final Words
WarCraft III is the game that set the boundaries towards old RTS games, and new RTS games. Any game that doesn't follow a good hero system is just a boring RTS. Believe me, I've seen new RTS games that have tried to use hero systems, but not too many achieve the perfection that WarCraft III did. To sum it up, if you are looking for a good graphical RTS, with amazing single player and multiplayer, then this game is for you!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/16/04


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