Review by Dragonlord

"Definitely more than an expansion pack."

The much awaited expansion pack to the extremely popular original continues the epic Warcraft III saga. Was it worth the wait? Yes, yes, yes.

Story: 8/10
The Frozen Throne encompasses the rise of the Naga, the rebuilding of the Orc homeland, and King Arthas\' travel to the Lich King. The Frozen Throne continues the story as it ended with the Battle of Mount Hyjal in Warcraft III. Keeping all spoilers aside, let\'s not say anything more about it.

Graphics: 9/10
Again and as usual, Blizzard cinematic animators and 3D designers have taken great care with their work and have created lustrous, attractive, and breath-taking artwork. The 3D models have once again been created with very great care, which can greatly be seen in the final battle, which is actually not a cinematic, but a sequence rendered using 3D models. This alone would have taken days, or maybe even weeks, to complete. The cinematics, specifically the ending, will run chills up your spine. I have not seen one other game where such full-motion videos looked or sounded quite as striking as they were in The Frozen Throne, to say the least. Put the beautiful 3D world together with the cinematics, and you are left with one outstanding masterpiece with unlimited replay value.

Gameplay: 9/10
It is a real-time strategy game. Any fan of Blizzard will know that they are experts in the field of real-time strategy, and never fail to please. So what exactly is new in The Frozen Throne? Three and a quarter brand new campaigns, the ability to play the Naga in campaigns, custom campaign creation, a new hero for each race, neutral heroes which can be purchased at Taverns, an entire slew of new items (much like Diablo II, there are special unique items and artifacts which are rich in power), tweaks to current unit abilities, new units (including, but definitely not limited to, Dragonhawk Riders, Moutain Giants, Troll Batriders, and several more), stunning new tilesets, modified Upkeep ratios, several new Creeps, and a couple other hundred features. Yes, The Frozen Throne is definitely chock full of enhancements and new quirks, and is more than an expansion pack.

The only major disappointment is the lack of a full mainstreamed Orc campaign. It seems Blizzard could not find a place to put the Orcs in, and instead just created a side campaign (which consists of only one mission when you first purchase the game) which contain hundreds of quests. The Orc campaign is more RPG-like, where you play 2 heroes and run tasks for Thrall and the villagers of Durotar, collecting artifacts wherever you travel. You even get a stash with which you can store your items.

Sound and Music: 8/10
The voiceovers have been done with great care and reflect each unit\'s personality appropriately. Blizzard fans will also recognize certain trademark quotes (\'\'Stop poking me!\'\') which, like Warcraft III\'s predecessors, can be heard by continuous clicking. In The Frozen Throne, each of the races have one new track, and as far as I have heard, they continue to aid the experience that is playing The Frozen Throne. Whether its the ambience of the Scourge, the drum-pounding of the Horde, the nature hum of the Sentinels, or the kingdomly reverberation of the Alliance, the music never fails to assist in making the Warcraft III experience much more life-like.

Replay Factor: 10/10
Let\'s face it. It is a real-time strategy game, and much like Brood War, there are people who will continue to play The Frozen Throne for eternity. The collection of multiplayer features and gratious entirely-free Battle.net access will mean that you are able to play an endless amount of games against individuals all over the world. Blizzard\'s Battle.net Experience system enables players to be able to face other players who are at their skill level. There are also other features, such as Tournament play, Clan support, and the endless climb to being #1 on Ladder.

To add to the playability, as of writing this, the Orc campaign is not complete - Blizzard plans to release two more \'\'Acts\'\' which will continue Rexxar\'s adventures throughout Durotar. These will be available for download on Blizzard\'s site once they come out. Yet another feature in this excellent expansion.

Buy It?: Definitely.
In fact, go out and pick up two copies, and give one to a friend. It\'s so great, everyone should have at least one copy.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/06/03


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