Review by gamerz of gore
"Good expansion, but it ain't no Brood War!"
First, I would like to say that I have played all of the Blizzard PC games, maybe not own them all...or any of the new, not-even-out-in-stores games but I've played them. Starcraft and Warcraft are some of my favorite games yet. When I got SC, I had anticipated Brood War, and I would not go wrong. But... Frozen Throne did not meet the expectations from such a great developer.
this is where the expansion really shines. The new units, tech and whatnot add a ton of strategies, therefore making the game more fun. The main gameplay is left un-touched, but the unit cap is changed to 100 from 90, plus a few other changes. Basically, if you've never played and RTS, you build a base, create units, gather resources and whoop some ass. You have a hero that has four spells. Each must be trained outright by gaining levels. You gain XP and levels by killing. spells can turn the tide of a battle, like blizzard, which throws down a ton of ice on the enemy and damages them. There is also an ''Ultimate'' that you can learn at level 6 or higher.
The graphics are not going to scare Mr. Carmack at id, but they do the job. The game renders day/night transitions, weather effects and other stuff quite well. on the interface is a picture of your selected unit in 3-d, but it looks quite cartoonish. The other graphics, the cinematics are much, much better, while there only being two real cinematics, they look much better than that of the game, and are pretty rewarding nonetheless. The game can preform great on a decent rig, but you're not gonna need and Alienware or a Voodoo, or even one of those modded ones. The game can slow down when the screen is filled with 'bout a million polys, spell effects and particle effect going on at the same time, but that usasully only happens if you make a map like that in the editor.
The sound is pretty nice, and some of the new voice-overs are well-done. With a nice Sound card and some great speakers, you could cozy up and blast it. It supports all forms of EAX and all the other speaker programs, like RAD or MILES systems. Some of the new voice-overs have references to blizzard games, movies, Monty Python and other stuff thats funny. The music is fairly decent with seperate ones for situation, race and whatnot.
I've heard that some people say, screw single, i'm going onto the net! Blizzard has several ''portals'' into different ''realms'' which is just a fancy-schmancy way say where you are in the world. you create an account, download the latest patch, and you'll be in an interface where you could msg people and find games to play, or even your own. When you join a game on a map that did not come with the game, it's downloaded into your maps directory for later use. There is also a ratings system, where you can see your position in levels. But beware! some real good players create new accounts and beat up all the n00bs... very cruel.
With this series, a lot of emphasis has been put into the stories. It has twist and turns and all sorts of other things, and helps show most of the new units and abilities. I'm not going to give it away, but i'll say that it's worthwhile if you played the first one with some plot questions.
New content 7.0
This doesn't need to be explained. the game adds two new units and a hero to each race, plus the tavern to recruit ''neutral'' heroes. the is a plethora of new maps to play, and an editor upgrade, for advanced gamers, not n00bs or casual ones. The two unplayable races are interesting, but not exactly great. The new lands and their creatures break the mundane task of killing things like gnolls and murlocs, and the mercenary camps get new units for the new areas. Every race gets a new picture on its win screen and a new music track, which aren't much but are there. And like most Blizzard Expansions, you can still play the original game ( with the original disk, of course)
The game is fairly difficult, sometimes easy enough for a n00b, or some hard enough to challenge some of the better players. Objectives in missions are not crypticly written and are usually clearly written. The computer A.I can be challenging... but it provides a good training buddy on lonely nights. the pathfinding isn't the best, but it doesn't fail in making you watch your units because they'll get mutilated by stuff that you don't know about *cough* C&C generals *cough* The A.I is intellegent, but does not have the qualities of a living opponent.
This was expensive for an expansion, but gives enough content to satisfy most people. hardcore players probobly don't care about the price at all... but for casual, three- hour-a-week players, it'll take some reasoning (not me)
Replay Value 6.0
this is one part of the game that can fall short if you don't play multiplayer. the single player game gets boring if you finish it, save for a few secrets. The multiplayer keeps the game fresh and exciting.
MY SCORE: 7.0
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/18/03
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