Review by MieLanme

"One of the most overrated RTSes ever."

Warcraft 3 : The Frozen Throne(for short Warcraft 3) is the expansion pack to Blizzard's latest RTS, Warcraft 3. It features quite a slew of new stuff (2 units more for each side, upgrades, a whole new campaign and maps), but it really fails to deliver where it counts. To be frank, I never really liked Blizzard's RTS, and I will explain why in the gameplay portion of this review, so don't be surprised at the score. I thought they learned from the past, but obviously not. I will compare a lot to Age of Mythology and Rome : Total War, as they are my favorites RTSes.

Graphics : 7/10

I'll be frank here and I'll tell you what everybody thinks : the graphics are average. They were great for two years ago, but now there is so much games that surpasses it that it looks obsolete.

-1 point, the graphics are still decent.

Finally, there is the factor "don't do good graphics on RTS games because lag is RTS' worst enemy." Well not quite. I have nothing on RTSes like Rome : Total War or Age of Mythology, who CAN get you good graphics without lagging one bit. Even more surprising with Rome because there is so much stuff on the screen. But when a middle-high end PC like mine lags on this game, there's stuff going on. RTSes are not meant for outstanding graphics, and developers should keep that in head.

-2 points, it's kind of minor but still annoying.

Gameplay : 3/10

And it's here the game trips and falls down on its face. The game is shallow. Very shallow. Blizzard's RTSes have always been like that. It's basically do the same stuff over and over, only with variations if you're facing another race. Simply put, it's a "who can click the fastest" game. You're always gonna do 4-5 certain strategies because one works best versus one race. Frankly, Warcraft 3 and its expansion all remove the "S" in RTS. And as you could imagine, that's not good. The gameplay is as readable in a book, you could have a chart with 4-5 build orders down and you'd play like a pro.

-5 points, incredibly readable and "robotic" gameplay. Doing the same stuff over and over again.

The campaign is kind of meh at best. At worst, it's a incredible bore. When I play a campaign, I usually look forward to dungeon-crawling missions and stuff. Or minigames. This is a great plague that hits the best like the worst, and Warcraft 3 is no exception. There is few dungeon-crawling missions, and even less wacky missions(when compared to Age of Mythology's entertaining campaign). Basically, it's Skirmish mode but with a story. Kind of useless, really. I know maybe I'll look like a weirdo, but this is not my kind of campaign. Another flaw is the limited number of missions you have for each race. In Age of Mythology, you have like 10-11 missions per side. In Rome : Total War, you have 500 turns to get accustomed. While in Warcraft 3, you have about 6-7 missions(not counting cinematics). I also added one point(should be -2) because of the Orc campaign, built like an action RPG. It's wacky, and most of all, different from the usual skirmish. I liked it. What I didn't like is throwing at me Arthas in 3 of the game's 7 campaigns, counting those from vanilla Warcraft 3 and not counting The Frozen Throne's Orc campaign. It was repetitive.

-1 point, because it's all opinions. You may like it.

Another flaw is the balance. Compared to Starcraft's godly balance(but still boring gameplay), Warcraft 3 : The Frozen Throne, is nowhere as near. At the time of this review, the Night Elves is the most unbalanced race and is quite a pain to play against. Also, we all remember the NE Beastmaster cheese, Human tri-attack, and so on. They already are at the 1.17 patch, and many are quitting because of the way Blizzard balances the game, and because of the now-flawed automatching. The amount of races also knock off .5 point. Seriously, there is not much differences between Humans and Orc. Their units are the same or the direct opposite. If you were gonna do similar races, Blizzard, why not make 15+ like Rome : Total War? Even with Age of Mythology's 3 races(4 with the expansion, but the expansion sucks so I'm leaving it vanilla), I could find more variety as they are dramatically different.

-1 point, because those are little things that aren't as problematic as the rest.

Sound and music : 7/10

The sound is alright. Standard medieval clashing sounds. Although it does sound strange sometimes, it's hardly noticeable unless you listen. And you won't. The music is very forgettable. In my years of playing and listening to my relatives play, I couldn't even start a song. Whichever it is. Human, Undead, NE or Orc, I don't remember any of them. It's a shame, because I love medieval-themed music. 0.5 ponts added because the quotes of the units are sometimes quite funny.

-0.5 point, for the cartoonish sounds of swords. It just sounds wrong to see a Footman slash an armored Grunt, and the sound made is like a knife slashing a piece of carton.

-2.5 points for the forgettable music.

Reviewer's Experience/Appeal : 1/10

All the flaws combined make for a very dull experience. I sure didn't have fun with that.

-9 points for me not having fun(if you're not having fun then why buy the game?)

SUMMARY(in order of importance)
Gameplay : 3/10
Reviewer's Experience/Appeal : 1/10
Sound/Music : 7/10
Graphics : 7/10

MEANINGS OF THE CATEGORIES
Gameplay : If the game's unplayable, then why buy it?

Reviewer's Experience/Appeal : I class this high because it's the experience of a person made in flesh and bones. If you have similar tastes to mines then you should check this score.

Sound/Music : It helps build ambiance, and I like ambiance.

Graphics : I could play a game with average gameplay but crappy graphics all day.

SCORE : 3/10, not recommended.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 03/16/05


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