Review by bloodwulfe
"Amazing, simply amazing. I love you Blizzard!"
I still remember picking up Warcraft II from my local software store back in ‘95. After playing it, I was eagerly awaiting a sequel... who would have known it wouldn’t be released until 2002? It was well worth the wait, however, as everything in the game is perfect.
The first thing you'll notice after installing the game is the graphics. One word comes to mind when I look at them: amazing. There isn't a game on the market that can compare, not even upcoming RTS games look this good! After you complete each single-player mission, you will be treated to an in-game cut-scene that furthers the storyline. With the combined voice acting work, these scenes are spectacular. Each character has a real personality too, you will grow really attached to the main heroes. You will find yourself replaying that really hard mission over and over again, just so you can see what happens next. Every once in a while, often at the start or ending of a campaign, you will be treated to a true cut-scene. This is the part where the graphics truly shine. Everything is so fluid, the amount of detail to the environment, even the ambient sounds. Blizzard paid a lot of attention to detail in the game. If you were lucky enough to score one of the Collectors Edition boxes, you will have received the 'Enhanced Cinematic DVD' with all the campaign cinematic.
The unit sound effects are also works of art, whether it be the footsteps of archers on the dewy ground, or the clash of steel against steel as a battle rages on. The ambient sounds are top notch; you will hear birds chirping and the splash of water as it cascades down a mountainside. The voice work adds a lot of depth to the characters, and gives them a real personality. Blizzard spent extra time picking out the perfect voices to fit each unit. Even the unit quotes have been updated! There are serious ones, comical ones, and ones that will just make you laugh at out. Just click on a unit multiple times to hear their quotes.
Once your eyes and ears adapt to the beauty of the graphics and sound, you will notice where the game truly shines: the game play. Everything feels balanced; the offensive units, the defensive units, the buildings, everything! Blizzard spend a LONG time testing and fine-tuning each and every unit. If you were lucky enough to have been picked for the beta, you will notice things have changed dramatically. There is a counter-move to everything. The artificial intelligence is amazing. Often referred to as the 'invincible AI' on BNet, you will find yourself having a few problems when playing a custom game against it. Don't worry about the single player campaign however, it is perfectly balanced to make the game enjoyable. Speaking of the single-player campaign, wh-oa! Just when you thought every kind of mission, every kind of character, has been done before in such games as Starcraft and Warcraft II, you will be in store for a pleasant surprise. The amount of original missions is mind-blowing. You will do everything you think of, and each one remains fun and enjoyable at its core. The game also ships with the map editor Blizzard used, so you can create your own missions and play them online with friends.
While you may think the game would be tedious to replay, there is a difficulty setting: Normal and Hard. Once you play through on normal, you can tackle it on hard. You can also skirmish offline against the AI if you have a poor internet connection. Of course, you can easily play on BNet with friends. Blizzard made certain to make things easy with the online game play. With one click of a button, you can start a game with whatever map you want against how many opponents you want.
Game play: 10
Replay Value: 10
You need to go out and buy this game, right now! You won't regret it. Warcraft III looks and plays beautifully, and could easily be one of if not the best game of '02.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 07/14/02, Updated 10/03/02
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