Review by InfiniteFox

Reviewed: 07/17/02 | Updated: 07/17/02

I'd rather be sailing. On second thought...

From the moment I caught wind of a new installment to the Warcraft series, I knew Blizzard would create another gem.

In the past they've completely blown away the competition, creating fun and twisted games people actually want to play. Blizzard has also spawned an immense, thriving online community; crawling with avid gamers. (You can rid your home from these pests with the new BnetOFF® for $19.99 at your local Albertson's.)

I just know you're all itching for the reason I set this game apart from the rest. The only problem is, I don't really have a reason... I'm addicted to Warcraft III. This makes me a fanboy, so my opinion will obviously be prejudiced to the extreme. Ah hell with it. You clicked on the review link, so you're going to read this drivel or I'll have my editor turn you all into flying sheep! Hahaha!! On a serious note, magic should never be played with; I learned that the hard way. (R.I.P. Martha Stewart)

Gameplay: 10/10

Imagine the movie Braveheart on steroids. Battles are simply incredible, and it takes sharp wit to maneuver your troops through the chaos and gain the upper hand. Rotting corpses are flung about, fierce blizzards rain down on unsuspecting peons, and ruthless creeps scorch brave footmen who try to conquer them. It's a wonder those Night Elf nature freaks don't suffer heart attacks from the excessive violence.

There are four versatile races to build your kingdom with, each providing their own style of gameplay. Unlike Warcraft II, you will need to custom build strategies for each individual race, because they're radically different. Likewise, this means the game will take longer to master. The sad reality is that you'll remain a newbie for longer.. poor little you.

Another new addition to W3 is the implementation of some real wicked heroes. Remember in Starcraft when you had to cover Kerrigan with bulletproof vests in the center of your base just to beat the level? Times have changed, my friend. Set a rally point on your lvl.10 paladin, grab some riflemen to back him up, then send him charging into battle to haul ass. It's beautiful really. Sometimes there seems to be so much action on the screen at once you might need a radiator for your CPU.

In terms of difficulty, people familiar with previous Blizzard games should be able to pick up and play; the controls are generally the same.

Video/Audio: 8/10

Wha...? Did you just say that Blizzard actually created a 3-Dimensional game?? Yowza. Let me tell you readers, the graphics are gorgeous.

In a stroke of programming genius, the engine combines the cartoony feel of the Warcraft universe with crisp, high-resolution textures. Levels use a variety of weather effects, including rain, wind, fog, moon rays and kamikaze poodles. (Don't hold me to that.) It's even possible to zoom the camera in for a closer look at the environment, but this feature is rather useless other than in cut scenes.

As for the cinematics, one word: superb. They're beautifully directed and boost the overall level of excitement, driving the plot along smoothly.

Once again, the trademarked character personalities have returned, and this time wearing out your left mouse button to death. Loaded with cheesy jokes and puns, there will be at least a few ''annoyed'' remarks you'll get a chuckle from. I think there may have even been an allusion to Monty Python, but that's a good thing; inside jokes are always the funniest.

Darn.. I knew that I'd have to address this sooner or later. The background music bored the heck outta me. I would personally cram it down the garbage disposal if it were tangible. Warcraft II flourished when it came to composing catchy songs that complemented the gameplay. I had felt inspired listening to the old tunes, but the same attempt in W3 is just ...blah.

Replayability: 9/10

Two words can express what everyone loved in Starcraft and is what kept it alive ages after its release. Two words are what has eaten up hours, days, perhaps even weeks of my time, and I'm sure some of yours too. You probably can guess what I'm talking about by now; that's right folks, the World Editor.

Thousands have mastered it, thousands have marveled at its complexity. But beware, this is not the same program you have used before, nor will it be any easier to maneuver around than StarEdit was. New challenges have arisen to hinder the already daunting task of creating a map.

Be prepared to worry about camera angles, elevation, variables, regions and a whole new batch of glitches for you to throw your monitor out the window over. As much as possible, I want to stress that this new program should only be used by the technically inclined; those who aren't will be in over their heads, seriously. Also, the recreation of Big Game Hunters or any well-known money maps will um, cause your computer to crash. Ahem.

Luckily, Blizzard provides free online play on the well known Battle.Net, and that encourages different map ideas to be passed around. I have the utmost respect for the World Editor, and I hope everyone will realize what a powerful tool it is.

Overall: 9/10

Well done Timmy, you made it through the review all by yourself. Now all you have to do is save up your allowance money and go buy the game!

For those of you who are slightly apprehensive about losing a sizeable wad of cash out of your wallet, just remember: left-clicking on sheep a whole lot will eventually make 'em blow up. I trust you'll make the right decision.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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