Review by Depthcharge101
"It took a while.... but it's worth it"
This game did take a while before it's finally released, but it definitely deserves all the waiting. Now, another big hit from Blizzard, a highly anticipated role playing strategy, Warcraft III is born.
The gameplay is very good and innovative. Ever get sick of waiting for resources to build up in normal strategy games? Well, not anymore, because the game has added some cool elements that makes Warcraft a unique breed of strategy games.
I was never a big fan in strategy games. But this game, it's different. It's gives a whole new experience to the strategy games, as it mixes some RPG element. There are units that are considered "Hero" classes, and you will need to manage them (leveling up, exploring maps) while managing your base. This obviously requires more concentration, as you must manage not to let your base fall to the hands of your enemies or get your hero slain by wild creatures (you can resurrect him of course, but it will be costly, especially when the game has just started). Another thing that I like a lot is the unit limit. In WarCraft III, you will not be able to build infinite units as you are bound to a limit. The limit is low, as most people would agree, but I like it personally. With such a limit, you will not be able to mass 200 hydralisks or 400 zerglings, so the key to success in this game is to micro-manage your units. Attack with a well planned strategy while micro-managing the units will be the only path to victory. There are a lot of handy commands, keys in the games that are newly introduced in Warcraft III, which makes the game much easier to control units efficiently. More of this will be talked in the ''Controls'' section.
All in all, the gameplay has a lot to offer so it definitely worths a 10 over 10.
A game without a story will be boring even it has a perfect gameplay. I was never a big fan for strategy game campaigns but blizzard has done a great job on this part. I really enjoyed the story while playing through the single player campaign.
The main story is about the Undeads attacking on the Humans, Orcs, and Night Elves. Sometimes you play a defensive stance, sometimes you are ordered to make an assault, etc. The plot isn't complicated but there are some surprises as you advance through the single player campaign. In short, the story is pretty good.
The graphics is simply stunning. Some areas are simply stunning to look at. In this 3d RPS, you have a fixed camera view, and you're always facing north. It might sound strange for a 3d environment, Blizzard has its purpose for doing this. For an example, when playing Emperor: Battle for Dune, I always tend mess up the directions since I love scrolling around, but this would not happen in Warcraft III. To allow some flexibility in viewing, you will still be able to scroll left and right, but it will be switched back to the default position once the button is de-pressed. You are also able to zoom in and out to have a better view during battles. Though not very important, it is a pretty cool feature. The only drawback is that the 3d models look a little bland at times, which is why it didn't get a perfect score.
The music isn't bad too. There are all sorts of music, ranging from spooky music to morale-boosting songs. The Undead theme is, by far, my favourite. It's hard to describe how it sounds, but it gives the feeling of spookiness, deaths and cold. Since I play Undead most of the time, I don't get to listen to the themes of the other races as much, but they are all pretty decent. Not much to write about this section, so I'll end it with a 9 :).
Sound Effect 10
This is where Warcraft shines. The sound effect is simply gergeous and it feels very real. The sound of footsteps, sword clashes, spells, and everything just feels right. Zoom in when you're fighting your opponent and you can feel that you are really in the war. The sound effect is affected by the 3d environment positions. If you have a decent sound card, speakers and a subwoofer, you'll be able to enjoy the experience at its fullest.
The game's shortcut keys, controls, are easy to learn. It allows good, powerful and flexible control to the units. Blizzard must have spent quite some time in this part. For an example, if you have a team of different units, say, if it's in starcraft, a medic and 11 marines(since the maximum units for a team is 12, as usual), you will not be able to do stimpack on your marines without excluding the medic from the team, but in this game, there's something called sub-team. Although different type of units are placed in the same team, there's a sub-team that choose the same type of units, and you can scroll around sub-teams with the ''tab'' and ''alt+tab'' keys. So, for the example I've given, a simply ''tab'' will choose the marine sub-team and you'll be able to perform stimpack on them. Pretty handy in my opinion. Another example in Starcraft, say you have a team of ghosts but you only need one to lock down a Carrier. If you lock it with the whole team highlighted, all the ghosts will try to lock the Carrier down. But in Warcraft III, it is changed so that only one spell will be casted, even with the whole team highlighted (it also depends on spells). While this isn't groundbreaking, it definitely helps in micro-managing your army.
Single Player Replayability 4
The single player campaign is indeed fun, but there isn't much point in replaying it. But it is probably not really important since Warcraft III offers Battle.net, an online server where players from around the world can play against each other.
Multi Player Replayability 10
This is where the real fun starts, Battle.net, a server hosted by Blizzard to allow gamers to play together. There are solo matches, team matches, free-for-all, etc. You can also form team with friends to fight against another group of people. Not to mention if you ever feel a little bored of the usual gameplay, there are a lot of custom made maps available. Warcraft III also offers 4 playable races, each with its own very unique features, and so it would take a while for one to master them.
Warcraft III is definitely a well-made game and deserves a score of 9. The story, music, graphics aren't perfect but the gameplay and replayability makes up for it. If you like Starcraft, you'll probably like it and it's definitely worth trying out. It might be a little pricey but it's worth it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/25/02, Updated 08/20/07
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