Review by Miklotov Blue

"TFT alters the game drastically, in a good way though."

Let's take a trip down memory lane and recall how groundbreaking Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos was. Upon it's introduction, it laid all other strategy games out, bringing not only graphical prowess but a captivating system of play and unit control not found on any of it's predecessors. As drastic as the jump from War1 to War2 was, the jump from War2 to War3 was absolutely monumental, in every possible aspect.

I will not get into detail on the story, as other reviews have already done that enough. Frozen Throne adds elements to an already powerful game that could leave you playing non-stop. More spells, more units, more abilities, and new tilesets, doodads and creeps that will give RPG makers the time of their life. Expect a lot of Nether Dragons as bosses of handfuls of homemade UMS games...

Since this is an expansion, it's hard to rate this game without using elements of Reign of Chaos in the rating, but I've tried my hardest to separate the old from the new. Some of the new things that TFT adds to the game are Taverns, which are the provider of a new element called Neutral Heroes. Now with the element of these 5 heroes going to any race, in any matchup, you are forced to strategically prepare for anything. One hero's abilities can be the difference maker in any battle.

In addition to neutral heroes, each race is given another new hero. Already these new heroes are making a splash in the way people play. No longer are races compelled to take the three heroes given to them... they have the option of choosing 3 out of 4, and then also having to decide if one of their three will be a hired hand (neutral hero). This essentially means that you have 9 heroes to choose from, and more 2 or 3-hero combinations than you can shake a stick at.

In addition, water is now a means of warfare in TFT. Through those darn goblins, you can not only get zeppelins, but transports, frigates and battleships at the local shipyard. While few maps are fought by sea, this powerful element again adds to the possibilities of mapmakers.

Soundwise, you cannot deny the goodness of the voice acting, and the new background music for each race is exceptional. Nothing incredible in the sound department, but definitely acceptable.

So if everything's good, why the 8? The campaign missions. They sacrificed the powerful story, and instead we were given beautiful and very professionally done maps and triggers to get the aspiring mapmakers out there to wet their trousers. The story is filled with Survivor-esque alliances and plotholes up the wazoo that would leave even Sigmund Freud dizzy. Hopefully later in the series, the story will be cleaned up and we will be able to look back at TFT's story as an important building block for the end and not a hounding disappointment.

From the looks of it, this game's strongest point is upgrading an already-powerful World Editor to add elements unseen in any game before. People will truly be able to create some potentially powerful UMS and beautiful melee maps, and if that's not your cup of tea, the multiplayer play is also superb. Double the enjoyment!

Other small notable features:
-Some regular units can get upgraded to have backpacks and carry items
-Handicapping of life feature can help balance a game between buddies of different skill levels
-New anti-casters balance the game, removing the bane that plagued War3:RoC known as ''CasterCraft''
-Mountain Giants are cuddly.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/07/03, Updated 07/07/03

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