|Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos (2002) |
December 04, 2003
warcraft 3 reign of chaos
|by: jolion ( August 30, 2003 )
|» Pros|| |
nothin else good
|» Cons|| |
graphics stall durin fights
Blizzard Entertainment have done it again: Warcraft 3 is here - time to reschedule your sleeping hours and cushion your PC chairs. Somehow, in the short span of time between Warcraft 2 and Starcraft, the quality of the plot jumped to extraordinary proportions. For those of you who are new to Warcraft, the story is about the Human Alliance (consisting of Elves, Dwarves and Humans), having fought off the invasion of the Orcs in Warcraft 2. Now in Warcraft 3 the Orcs return, pretty much pissed off and with a new leader. But the plot has a new twist. In the ongoing battles between humans and Orcs that follow, a new race showers on to the earth. Yes, you've guessed it, these are this is a race of new bad guys - the undead.
|» Review|| |
Now it is left for the humans and Orcs to join forces if both are to survive. All the while, a secret race, known as the Night Elves, lies dormant in the West. To connect them all, a mysterious crow-human mage warns each race of an ancient evil that is soon to awaken. The story unfolds through in-engine cut scenes as well as Blizzard's famous FMVs, which are the best FMVs I’ve seen in any game. If you are into graphics, the quality of the FMV's is enough reason for you to worship this game.
Wake up Orc dude
The single player game starts of with an orc hero jumping out of bed after having a nightmarish vision where fires rain from the skies and building size creatures emerging from the dead humans and Orcs. The prologue mission is the best tutorial we’ve ever played in any game, a discovery channel style commentator guides you through the gameplay.
The game then moves on to the Human campaign, where the main focus is on the Paladin Arthas, son of the current King of Lordaeron. Arthas has a fierce love of his country and would do anything to protect its inhabitants. The rest of the Human campaign follows Arthas' descent into madness. The campaigns then move on to the Undead, then Orc, before finishing up with the Night Elves. The rest of the campaigns slowly build up to this final reckoning,the final battle showing how each of the races fit into this Armageddon puzzle. It grabs your attention from the start and doesn't let go until the final credits. Believe me the credits are to be played for with very funny in engine cutscenes of flop acts by the characters and a rugby match by all of them.
Now where’s that hero?
The thing that distinguishes wc3 from other versions is the inclusion of heroes in the gameplay. Each race has 3 different heroes unique to that race with superman powers that in
the course of the game can pull you out of a totally hopeless situation provided u use your mana wisely. The heroes scheme is similar to that of diablo 2, where each hero gains levels and experience through combat and unlocks new skills. The level of a hero increases from 1 to 10. The heroes are pretty dramatic themselves and are very well rendered. Orcs, for example, can summon Tauren Chieftains, Far Seers and Blademasters, while Night Elves have access to Demon Hunters, Keepers of the Grove, and Priestesses of the Moon. You can only have one of each in a standard game, but trust me, that is plenty. By killing enemy units, Heroes gain experience, which eventually leads to higher stats like damage dealing abilities and hit-points. Let's use the Human's Archmage as an example. He has three abilities to train in, Blizzard (ego-maniacs perhaps?), Summon Water Elemental and Brilliance Aura. Blizzard is an area-effect spell that damages groups of enemies with falling ice-shards. By spending one point in Blizzard, you not only get access to that spell, but subsequent points will increase its effectiveness.
As you start exploring the maps, you come across peculiar dudes guarding key locations. These are the creeps which may range from easy to fight level 1 tree-gnolls to level 10 firemonsters. Creeps allow your heroes to gain levels by fighting them, and restricts the meeting of the opposite teams for a certain time. Now you cant send a worker to the next gold mine and become overnight billionaires. Apart from goldmines, these creeps defend interesting markets where you can buy powerful mercenaries and potions. Also along the way you find health and mana wells.
Still, Blizzard may have gone a little overboard with the Creeps. On some maps, Creeps are simply too powerful and pop up much too frequently. But they do drop lots of nice stuff for your heroes to pick up, like the occasional teleport scroll or The fire orb which adds 12 fire damage (about a third of your standard damage) to all Hero attacks.
I want WAAAAARRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!
Those of you who have played any RTS before would be familiar with the Warcraft 3's interface. But I don’t say u will not be surprised. Each race starts off with only peons, worker units that harvest resources and construct buildings essential to your war mongering. Each building produced can either build another unit type or provide upgrades to existing units, enhancing their armor, spell casting abilities, et cetera. Each unit has a series of default commands, attack, patrol, stand ground, but also has its own special abilities.
The Human Foot Soldier can bring up his shield to defend against projectile attacks while the Human Priest can heal wounded units. It's this kind of symbiosis that encourages players to diversify their unit production. Sure, a group of eight Undead Ghouls is a powerful force, but it would be even more potent if you throw in a Necromancer to resurrect the corpses of the fallen enemy soldiers, who then fight with you as Skeleton Warriors.
Get me more gold quick
There is whole range of options for multiplay. Players can trade resources between players. Players can also enter into observation mode and watch the game or even ally with computer controlled players. You can join forces and kick the pc’s butt for a change. Fancy having a clan and going on to Battle.Net? Blizzard has specially created and customised B.net to accomodate new settings. Ladders have been formed for 1 VS 1 or 2 VS 2 and even Clan ladders. AI of B.net has also been enhanced in their matchmaking games. Players who has more wins than loss cannot play with players who have more loss than wins. This gives every player an equal fight and of course fair play throughout.
“Who you wanna kill?”
Both the graphics and sound in Warcraft are simply phenomenal. Blizzard has never been criticized for their production quality, and never before have I seen RTS units so small, yet with so much detail and personality. Human peons lumber clumsily as they mine gold, Mages grandly wave their wand with each spell they cast, and the Undead Ghouls creep close to the ground as if they are constantly on the prowl for fresh corpses. As if that weren't enough, the unit portrait further projects each unit's unique character. Each portrait looks and animates like a Disney cartoon, complete with changing facial expressions and lips that move when speaking.
After playing the game, it's tough to think of Warcraft 3 as Blizzard's first 3-D game, because the textures and effects are so darn good. Everything is crisp and bursting with color. You can see each individual skull on the Undead buildings and all the while there are transparent souls circling around them. And there's no doubt when you receive a Human Hero because a bright ray of light comes down into your base as if sent from some divine power. You will probably play horribly the first few games because you'll be so busy just gawking at the incredible graphics engine. You can also zoom into the heart of the action. A map editor is also included.
In order to sell a war game, it has to sound like war. Firing a cannon should not sound like dropping those little explosive paper balls, and clashing shields shouldn't make the player think they have loose change in their pocket. Frankly it scares me how well Blizzard knows what war sounds like, because every sound-effect was spot on. I wouldn't be surprised if someone from the development team actually went to one of those castles in England with a tape recorder, smacked it with a long sword a few times, and used that in the game, because when my footmen attack an enemy castle, it sounds exactly how I would expect it to. Trees fall with satisfying crashes, Elves scream in pain as they are removed from their mortal coil, and even though I have no idea what sound a Hippogriff makes, I would guess it sounds very much like it does in Warcraft 3. The voice actors are also extremely solid, yelling stuff like, "For the horde!" in throaty perfection. And of course the hilarious sound clips from previous Blizzard games are back, with the Riflemen yelling, "This is my Boomstick!" or the ghostly wisp singing, "Iiiii aint got no boooodddy." All this cacophony is backed by a powerful score created especially for this game, and it all comes together to create a convincing wartime experience.
If you have been waiting for that next great game, then run out right now and buy Warcraft 3. The game is so polished and so enjoyable, that it makes you proud to be a gamer. Blizzard has also solidified their record as the most consistent game publishers, and rank at the very top of our gaming lists. Thank you, Blizzard, for boxing up pure high powered fun and printing a giant orc on it.
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