Review: Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos for Windows PC
The long-awaited successor to the wildly popular Warcraft 2, Warcraft 3 gave us so much more than a simple fantasy real-time strategy game.
Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos
The innovative game of Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos brought about a whole new fantasy conquest for those die-hard fans of the Warcraft series. The game not only opened the door to new fantastic tales, but graphics, sounds and awesome incoming character possibilities as well. Fans waited a long time for this strategy game but it was worth every minute.
Reign of Chaos has released approximately five million copies with its first release. Most games were pre-ordered, with the rest flying off the shelves upon immediate placement. This game is a worthwhile offering to the genre of real-time strategy games.
The game was announced in 1999 as an innovative strategic RPG but through the developmental stages, Warcraft 3 dropped the curtain and moved from role-playing intentions into a true sequel of the original. Strategy for real-time is second hand for those that have played any of the conventional games of this magnitude. Warcraft 3 takes you into a world that is difficult to leave with such involvement in characters and their battles. If you’ve never played the legendary game, now is the time. Be prepared to leave your world and enter into a new one for quite a while.
Instead of just building units to conquer objectives, you have heroes that not only play a part in the story, but level as RPG characters do. They gain experience points, gain spells and abilities, collect items and lead your troops into the next brutal battle.
Aside from heroes, Warcraft 3 sports an extremely well-crafted fantasy that went on to produce a sequel, “The Frozen Throne" and to form the foundation of the story for “World of Warcraft." Though the story features fantasy elements which are stock (elves, undead, etc.), things are still well-crafted and interesting enough to hold the attention of the most stalwart fantasy fan.
Warcraft 3 boasts two new races to the Warcraft universe: the undead Scourge and the mysterious Night Elves. It also introduces something unheard of in the Warcraft verse: cooperation. There are several missions near the end where the Horde, Alliance and the Night Elves band together to fight the good fight. Warcraft 3 also brings to the stage a wealth of new lore, particularly on the background of the Orcs and the forces behind their once-malevolent nature.
As with any Blizzard game, one can expect the graphics to be on the forefront of technology. Warcraft 3 does not disappoint in this category. The units are lively and very well animated, the cut-scenes are well done and the cinematics are absolutely amazing. The graphics were far ahead of their time, enough so that even now, six years after the game’s release, people are still playing Warcraft 3 as though it was just released. The graphics options may need to be turned down on older systems, although Warcraft 3 still runs remarkably well.
Like the graphics, one can expect a Blizzard RTS to have superior sound design and again, Warcraft 3 comes through. Each unit has several lines of dialog, all magnificently performed and some raucously hilarious. Part game, part walking pop culture reference, each of the units have both serious and not-so-serious lines if you continue clicking on them.
Apart from the voice acting, Warcraft 3 also excels in the music and ambiance departments. There are a wealth of ambient noises (wolf howls, birds chirping, water babbling when you go across a river) that help create the mood just as well as the graphics.
One of the shining jewels of RTS gaming, Warcraft 3 was introduced with a map editor, following all other Blizzard RTS game layouts. Only the Warcraft 3 editor is something quite special. Its engine is extremely malleable, allowing people to mod it very easily and to create a treasure trove of custom games, some of which have become hugely popular. The game “Defense of the Ancients" is so popular that DotA tournaments have been played at Blizzard’s annual convention, Blizzcon.
A hyper-malleable engine, solid multiplayer gameplay and excellent race balance have made Warcraft 3 one of the biggest online games yet (aside from of course, World of Warcraft.)
Though its release was long-delayed and changed considerably from earlier versions, the end result that is Warcraft 3 is a marvel of gaming technology. A first-rate story, beautiful scenery, breathtaking graphics, fantastic gameplay and an amazing multiplayer experience make Warcraft 3 a game for the ages.
600 MHz processor
256 MB of RAM
32 MB 3D video card
Compatible sound card
Kasavin, Greg; "Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Review", Gamespot: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/warcraft3reignofchaos/review.html?tag=summary%3Bread-review
Author unknown: "Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos", Blizzard Entertainment: http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/games/war3/