Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (PC) Review

By Athanasios 04.07.2017 1

Review for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos on PC

One way or another, simply everybody has heard of World of Warcraft, yet Its enormous success is such that it's easy to forget that it all began as a simple fantasy RTS, and one that, despite its then primitive mechanics, was definitely one of the titles that made the genre popular, building the foundation that led to the flawless diamond that is StarCraft - but it was the third one that really managed to stand out from the rest, as it brought forth some subtle, yet, great ideas into the mix, not to mention that it pushed the storyline way closer to the foreground. It became an instant hit, it made the already famous Blizzard even more so, it was loved by many (especially modders), and Cubed3 is here to show why, on its 15th anniversary.

Like with Diablo, The lore of the Warcraft franchise is far from original, as it's just another fantasy tale where brutish orcs meet steel-clad humans on the battlefield. Warcraft III adds two more races; the agile and, surprisingly versatile, night elves, as well as the plague-turned-army of the undead, but the concept remains the same. These can't get along because… video games, and thus, they must fight, fight, and then fight some more.

…But it's the way a story is told that matters the most, and Blizzard's storytelling skill doesn't disappoint one bit, because simple or not, it will manage to keep you glued to your cheap, smelly, gaming seat. Unlike many a RTS that shoehorn a storyline just because they feel like they have to, this is a single player campaign that's worth revisiting, with a pacing that's worthy of applause, the developer's typical excellent voice-acting, and all sorts of interesting twists and turns at hand.

Is it perfect? Not really. Presentation-wise it's fantastic. When it comes to the gameplay, however, it could be done a bit better. For starters, every time you enter a new chapter, and thus, follow a different race, the first couple of levels tend to be more tutorial-like than needed, instead of condensing more info in one to two maps. Additionally, it's all too easy, therefore, unless a total newbie, be sure to select the hard difficulty setting.

Screenshot for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos on PC

Note that, the bigger focus in story and lore is just one thing that Warcraft III feels different from its previous incarnations. The basic concept is still the same. Gather resources, build all sorts of structures, create an army, and fight. Some things have changed, however, and mostly for the better, although some won't notice that from the beginning, like, for instance, the much lower unit cap, and how that's handled.

Instead of vast armies, this is all about handling a few small squads. It might seem lame, but it actually adds a decent layer of strategy, forcing a focus in micromanaging the few available warriors, instead of spamming waves of units, as most come with a set of different skills that, if used correctly, can tip the scales towards your favour. Even better? The larger the army, the slower the resource gathering, therefore, one must always think where to do what.

Screenshot for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos on PC

This means that, while this is still an RTS that's all about being fast on your fingers for base-building, players also got to be good at deciding on which type of unit to spend those precious resources on, as they all have their major pros and cons, not to mention that they are all pretty expensive. Speaking of which, there is an impressive variety of units available for all for races, unlike Warcraft and Warcraft 2's somewhat similar humans and orcs.

Humans and Orcs remain the more newcomer-friendly races, however, they've stopped being carbon copies of each other, and very nicely so - but it's the new kids on Azeroth that rely shine here, with the somewhat weak Undead have buildings that get created "automatically," units that resurrect, poison, or even possess, while the Night Elves have living structures that can walk, and a fragile, yet very diverse cast of warriors, with many having the ability to become invisible when the night falls.

Great as these are, the big addition is none other than heroes; very strong, general-like units, who can carry items, cast spells, offer boosts to a squad, and level up. Needless to say that these fellows are so important that a great deal of a player's strategy must revolve around their use, so much that the gameplay frequently feels as if Diablo meets Warcraft, with the only issue being the fact that sometimes matches become a race for levelling-up a hero, instead of handling an army.

Screenshot for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos on PC

Summing up: race and unit diversity, a great, varied, and fantastically presented campaign, bea-freaking-utiful gameplay, and as a cherry on top, excellent audio-visuals. These might not be your cup of ale, but the cartoonish, vibrantly coloured D&D-esque world of Warcraft looks awesome even after all this years, despite its simple graphic engine and low-poly models. All these are good and all, but this, like many RTS titles, shows its true value in the online action.

Warcraft III still remains very popular amongst the multiplayer crowd, as it's easy to learn, yet hard to master, and offers plenty of room for experimentation - so while one may grow tired of playing PvE skirmish maps, it's unlikely that the same will ever happen with PvP. Finally, the powerful editor that comes with the game, has made this one of the most modded titles in existence - after all, DotA actually started as nothing more than a mod!

Screenshot for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos on PC

Cubed3 Rating

10/10
Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

Rated 10 out of 10

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is impressive, even for the high standards that its developer has set throughout its long history. It offers great fun, whether that's online or not, and although its mix of RTS with RPG mechanics and low unit cap might put some off, it surely has the right to remain on the highest step of the pedestal, as one of the most entertaining of its kind.

Developer

Blizzard

Publisher

Blizzard

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Easily the best RTS I've ever played. Still go back to it and replay the campaign for it's fantastic story. It does the victories quite well, while also getting the beats perfect during tragic moments. Loved playing LAN battles with mates and trying to master the DotA mod. 

Found it quite simple as well, and the micro managing of the resources and units + upgrades never felt overwhelming, and it still required smarter planning around it in order to avoid getting defeated.

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