Warcraft III: Reforged is out now, and the original first arrived 18 years ago, and I distinctly remember playing it when it was released in 2002.
I loved the fact that if you were defeated on a level you got the option to try again with a lower difficulty so you could get through it. This was great for me then, and even now as my plan of attack is having as many units as possible split into a few groups, attacking enemies at different points with even more units sitting back at the base, just waiting to head out if a group gets obliterated! I certainly don’t have a strategy, and just believe in strength in numbers! Warcraft III always did have a nice learning curve, though, that gradually eased you into things with both base building, exploration and the combat side of things.
So what we have here with Warcraft III: Reforged is beautiful new visuals, character models, re-recorded original script, new in-game cutscenes that show more of what is happening, new animated character face blocks on the bottom-left side of the screen, and superb-looking new spell effects and summons. The game, itself, is essentially the same as it always has been, with balance tweaks on some of the missions and you can now create custom games/maps to play through.
The gameplay – much like other Real Time Strategy – sees you given an objective at the start of a mission with additional objectives added as you find them, or progress much like the Command & Conquer games. Not every mission has you building up a base, then venturing out to explore and take out a group of enemies you have been following. Some missions see you defending something for a specific amount of time, whilst others will have you taking control of the hero following a path through a level rescuing soldiers on the way to an objective which, in turn, has them join your group and so on.
It is not massively complicated to get to grips with, as you will follow the same procedure for base building. You will be erecting the basic stuff needed, then upgrading the buildings so you can in turn upgrade your numerous units weapons and defences, much like other RTS titles from the era and the popular Dawn of War games.
The story is spread across many missions and numerous campaigns which all tie in together. The prologue has you taking control of a band of orcs across a few missions, each of which can last 30-45 minutes and has the orcs moving away from the Eastern Kingdoms, and travelling across the sea to Kalimdor. You then have the Human campaign, followed by Undead, then back to the Orcs, and finishing off with the Night Elf campaign. Of course, Blizzard have included the Frozen Throne expansion with this, so after finishing the base game – Reign of Chaos – you have another three story campaigns which are Sentinel, Alliance and Scourge, in that order, each with 6-8 chapters, and then there’s the bonus campaign, Founding of Durotar. You literally have a metric ton of single-player content to be playing through, before even considering custom games and multiplayer.
Visually, the game has had a lot of work done to it as everything has been upgraded with new visuals, from grass to the characters and buildings. It is as vibrant as it ever has been, and once you up the resolution to 4K, it becomes even more stunning, and thankfully, the interface scales nicely as does the on-screen text, so it is easy enough to read and see.
Now, at the moment, there is a lot of review-bombing going on with Metacritic, from people that don’t even own the game. One review I saw a few days back was someone literally saying they can’t support Blizzard, so they have not purchased the game, but giving it as low a score as possible to help support the review-bombing……go figure!
Reasons for this are varied from problems running the game, music being changed up, fram-erate on animation (background animation I believe), making some of the missions easier and more accessible, no leaderboards, stuff being shown in early trailers that’s not in final game, changing some of the maps (towns mainly) so they fit and look the same as the current World of Warcraft areas, and other stuff… The list is endless and feels like people are just complaining about whatever comes to mind, that they can lay into. The issues are what I would class as niggles, rather than major problems, that can be fixed with a few patches, but I do have to say I have had zero issues whilst playing.
However, I do have to say that those who have mentioned the rights and ownership of user-created content being owned solely by Blizzard is a bit on the naughty side. So you spend time creating something which gets stored on the Blizzard servers, and it is owned by Blizzard, and you get no recognition for your work, and they own it outright… yeah, that would upset me also, but there is a right way to do something and a wrong way, and review-bombing an awesome remaster of a classic game is, in my mind, the wrong way to go about things.
All in all, I personally love this remaster and I loved the two titles that came before it. It is easy to pick up and play, and each level is nicely paced and doesn’t take to long to complete, so is great if you have a busy schedule and only want to play something for a half hour. I really like the new graphics and the in-game cut scenes, showing more of what is going on captures the moments perfectly.
As such, the aforementioned practice means you’re missing out on a great game if you haven’t played it before. The single-player campaign is excellent and takes you on such a journey with the characters, and it is not to be missed. If you are so inclined, you can turn the Reforged mode off and play through the entire game in classic mode if it bugs you enough!
I would say buy it, but I know a lot of people will disagree with me so it is down to personal preference. If you can see past the petty stuff going on presently, you will get hours of fun from the campaign and stories from the different factions.
Warcraft III: Reforged is out now on PC via Battle.net
- Developer: Activision / Blizzard
- Publisher: Activision / Blizzard
- Players: Single player and Multi-player
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!