Warcraft 3 Reforged is a remix and culmination of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and the Frozen Throne expansion which was released during 2002 and 2003 respectively. The newest incarnation brings re-imagined visuals, 4+ hours of reforged cut-scenes and an upgraded World Editor to create custom maps or game types.
Let’s face it, Warcraft 3 Reforged isn’t a brand new title and the vast majority of people who will adventure alongside Arthas, are those who have played World of Warcraft or, the original Warcraft 3 released in 2002. If you’re a part of this audience, like me, then you’re going to be disappointed with what is actually on offer here… or more accurately when it’s compared to what was originally teased.
While this iteration of the Warcraft 3 epic is disappointing to it’s older audience, there’s a lot on offer here for those who are interested in digging deeper into the Warcraft lore or for those who are interested in experiencing this genre defining title.
While the above might make you feel that I’m having a negative time with the game, I’m loving my play through. It’s spectacular to revisit Azeroth again and it’s revamped visuals are doing a good job of holding my attention. Through my eyes, there’s enough change to make it worth the revisit as It’s been so long since I played through the original version that everything stands out better.
I want to continually use the term nostalgia porn to describe my experience of Reforged, in that we long for experiences which we’ve been through in the past. I’ve spent countless hours playing games from the franchise and delving deeper into the lore through published books – the idea revisiting this story with fresh paint is a joy to behold!
I’ve absolutely adored the new aesthetics which have been implemented here, characters and environments are popping with detail – Making my inner child squee with enjoyment as they’re now more inline with the cinematics and characters are with their World of Warcraft counterparts. While the visuals aren’t to everyone’s taste, there is an option to revert back to the Classic look of the game, reverting the visuals back to their original state.
With the increased fidelity of the new characters and environments, it begins to fall flat after a few hours of your play through. It’s advertised as having improved animations but after a while you begin to notice stiff and robotic movement across the majority of characters and this becomes more noticeable within in-game cut scenes. This is where the controversy begins to take place, where we’re not playing what was originally showcased at Blizzcon 2018… The trailer shown at the beginning of this article showcases parts of the original teased game, including cinematic cut scenes retelling the story – The most exciting and sought after aspect of Warcraft 3 Reforged.
Throughout the 62 available missions, you will control one of the four available factions, all which have their own strengths and weaknesses – There’s enough on offer to meet all play-styles. The fundamentals of the game are what you would expect from the RTS genre, where at the beginning of a match/level you collect resources, erect buildings and train units to eventually match upon your enemy and defeat them. Game play becomes more varied when you start leveling up your heroes and unlocking skills, whose levels carry over between missions in the campaign!
If you’ve played the original, the game play feels almost untouched – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can control 12 units at any time, one of my major asks for Reforged was to allow for a high team limit – This saves you from making multiple groups of units. This being said, there is something satisfying by creating versatile squads, grouping them up and switching between them using your key-binds.
Here’s our first impression video, why don’t you check it out?
So, what’s the verdict?
Warcraft 3 Reforged is a bit of a mixed bag, but its appeal will differ depending on where you’ve come from! It’s visually impressive but it doesn’t meet the expectation set by previous Blizzard releases.
If you’re a returning player to the world of Warcraft then you’re going to be disappointed with what is on offer here as it’s not going to meet your expectation. Fans of the series are going to have already played through the original game and the hype that Blizzcon brought around this game are going to be shattered. Here at Respawning, part of our motto is – By Gamers, For Gamers. To ensure that I adhere to that, I regrettably give Warcraft 3 Reforged, 4/10 – It’s groundhog day out here.
It’s unfair for me to look at this from the perspective of a “veteran” of the brand, there is a lot on offer here for those who haven’t delved into the behemoth of an RTS. While the game doesn’t quite meet the standard set by other games within the genre, albeit far and few in between. This will offer an insight into the obsession that is the World of Warcraft. You’re in for a good time, and while there is dissatisfaction within the community right now around this game, it’s a solid….