Today marks the release of ‘World of Warcraft- Battle for Azeroth’, the seventh expansion pack for Blizzard’s hallowed MMO, and earlier this week saw the release of ‘The Boomsday Project’, the ninth expansion for ‘Hearthstone’, Warcraft’s card-based baby brother. Both of them have had some pretty mad trailers in the last few months, so we thought we’d compile some of the best right here, in case you missed them.
1 ‘Battle for Azeroth’ reveal trailer.
First playing at 2017’s Blizzcon, the ‘Battle for Azeroth’ reveal trailer has the workings of a great piece of cinema in and of itself. Complete with a small plot, character development, and some damn good action, this is quite possibly the best reveal trailer any ‘World of Warcraft’ expansion has ever had. (Sorry, Wrath of the Lich King).
2 ‘Old Soldier’
The story of Varok Saurfang is one of my favourite in all of ‘Warcraft’. A warrior and veteran of at least four wars, Saurfang has done terrible things as a slave of the burning legion, a demonic army that seeks to destroy Azeroth. Freed from their grasp, Saurfang has been the voice of honour and reason among all Orcs since the earliest days of WoW. Despite his regrets, his remorse for his past actions, and even losing his son to the Lich King, Saurfang remains one of the most engaging horde characters in ‘Warcraft’, and the ‘Old Soldier’ cinematic gives him his place in the spotlight- and sets up for great things ahead in his story. The old soldier clearly isn’t getting the warrior’s death he craves anytime soon.
That, and this cinematic has some of the most beautiful visuals ever seen in the Warcraft franchise. As much as I enjoyed the movie adaptation, this is what I wanted.
3 ‘Warbringers: Sylvanas’
Sylvanas Windrunner is something of a controversial figure in ‘Warcraft’ lore right now. Having made choices many would deem as pure, unredeemable evil after succeeding the fan favourite Vol’Jin at the end of ‘Legion’, the dark lady has robbed many people of their pride in the Horde. But this short puts the spotlight on her for once- reminding her what she’s come from, and reminding her that she has pride in her actions. Combined with ‘Old Soldier’, this cinematic is the perfect setup for a grand showdown- be it physical or political- between the two most dangerous people in the Horde.
4 ‘Warbringers: Jaina’
‘Beware, beware, the daughter of the sea’.
Gracefully recapping the events of Warcraft III’s ‘The founding of Durotar’ campaign from the perspective of Kul’Tiras, one of the human kingdoms whose king was the final boss of that campaign, this short reminds us that the events of that campaign remain deep-set in Jaina Proudmoore’s mind- when she decided not to defend her father, and allow him to be murdered by her friend Thrall. Finally, with the atrocities committed by the Horde, Jaina has come to realise that her father was right all along, and is back with a vengeance.
As someone who plays a Worgen and would even go as far as to identify as a Gilnean if I woke up in the ‘Warcraft’ universe, the prospect of exploring another human kingdom based on my home of Britain makes me hella excited, and this short is pulling all the weight of that hype train.
That, and the visuals and music are… haunting. Seriously. A character of a game I scarcely play has been clawing away at my mind for several weeks, and I often find myself humming the tune and remembering just how teriffying Jaina Proudmoore is at random intervals throughout my day.
5: ‘Here comes the Boom!’
On a more lighthearted note, who doesn’t love a good Rube Goldberg machine?
To commemerate the release of ‘The Boomsday Project’, Blizzard put together this explosive contraption to demonstrate what happens inside a game of ‘Hearthstone’.
5: ‘The Boomsday Project’ announcement trailer.
Okay, so maybe it’s not quite as spine-tingling as ‘The Witchwood’s announcement trailer, but it’s still a fun little trailer that’ll invade your humming habits for weeks!
5: ‘New Pack Day!’
Hearthstone has recently started getting its own fully 3D animated trailers, and ‘New Pack day’ is the second one, coming out in June. And quite frankly, it’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. This is some Disney-level stuff.
Some people want to go to Hogwarts, or become a Jedi, or sit on the enterprise or smoke pipes with Gandalf and Frodo. I want to go to the Stonebrew Inn and spend an evening by the fire playing Hearthstone with Elves, Gnomes, and Orcs. Is that too much to ask?