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First Warcraft 3 Reviews Trickle In

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  • Warcraft 3 Owns! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Grieveq (589084) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @05:33PM (#3796909)
    Having played for a couple weeks now I must say I am pretty damned impressed with what Blizzard has done with the game. It's not revolutionary or anything like that, but the single player campaign is just pure fun. The storyline is great, the battles are great (Though mostly easy up until the last one), and the cinematics are beautiful. The new hero systems is pretty neat as well, it adds a completely new dimension to the genre. I wasn't impressed with the beta multiplayer on battle.net so I'm looking forward to getting a real copy and seeing how it performs. Now the wait begins for Worlds of Warcraft...
  • by Deltan (217782) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @05:38PM (#3796931)
    I was so not impressed with the Beta. Warcraft 2 came out in 1995. So basically they've had 7 years to come up with a third installment worthy of its predecessor. Instead they squander those 7 years, and at the last minute spit out what is basically Warcraft 2 with some new graphics and a couple new races. Most disappointing, there was huge potential for something so much more. GG Blizzard.

    The all time best Real Time Strategy game is and continues to be Total Annihilation. Better luck next time Blizzard.

    I also assume that this week we like Blizzard and next week we're back to hating them for wheeling the DMCA on Bnetd?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 30, 2002 @05:50PM (#3796969)
    Instead they squander those 7 years, and at the last minute spit out what is basically Warcraft 2 with some new graphics and a couple new races.

    Umm, except they spent a great deal of that time working on Starcraft, a complicated game that is by some considerations the best RTS ever in terms of both depth of gameplay and complexity&game integration of plot and story...

    Also, they during that seven years managed to completely develop, design, and release both Diablo and Diablo 2, two incredibly innovative networkable games that blended and elevated the RPG and Adventure genres.. and while not quite to the almost unheard-of levels of starcraft, these games both had very well-developed game universes & storylines.. and Diablo 2 was being worked on for some of its development concurrently with WC3, wasn't it?

    Yeah, gee, that's just nothing. They just plain wasted 7 years, didn't they?? What were they doing for all that time?? Just sitting on their asses and getting drunk??
    Umm, no. Blizzard could maybe have done more to rework the basic ideas and assumptions of the RTS with WC3, but it is definitely a significant step forward even if it is not revolutionary. They can experiment some later, for now they just seem to be focusing on making a new, exciting, different, interesting, fun game. I mean, come on. How many game companies can you think of that FOUR TIMES since 1995 have created games with as much stature and popularity as starcraft, broodwars, and diablo 1&2?
  • by puppetman (131489) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @06:02PM (#3797013) Homepage
    if you know where to look. I've uninstalled it, and tossed the disk. Reasons are,

    1) It won't play smoothly on a P3 500 laptop (with 384 meg of RAM and an ATI Rage Mobility). Blizzard usually tries to get the low-end of the market. Not any longer

    2) In the past, Blizzards games were evolutionary (but not revolutionary). This one is not even that. It's just another Real Time Strategy game, but with heros. Warlords Battlecry 2 [warlordsbattlecry2.com] did the same thing, and I bet there are others.

    3) This thing is selling for $90 Canadian (about $60 US) even in the "no one beats our prices" electonics stores.

    Screw it. If this game had come out 5 years ago, maybe. But Starcraft is better, and so is Age of Empires 2.
  • by bentini (161979) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @06:03PM (#3797024)
    Diablo and Diablo 2 are made by Blizzard NORTH. this was formerly a separate company, and Blizzard only was going to distribute Diablo. When they realized, however, how kick-ass Diablo is, they bought up the company cause they knew they could take it places. So, that doesn't really count for those 7 years.
  • by c-town (571657) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @06:15PM (#3797068)
    But the game penzlizes you for expanding through upkeep. Everytime you expand, it's another 5 towards your upkeep.
  • by Captain_Frisk (248297) <captain_frisk&bootless,org> on Sunday June 30, 2002 @08:24PM (#3797627) Homepage
    Everyone has been going on about how great the graphics are.

    I disagree. I think they suck.

    Due to the number of units on the screen at one time, each unit has to have a relatively low polygon count. This results in having units which don't look very impressive at all.

    I like the lighting. Spell effects are pretty good. Environment looks cool. Units look like ass.

    Here is one case where the move to 3D has really hurt the game. When you went from 2.5D in Doom / Duke Nukem to full 3D for Quake + clones, you incorporated the Z-axis, levels started to take it into account etc. In general, this was a good thing.

    In WC3, its still essentially a 2D game. There are 3 levels of play, just like Starcraft, but the ramps are so large, that for the most part have no strategic value.

    Next, you need a brutal system to play this well, and you have to turn down the details. It may be nice and smooth and pretty when you're starting out, but as soon as you have a battle (and remember that these battles are much smaller now... > 50 enemies is rare) your FPS drops like mad. Wouldn't be a problem, if you didn't need to click on your troops to tell them what to do. End result? Whoever's got the better system wins.

    I love Blizzard. I own WC, WC2, WC2X, SC, Diablo, Diablo II, Diablo II:Lod, and I'm not going to buy WC3 (I played the beta, and it doesn't seem like its changed significantly since I have)

    I could rant about this game for a while, but bottom line... multi play kindof sucks. It won't hold your attention.

    If you are into the whole SP thing, then maybe it will be ok, but don't buy into the hype. Blizzard's games are critic proof, and for good reason... up till now they have made games that were either amazing (Starcraft) or seriously addictive (Diablo).

    I'm waiting for their next personally.

    Captain Frisk out... all this ranting makes me sleepy
  • Yawn (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday July 01, 2002 @08:03AM (#3799889) Homepage

    Finished the single player last night, although I'm not entirely sure why.

    The maps are effectively all very simple mazes. There's so much blocking terrain that the amount of actual usable space is small, even on the big maps. Defensive towers are so cheap and effective that your "strategy" on most maps is just to build 8-12 towers on each of the two or three very obvious approach routes (that might as well be signposted "Very Obvious Approach Route") and massacre the desultory trickle of understrength AI attacks. A small flying squad of infantry (or flyers) to deal with the token seige engine in some attacking groups, plus a patrolling group of repairing peons, and you're impregnable for all practical purposes.

    And this works on every map. Every single map. The "game" is just wandering your hero around, hoovering up goodies and picking fights until he stops levelling. Then you can pretty much take the enemy down any way you like. Grunt rushes, creeping artillery barrages, suicidal hero charges, it's all good, and it all works, as long as you concentrate on taking out buildings instead of wasting time engaging the enemy.

    The AI is as pathetic as always. It's actually sad watching the small groups of mixed troops going down in the meat grinder of your tower fire, and the sallies are even worse. If you want to know one of the actual "tactics" for a base assault, it involves sending in a couple of units to snipe the enemy base. The enemy sallies everything out to engage them, then you just rush your actual attacking force right past the melee into the heart of their base and smack their town centre. Works. Every. Time.

    On the special quest maps with no construction, it's (if anything) worse. Because your hero regenerates faster than any enemy, and because their AI's are crippled so that they only pursue you for a short distance and then return to their home, you can defeat all opposition with hit and runs. There's no skill involved, only patience. The only troops that are actually beneficial are artillery; the infantry you get gifted (generously) on these maps are largely irrelevant, as your hero can solo them. The plethora of healing wells scattered around just imbalance it further. How come the enemy never uses them?

    Multiplayer isn't a bundle of laughs either. There's none of the StarCraft distinctiveness among the races. They're all fairly generic, and the Night Elves are pretty obviously an "oh yeah" addition that serve no purpose. The single player Night Elf campaign really does seem tacked on and anti-climactic.

    Because of the unit limit, you have to choose between trick supporting units or combat units. Guess what? 10 powered up combat units will beat any combination of combat and support units, because the support units are feeble, and their effects are either underpowered or require too much micromanagement, and they go down before they can make a difference. Sure, that sorceress might polymorph one of your grunts into a sheep, but then your other nine grunts will smack her, both sides have lost a unit, your grunt will recover, and you still have more total hit points. In fact, most battles are just meat grinders where the winner is the side with the most total hit points. "Tactics" means using "attack" rather than "move" to get in some first strikes, and then the old saw of concentrating on one enemy at a time. Forget flanking, forget advantage of terrain, forget posture, it's just grind, grind, grind. Take out the peons and the town centre, and you've won, as always. Heck, if you're human and you're getting bored, ring the alarm bell, turn your peons into pathetic militia, and just make it easier for your opponent to snuff them as they charge mindlessly into combat.

    In other words, we've seen it all before, and better. The graphics aren't even anything to write home about. You'll only ever view the game from one angle anyway, with the units on mostly level ground, and so they might as well be pre-rendered. You'd lose the lighting effects, and that's about it.

    Sorry, I am sadly disappointed in Warcraft III. The engine and gameplay have evolved not one bit from StarCraft, unless you count the multiplayer Hero Rush (either to attack, or to loot and level). All the work has gone into the graphics and the token humorous unit poke-poke responses. To give you an idea of how derivative this is, they even lift sounds straight from Diablo.

    This is a sequel by the numbers. Stick to the same old formula, give people what they know they like, sell to the same market, don't introduce anything that would require actual strategy or tactics like unit posture, significant terrain advantages or bonus damage on enemy that are in "move" rather than "attack" mode. Oh no, just keep on churning out the same old same old, and keep counting the profits. Bah.

  • by WndrBr3d (219963) on Monday July 01, 2002 @06:14PM (#3803636) Homepage Journal
    Warcraft 3 Review - By WndrBr3d (wndrATirev.net)

    Overview:

    Out of all the games released so far in 2002, I must say that the biggest overrated hype and most disappointing delivery has to be Warcraft 3. What it boils down to is this game is a successor to Starcraft and NOT it's predecessor Warcraft 2. Unfortunately I feel that Blizzard was banking this game on the success of Starcraft in today's market. This game was rushed to the market and many vital items that would GREATLY enhance game play are missing.

    Races:

    Orcs - Hard to go wrong with this race. It's basically humans painted green sans technology and intelligence. Actually, think of them as an inbred Swiss family Robinson.

    Humans - Some things never change. Footmen, Knights, Healers, blah, blah blah.

    The Undead - Remember the Zerg ? Change their colors to Green/Black.

    Night Elfs - Warcraft 3 equivalency of the French. You could kill off an entire Night Elf base with one-foot solder and then proceed to rape and pillage their trees.

    Graphics:

    Decent. I'm impressed with their graphics for an RTS game. But in all honesty, HOW many RTS games have been released with >WarCraf2 Graphics. Besides, this graphics engine couldn't hold a candle to other graphics engines today *cough*Quake3*cough*. The texture quality is very high though and there didn't seem to be any low frame rate issues.

    Sound:

    This is where I don't care. Seriously, I have something I like to call, A LIFE. And in this life (for some of you, I'm referring to IRL) I honestly don't give a crap if my computer can play a RTS in 5.1-surround sound. But for some reason, this seems to be a MUST for Uber-dorks out there. Stereo is fine for me. But I will say that the Music/Sound is very nice. Pleasing even.

    Campaign Game Play:

    I feel that Blizzard again took the high road on this one. Maps are of course wonderful and crafted well, but the flow of the story leaves LITTLE to be desired. In StarCraft all cut scenes were done with MASTERFUL 3D Video Scenes, which were just AMAZING. Proof that Blizzard did take their time with Starcraft to make it rich and feature full for all users.

    WarCraft3 on the other hand took the high road. You will only get one cinematic clip in the Beginning and End of your Campaign. Instead of the key placed clips, they've decided to just place animated scenes using the game engine before/after/during your missions. To me, this is Blizzard basically saying FOAD.

    My reasons for saying this product was an attempt to follow StarCraft and not be an ACTUAL sequel to WarCraft 2 is basically these two reasons. Sea Units? Gone. HOW THE CRAP CAN YOU NOT HAVE SEA UNITS IN WARCRAFT 3 ?! They were in One and Two! That's like not having the humans in the third! WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING ?! I WANNA HAVE A BATTLE OF MIDWAY GOD DAMN IT!

    In one mission you actually go around destroying BOATS.. meaning the Models and Objects are actually IN the game, but they decided it would be best not to implement them. So this would be an example of Blizzard being lazy and just pushing their product to market without actually implementing ALL features/units.

    Second reason, Resources. Oil? Gone. Reason: NO SEA UNITS. Yes, again in Warcraft 3, as in Starcraft, there are only TWO resources. Gold/Wood. Because apparently my mechanical units burn liquid gold (or you would assume so by their cost). This to me, doesn't make any freaking sense what so ever.

    Custom Game Play:

    This section should just be titled, 'Game Play'. There is seriously next to NO customization options. You can select your map, fog of war options, and that about sums it up. You cannot even modify the skill level (Bunny Hunts are sometimes FUN!). Modify Game Speed/Starting Units/Starting Resources? Nope.

    Summary:

    I feel that WarCraft3 is basically Blizzard shitting on all our chests. And with a $60 price tag, it wants us to swallow said shit and call it candy. I'm severely disappointed in this release and am honestly considering visiting Blizzards offices and peeing on their doorstep.

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