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First Warcraft 3 Reviews Trickle In 363

Posted by michael
from the i'd-rather-be-sailing dept.
Mortin writes "Several reviews of Warcraft 3, set to be released on July 3, are up at Icrontic, Tweakers.com.au, and of course IGN. Looks like Blizzard has yet another killer game on their hands."
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First Warcraft 3 Reviews Trickle In

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  • by c-town (571657) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @05:55PM (#3796987)
    The evidence is in the players. All the rts hardcore players have played in the beta and have quit. Why? Cause the game lacks a lot of depth due to a lot of built in "features". Like for instance, creeps. The idea of AI controlled units around the map for you to attack and guard things such as mines and shops might sound good. However, creeps has an adverse side affect. It gives experience to your heros and gives you gold (Heros are another new concept, which is a big buff unit that can gain experience, level and have very powerful abilities and spells) . How is that an adverse side affect you ask? Well, it turns out, early on in the game, you *HAVE* to go creep hunting to give your hero that experience edge. Heros have the ability to turn the tides of the battle and a level 1 hero is much weaker than a level 3 hero. Right now, I rarely engage combat with the opponent until my hero is at least level 3. After creep hunting for a couple hundred games, it gets mundane and boring. Some people brush this off as "another resource" to get. However, this resource takes the first 10 min of the game. Before in previous RTS games, the focus of resource gathering was maybe the first 1-2 min of the game. Another big flaw many players see is upkeep. Upkeep is another new concept by Blizzard which cuts down the amount of gold a peon will bring out of the mine. At 30 units, you enter low upkeep which reduces gold to 7 and at 70 units, you enter high upkeep which reduces gold to 4. Blizzard implemented this because they didnt want 200 zerglings running around on the map. However, many players despise this limit saying low upkeep is annoying and they never really enter into high upkeep, which defeats the purpose. This also affects expanding because the extra peons cuts into your upkeep. Oh, that reminds me, 5 peons *MAX* per mine. These are two of the most controversial ideas that Blizzard has brought in. There are others as well. Many players complain that these limitations limits the depth of the game. IMHO, the game is fun and interesting. The 3D is done pretty well. However, it's not a Starcraft. Starcraft has depth and it's a very strategic game. It captivates players even today (I think it's been out for 4 years?). Will I buy War3? Yes. Will I be playing it after 6-12 months? Prolly not.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 30, 2002 @06:00PM (#3797007)
    I just finished the single player campaign and now I'm moving on to FSGS for online play. I'll say that its a good game but it isn't worth $102 (canadian).
  • by Fapestniegd (34586) <james.jameswhite@org> on Sunday June 30, 2002 @06:02PM (#3797015) Homepage
    These posts (posts involving lawsuits against hackers) are always riddled with persons who want you to boycott these products, be they games, CDs or Movies. Personally I like games, CDs and Movies. However I don't like the tactics being employed by The RIAA, MPAA, or Vivendi any more than the next slashdotter. What I propose is not a boycott, but to give an equal or greater amount to the EFF Whenever you purchase one of these items. That way Every dollar you contribute to Evil is equally matched by one for Good. So At least your not contributing to the net evil.

    Just my $.02
  • by Gravaton (413066) <gravaton&optonline,net> on Sunday June 30, 2002 @06:19PM (#3797086)
    LOL seeing as it still completely, applies, I'm simply going to repost (with some edits and additions) an earlier post of mine concerning WarCraft 3.

    It seems to me that spending $65 on the "WarCraft 2 Graphics Upgrade Pack" would be like buying an expensive gift for a way-too-spolied child. Let's think about this for a minute. A company offers a product, gives us a date for it, lists a ton of features. Sounds like a good deal. Until they start pushing the date back. Still, no big deal. Then they start cutting features...like mad. Now if this was any other company, we'd all be panning their product and despising him, but for some reason everyone LOVES Blizzard for it

    Countless people have called games like WC3 and SC some of the "greatest games ever". I am standing up right here and preparing to argue it soundly. This is not a troll, it's a statement of belief. Warcraft 2 was a great game; it was innovative for its time and introduced a brand new game setting. Since that point, Starcraft, Diablo 2, and WarCraft 3 (based on my experiances with the beta) have been simply TERRIBLE games. Buggy, unbalanced, uninteresting, lacking strategic or tactical depth (in the cases of StarCraft and WC3), using cheap workarounds to fix fundimental game flaws (i.e. Hey, if we let them only select a limited # of units at once, noone can rush right? right?), and always ALWAYS falling far short of the grand feature-scapes originally planned for them. Why would I want to play StarCraft or WarCraft 3 when I could play larger, richer games with far more depth (ohh...say...Total Annihilation comes to mind).

    Now, to be fair, these comments relate to WarCraft 3 only through my experiance with the beta version. I honestly do not know if the game has changed since then, and if it has my opinions might change as well. But here is what I saw. The game was very pretty, it looks quite nice. However, the game mechanic hasn't changed or evolved at all since WC2. Same extremely limited unit selection, same "rock-paper-scissors" unit balance that makes "strategy" equal to "Just build some of each and run at each other". The "Hero" units were unimpressive and seemed to only be more powerful normal units that could somehow use Town Portal. The "Unaligned NPCs" were just weak units you killed to get at some resources. Games were fast and pointless, the races were unbalanced at that point, there was no strategy at all as you could never have enough units to enact a given strategy.

    Maybe TA has spoiled me. I'm used to massive 2000-unit battles where you actually USE all 9 unit hotkeys, feint and probe, battle across a massive map. Strategy and production were vital tools as you pushed forward to conquer territory. Admittedly, maybe such things aren't everyone's cup of tea. But I don't understand how the RTS genre has remained the exact same game since the original C+C (which, I do know, wasn't even the first RTS). Many people have tried to innovate somewhat, but where's the evolution? Shouldn't we demand MORE instead of eating up what's only vaguely satisfactory?? To put it very plainly, Blizzard's RTS games are no more interesting or complex then playing War or Spit. Sure, those games can be fun sometimes too, but a deck of cards is a lot less then $65, and so is the number of broken promises and lowered expectations.
  • My impressions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bonch (38532) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @06:21PM (#3797091)
    Keep in mind, this is all just opinion. :)

    As a huge fan of the first two games (especially the first one), I'm somewhat disappointed with this one. It actually kind of bores me. At its core, WarCraft 3 seems like just a mixture of StarCraft and Diablo, like they just decided, "Hey, we'll mix our two biggest money-makers to make a mutant third one." StarCraft kept my interest for a while, but Diablo absolutely bores me. And now I'm running around in War3 doing little pointless sidequests and investigating towns and building experience levels and gaining inventory items...whatever happened to the big, massive battles? The game is party-based now!

    Maybe it'll grow on me, who knows. I never really liked the storyline to begin with once I heard it, but playing the single-player campaigns, I'm even more turned off. A large amount of characters just talking, not very many cinematics (as in, stuff not done in the engine itself), and some downright cheesy stuff (for instance, the meeting with Jaina made me roll my eyes...and peasants running up to me, "My lord, legend tells of a *whatever pointless thing you should get that your character will say "Hmm, that could prove useful" about*). I feel like I'm just running around exploring more often than I'm planning attacks or doing any other war strategy. As in WARcraft.

    Worst of all, the graphics retained their cartoonish look of War2. I loved War2 and tolerated the comic book look as just the theme of that particular installment, but the goofy humor and looks still exist in War3, and I'm kind of tired of it. Especially with the Orcs, who used to seem so badass and evil in the first game.

    I miss the building tension of seeing the first few troops of a huge army slowly marching toward your base. Where's Bill Roper's "Yes, my lord" gone to? What about a recognizable war theme instead of the more ambient soundtrack of this game? Stuff like that. Maybe I'm stuck in the past, but it seems like Blizzard was concentrating so much on changing the gameplay and throwing so much stuff into it to make it different (heroes, hiring troops from the huts, running little sidequests, and more) that I miss the old classic simplicity of just two sides building bases and sending troops after each other to win instead of following some story about how the Orcs just happened to have revived themselves as a culture and, oh, by the way, some firey things are suddenly coming down from the sky to kill everyone and the dead are rising and the Night Elves are coming out of the trees. I guess I was hoping for just one last, huge, epic battle of Orcs and Humans, with all the neat little gameplay enhancements but without all the pointless features and unnecessary races to bog it all down. Though I'm sure a bunch of you disagree with me already. :)

    At least there's Red Alert 2. :) And I'll definitely want to see how they do StarCraft 2; I'm hearing rumors of another race that is a mix of Protoss and Zerg...

    I'll go ahead and give War3 another try, promise!
  • by MoTec (23112) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @06:53PM (#3797185)
    Okay, sure. But that just makes it a tradeoff between how much cash flow you want and how much of an army you want. What I tried a couple times against a buddy was to explode at the start and make 8 bases as soon as I can. Well, not bases just gold collection points. I kept my a small army at my main base and used town recall scrolls to jump to any base that was in trouble. After a little while it became a bit too much trouble to defend all of them but by that time I'd sucked most of the gold away anyway. So that when I had to build a larger army to offset my opponent I had more cash to do it with.

    Plus, warping in with an elite army is pretty fun. :)

    I think 'low upkeep' ends at 70 food? That's still a pretty good force. 25 on gold at 5 bases. 5 more on wood maybe? That leaves an army of 40. That's not 40 units because the better units use more than one food, but it's still a sizable force.
  • by Metaldsa (162825) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @06:57PM (#3797203)
    People here act like this game was supposed to change the world or something.

    Only Warcraft1 was evolutionary. Warcraft2, Starcraft, and Warcraft3 are nothing new. Orcs and humans, grunts and knights vs. orgres and orcs. Its been the same since those old pixalated days. So why when Warcraft3 comes out with the same exact thing does everyone throw their nose in the air condemning it?

    ID software just kept remaking doom. First it was quake1, then quake2, then quake3. Now doom3. No changes there either. Another example of a solid company just doing what they do best.

    Warcraft2 and starcraft proved pure quality even though they didn't evolutionize anything. So why can't warcraft3? Quake1/2/3 showed quality (to a lot of ppl, not everyone) and Doom3 will almost certainly show quality with its engine.

    Just like in the movie industry, its extremely hard to find something new that create a large new base of fans. Ska and techno slightly did it in music recently but its extremely tough.

    I know all the critics will disappear six months from now when its recognized for being a solid game to play over and over. And the single player plays like a good movie offering 2+ days of gaming.

    In conclusion, if you call yourself a gamer and don't hate the rts genre then this is a good buy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 30, 2002 @07:19PM (#3797275)
    You'd never manage this against a player with skill.

    And this entire thread is retarded. It's harder to effectively utilize resources than it is to obtain them.

    And that whole thing about leveling your hero as boring, all I can say is that in case he hadn't realized the entire start of a game is redundent, as are most in-game strategies. Big surprise! StarCraft is incredibly redundent, especially if you're a top 20 ladder player.

    Also if it takes you ten minutes to level your hero to level three you have no future with this game.
  • by krmt (91422) <therefrmhere@NOspam.yahoo.com> on Sunday June 30, 2002 @08:07PM (#3797507) Homepage
    Here it is, I was waiting for the obligatory "Why aren't games these days more original?" post.

    As another poster mentioned, Looking Glass Studios made some incredibly original games (he forgot my personal favorite that even beats out Thief, System Shock 2) and they went out of business.

    Then how about Ion Storm? Daikatana was meant to be original, and it bombed, which just shows how hard it really is to be original and still make a good game. On the other hand, Deus Ex (the same team that's now in charge of the Looking Glass Thief franchise) was very original and clever and did extremely well.

    Neverwinter Nights is redefining what an RPG on the computer can be.

    And then there's Black and White.

    And the Sims.

    And Grand Theft Auto 3.

    And probably a whole host of others that I've forgotten. Your choice of Doom 3 is a poor one, because that game is more of a proof of concept for the engine, which will then be used to make the real games by others. This was done with the Q3 engine and the UT engine and will be done once again.

    There is plenty of innovation happening in the gaming industry. You are just choosing to ignore it.
  • My review (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DeathPenguin (449875) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @08:55PM (#3797789)
    As a beta tester, I've been playing the game for months. The final version was released to the beta testers. So here's my review:

    Great game! Only three things wrong with it:

    1. The human archmage casts blizzard way too fast. It should require more mana to cast, or should take longer to cool down.

    2. Starfall is way too powerful against buildings. It's fine against humans since it's stopped reasonably easily, but it's pretty lame how you can sneak a priestess into an enemy base while they're distracted and completely level it with a single starfall. It would be great if starfall only did half damage to buildings. It would still take out towers, but wouldn't destroy barracks and town halls.

    3. Offensive towers are LAME! In Starcraft, it was a lot more difficult to OT, even with Protoss. At least then you either had to:
    a) build on creep with zerg
    b) fill a bunker with marines
    c) build a pylon first to make canons
    And in Starcraft, 'towers' were much easier to defeat. In Warcraft, however, towers are not only inexpensive, but are extremely difficult to take down without siege units (Which all require upgrading the town center first). They should make it much easier to take down towers without siegecraft. This won't hurt using them for defense since you can place them behind other structures to prevent non-siege units from reaching them early in the game.

    The unit cap in the game should be changable. I suspect they only allow 90 control points because the game is graphically intense and they didn't want to alienate those without extremely fast hardware. However, for those of us fortunate enough to own GHz+ machines with GeForce 2 or better graphics hardware, it would be nice to be able to be able to use more units.

    Other than those four things, it's a very fun game. I highly recommend that everyone interested in the RTS genre try it. As for bnetd, well, we all know that was just their (failed) attempt to curb piracy during the beta test. I'm confident that the suit will be dropped.
  • by thebabelfish (213456) on Sunday June 30, 2002 @10:50PM (#3798358) Homepage
    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
    If anyone else besides me is wondering if Warcraft III will work with their video card, Blizzard has provided a video card tester [blizzard.com].

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