Blizzard does it again… and not in a good way. (sigh)
I honestly cannot express how much I was looking forward to this. The classic Warcraft RTS games were among my favorites 20+ years ago. I was never huge into the multiplayer matches (bad internet), but loved the campaigns. It was the story that drew me in, a story I follow to this day in WoW. When this was announced a couple of years ago I was ecstatic. When the 2019 due date came and passed, I was sad. When the second 2019 due date came and passed I was really sad. “At least the delays mean that they are doing it right, working out the kinks”. What a fool I was. 2020 Blizz is not 2001 Blizz.
Launching with the Ny’alotha raid in WoW, Warcraft III: Reforged hit the Blizz launcher on Tuesday. Upon seeing it, I IMMEDIATELY purchased it. A short download later and I was in the game. If I were to use one word to describe the initial experience, it would be clunky. Everything is just so damned clunky. The menus are sluggish. The in game cut scenes are choppy and slow. I tried adjusting the graphics, but to no avail. The voice overs don’t always work. The interface seems too big, far larger than the original. That would be ok, but the max zoom on the map is too small to let you see enough of your armies at once, compared to the original. I may need to tinker with this to fix it.
I was not active in multiplayer so I can’t honestly judge this part of the game. A quick google search will cover that if you are interested. It appears to be a total shitshow, especially for those that do custom maps.
What I was really excited about was the story. Luckily, this is the only area, so far, of the game that holds up. This is mostly because they didn’t fiddle with it too much. The Saga of Thrall leading his people to Kalimdor. Arthas falling from grace and becoming the Lich King. The Battle against Archimonde at the world tree. It is all still there, with original voice overs. A big selling point of this, though, was the promise of cinematic style in game cut scenes. The story being told with dynamic camera angles instead of the static style of the original. This appears to have been completely cut from the game. Even some stuff we KNOW they did (Arthas at Stratholme) was not put in the game. This is beyond disappointing, but it still looks better than the original..when it’s not choppy.
The biggest problem appears to be for those that wanted to keep playing the original version. This new client somehow breaks the old game and makes maps unplayable. Lovely. So, the big questions: Are the graphics improved? Yes. Is this a better game experience than the original? Sadly, no. There is always hope if they try to patch the game, but I think that won’t happen. They finally caved and are giving refunds. With this game’s failure goes any dreams of them reforging Warcraft 1 and 2.