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132 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warcraft 3 Beta Review
"This Battle.net Beta includes all four of the game's races as well as a significant number of the full product's items, creeps, and neutral buildings. However, the beta is playable only through Battle.net. You can play any of the four races including Humans, Orcs, Undead, and Night Elves against other players on battle.net. Excluded from this Battle.net Beta are the...
Published on February 24, 2002 by Charles (littleman)

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Imbalanced integration of RPG into strategy.
This game is entertaining--don't get me wrong. However, it is not and never can provide the well rounded multiplayer experience of Starcraft and Warcraft II because of the "superhero" aspect of the game. Top strategy for this game? Spend as little time as possible building economy, infrastructure and army, and concentrate on upgrading your heros. Two upgraded heros will...
Published on December 7, 2004 by Bruce Butler


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132 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warcraft 3 Beta Review, February 24, 2002
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
"This Battle.net Beta includes all four of the game's races as well as a significant number of the full product's items, creeps, and neutral buildings. However, the beta is playable only through Battle.net. You can play any of the four races including Humans, Orcs, Undead, and Night Elves against other players on battle.net. Excluded from this Battle.net Beta are the following full-game features: Single-player campaign, multiplayer LAN games, all cinematic sequences, computer opponents, the editor, saving and loading, and several Battle.net features."(Reign of Chaos Battle.net Beta Program)
After having experienced the game myself, Warcraft III puts all other real time strategy games to shame. Commenting on the graphics, everything looks outstanding from units to buildings as well as the scenario. Blizzard really does a nice job making the texture and colors pleasant to look at even when zoomed in. In the previous Warcraft series, the main plot is basically battles between Orc and Human. In Warcraft III, Blizzard adds two more races (Undead and Night Elf) to increase more strategies. Although these two races are new, many people have already grown to love them. I really enjoy using the Undead.
Like Warcraft 2 and StarCraft, the battle system is pretty much the same. Unlike other strategy games such as Red Alert and Age of Empires, learning how to play a new race in Warcraft is like learning how to play a different game. They don't just change the colors of different races; they change everything from units, structures and the style you should play. Warcraft 3 uses the two resources gold and wood and various kinds of units and structures. For those of you Diablo fans, Blizzard bends the meaning of strategy having to include the option of RPG. Every race has heroes to choose from. Each hero is capable of gaining experience, leveling up, learning new skills as well as keeping an inventory for items such as scroll of town portal, health potions and mana potions. It really adds a nice touch of Diablo to it.
The Undead, one of the two new races, really takes skills to play. In order to win the game, you need to master the resources as well as understanding the abilities of every unit. The first time when I played, I build a lot of tough-mean-looking units and invaded my opponent. Clearly I thought I was going to win for my force really out numbered his. My opponent was smart enough to use the abilities of his units by casting some destructive spells and frying my guys. Take the Undead unit Necromancer for example; it can learn skills such as Corpse Explosion and Summon Skeletons, which can be very deadly and useful.
In summary, I really enjoyed playing Warcraft 3. This is not just an ordinary typical strategy game where you will be through after playing once. Learning how to play Warcraft 3 is really like playing four different games. I'm not going into any more details on every race. Let's just hope Blizzard is able to release the damn game soon.
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123 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold Code Review--Game of the Year, no question, June 26, 2002
By 
smyrgl "smyrgl" (Aspen, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
Right off the bat I should say that I'm not easily taken to PC games. I don't have the patience to sit in front of my computer playing a 50+ hour game (Morrowind anyone?) instead of on my couch with my Xbox or PS2. Needless to say the game had better be pretty damn good to garner my attention.
Cast absolutely all doubt aside that Blizzard might have lost its touch in moving to 3D, Warcraft III is an absolute masterpiece. The RTS-style gameplay hasn't varied significantly enough for any fans to make any true complaints about it; despite rumors to the contrary, this is not an RPG. The light amount of RPG elements infused in the game are welcome and appropriate since you will be spending a great deal of each campaign with a given character and you would like them to grow somewhat between missions while you are still forced to rebuild the rest of your base. To sum this up, as far as gameplay goes this is about as rock solid as it gets; some may complain about the 90 food limit on unit construction, but it adds a necessary strategy element to the game that makes the battles less about rushing and more about careful planning and intelligent use of the unique abilities of your given race.
Speaking of races, unlike in Warcraft II, there are some serious distinctions between the different races that makes each have separate strengths and weaknesses. For instance, although the Orcs have an impressive selection of ground units and are able to build base defenses quickly, their air power is relatively weak. The Night Elves on the other hand have the ability to make themselves invisible at night and to harvest wood without actually cutting down trees so you have no fear of accidentally cutting a hole in the perimeter of your base. I'm only citing a few examples here; the differences could sum several pages and some are quite subtle so you'll want to experiment by playing the entire single player campaign before you decide to tackle the multiplayer mode.
Speaking of the single player campaigns, I have to say that the level of cinematic storytelling in Warcraft III exceeds even that of Starcraft and Brood War. This is the most engrossing storyline in a PC game I have seen EVER and is worth picking up just for the single player missions (which number over 30).
Graphically the game isn't going to win any awards, but I found absolutely nothing to complain about either. The terrain looks great, the models aren't noticeably blocky even in close up in game cutsceens and in general it looks like Warcraft III's graphics will age just as superbly as its predecessors.
I haven't had much opportunity to play with the multi-player mode, battle.net isn't up yet since the game hasn't been released yet (mine is a LEGAL review copy by the way) but from what I can tell from the balance in games with friends over a LAN, Warcraft III looks to be THE RTS to beat for the next few years to come.
Blizzard's tendency to hold back a game seemingly forever prior to an actual release is criticized by some gamers who just want to play the damn thing already. But what most struck me after I had finished Warcraft III was the intense amount of quality and love that had gone into polishing and tweaking the formula to perfection. This isn't merely an attempt to cash in on a winning franchise folks, Warcraft III can easily stand on its own as one of the best RTS games of all time and if you are smart you will pick up a copy on release day and cherish it like there is nothing else in the world. Trust me on this, the guys who made it did exactly that and it shows.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant game!, March 31, 2002
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
(I received the Beta) This is easily Blizzard's best offering to date. The graphics are amazing, and gameplay is very original and extremely fun, and the multiplayer support promises to be very reliable.
However, fans of Blizzard's "Starcraft" may be surprised by the style of gameplay: the focus is much more on unit efficiency and small numbers of well-organised, highly-upgraded, coordinated and mixed units than on massive numbers of identical, quick forces. Emphasis is on teamplay and cooperation.
In general, players who liked warcraft II love warcraft 3, but players who liked Starcraft and its expansion have had mixed opinions.
This is a definite buy for any blizzard fans.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game of the Year?, August 9, 2002
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
For months, I've been eagerly awaiting one of the most anticipated games of the year: Neverwinter Nights. The day I picked it up, I decided to pick up Warcraft 3 while I was at it on a whim. I loved Starcraft, although I wasn't a big fan of Diablo. After playing Neverwinter for a few hours, I decided to see what Warcraft 3 was about... and I haven't played Neverwinter Nights since.
Warcraft is one of the best games I've ever played. It seems to get everything right. First of all, it looks amazing. Instead of abandoning the old cartoonish feel of the first two games, Blizzard has improved upon it with 3D graphics and vibrant colors that are a pleasure to look at. The environments, characters and troops look beautiful. The sound is equally amazing. Lightning thunders, battles roar, orcs scream and music crescendos in a multitude of formats. I've experimented with EAS and Dolby Surround and prefer Dolby. The voice talents are also excellent, whether we're talking about peons, heroes or, my personal favorites: goblins. "Are you threatening me?"
The gameplay is revolutionary in it's simplicity. Many of the newer RTS games I've bought, like Empire Earth for example, have an overwhelming amount of units which require a lot of micromanagement. By adding RPG and squad based elements to the pre-existing framework, WC3 goes for quality over quantity. You can't simply overwhelm your opponent with superior numbers. Instead you have to actually apply squad based tactics more common in games like Freedom Force or X-Com.
The most noticeable new feature is the inclusion of "Heros", powerful units capable of leveling up and gaining extraordinary powers and attributes. The heroes drive the story and gameplay in both single, and multiplayer games. In the single player campaign, they are the Stars of the show complete with their own motivations and eccentricities. In multiplayer mode, they can turn the tide of battle singlehandedly. Between the four races there are about 12 of them (three for each race) which doesn't include the unique characters from the single player campaign.
Technically I found it a lot less demanding than the last three or four games I've bought (Neverwinter Nights and Morrowind seemed to need a lot of resources). I've heard otehr reviewers with better machines than mine complaining about lag, but I haven't had any problems. I have a 1ghz processor, 512 megs of RAM and a 64meg Radeon video card. This baby scrolls like glass with everything cranked to the max.
The biggest and best feature of Warcraft 3 is the world itself. WC3 has personality whcih is most evident in the four races. I don't think I have a favorite race, but the Night Elves definitely have the best buildings: living trees that can actually uproot and relocate. The single player campaign is excellent, complete with epic storyline, colorful characters, scenic locations and some of the best cut-scene animations I've ever seen in a game. There are more twists and turns than most of the movies that came out this summer. The well-written well-executed story is THE reason to own this game, but the multiplayer element will keep you playing it indefinitely.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orcs are friends, not goons, January 31, 2004
By 
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
I have to admit that I've killed many orcs over the years and never felt an ounce of remorse about it--and who could blame me? They smell bad, they drool, have terrible dental hygiene, steal the jobs of hard-working dwarves and gnomes, and of course...they eat people. Or so I was told. (*Mild Spoiler*) You can imagine what a shock it was to learn in Warcraft III that not only are the orcs not enemies; they are allies you need to save humanity's collective bacon. So as you play the game, you'll need to drive that Lord of the Rings propaganda out of your mind and find peace with your inner orc.
Warcraft III is a terrific real-time strategy game that goes farther in blurring elements of role-playing and strategy than any game that's come before it. The inclusion of heroes as role-playing characters is terrific and provides extra incentive to explore the entire map because you never know what items or quests are hidden in remote corners. It just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you find those hidden magic boots or that ring of protection. Warcraft III also marks the best story to date for a Real-Time Strategy game. In the third campaign of the single-player, I tell you that I was an orc...for about an hour. It's also worth mentioning that he tale cleverly unfolds in a way to allow you to play each of the factions (Human, Undead, Orc, and Night Elf) in a compelling progression.
Anyone who has played RTS games before will be familiar with the interface and gameplay of Warcraft III. All of the usual unit types are there--it's just that in Warcraft III they seem more polished than in other games. Whether it's the endearing signature responses when you click on them or the way the units intelligently form up, move, path find, and attack, every aspect of every unit has obviously been thoroughly tested and balanced. Not once when I gave an order did a unit wander off from the pack to explore some random corner of the screen and cause me mouse-crushing, game-cursing rage (see how well I found my inner orc?). It may not sound like much, but those of you who have played many real-time strategy games know that this is not a given. When I ordered a unit to march to a certain place and kill, they did just that.
I realize that the game is over a year old now, but it's worth noting how technically sound this game is. I did not have a hiccup in this game. Not once in my single-player campaign did the game crash to desktop, freeze, stutter, spit or delay. The load times were very reasonable and there were also no graphical problems changing resolution or color depth. The graphics themselves are probably the weakest element of the game; all of the units certainly look very blocky and dated. But of course, for a real-time strategy game, who really gives a crap? You don't need state of the art graphics for an RTS. I certainly didn't find that it affected my experience.
I only played the multiplayer a couple of times and I got stomped like the kid in my elementary school who used to wear cardigans that looked like they'd been swiped from Mr. Rogers' closet. It was that bad. This game has been out long enough that even if you seek out a so-called newbie game, you're dealing with people who obviously eat, slept and breathe Warcraft. But there was no problem finding a game and I didn't have any problems with lag or people bailing out of games. It just so happens that I stink.
On the whole, this is a beast of a game: fun to play, compelling, balanced and technically sound...and I think it's time we thought about an orc for president.
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62 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warcraft III: Game Concepts, March 27, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
Warcraft III is a new spin on the RTS (Real Time Strategy) genre of games. It's intent is to add some element of Role Playing into RTS gaming. A little bit like "Diablo meets Starcraft".
The basics are the same as any RTS, you begin by selecting your choice from the 4 races: Night Elves, Undead, Orcs or Humans. Each race has their worker units and their fighting units, buildings and defense structures. Each race must harvest 2 resources which are gold and wood. Where this game begins to take a different turn is the concept of heroes. Each race has a collection of 3 different hero types which they can use to supplement their military force. Each hero has more hitpoints than your regular unit and has some sort of beneficial spells (some offensive and some defensive). What makes this hero concept unique is that during the game the hero gains levels as you progress through battles. As they gain additional levels you gain additional points in which to increase existing skills or add new skills.
A side concept to this leveling is the existance of neutral units. Creeps are neutral enemies (sounds weird I know) that lurk about around camp sites, neutral buildings, or other important spots on the map. They will attack anyone on sight and can be used to gain experience.
There are also neutral buildings where for some amount of money you may purchase mercenaries to join your army. So if you have a lot of cash and need people quickly just stop by the local mercenary shop and see what the daily special might be.
Finally, Blizzard keeps this from being an typical RTS game by limiting the unit numbers to a low amount. You have a 90 food supply and each unit draws from that amount. (Not necessarily on a 1 to 1 basis most units are 2 or more) They have a penalty called "upkeep" which says if you are over a 30 supply then the rate at which you mine gold becomes less efficient and another hit at 60+ supply. So if your supply is less than 30 you mine 10 gold per peon unit and depletes the mine at 10. 30+ you get 7 gold while depleting the mine at 10.
Some of the issues are that the races don't really feel that different, but as of yet the game is still in Beta and those are some of the changes they are working on.
As for my review I can't give a game 5 stars before it is in production, but I don't doubt it will become that. Keep in mind that Blizzard is a company devoted to producing a quality game. Their most criticized game was Diablo II and that has sold over 2 million copies. Starcraft is a game which is over 4 years old and it's still going strong. Fans of Starcraft may be slightly disappointed that it's not a true RTS but given the proper time I believe it will still rank highly.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candidate for PC Game of the Year 2002, July 16, 2002
By 
"walcaraz" (Chula Vista, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
After waiting so long for Warcraft 3 and hearing all about the developers' difficulties in bringing it to market, I was expecting a lot.
When I picked up my copy of the Collector's Edition and played the game, I was pleasantly surprised. Blizzard has done a splendid job of fusing RPG elements into an already excellent RTS product line. The concept of 4 main races (Human, Orc, Undead, Night Elf) as well as various neutral parties (Goblins, Ogres, Trolls, Gnolls, Spiders, Dragons) and artifacts and inventoried items for heroes would make any D&D fan proud. There are even buildings for regenerating HP, spell mana, and purchasing special items.
The 3D accelerated game engine might take a little getting used to for those accustomed to 2D overhead or isometric (3/4 view) views, but once done, will become second nature.
There are four campaigns, one for each race, and each campaign lasts 9 or 10 "chapters". Each chapter usually has 2 or 3 main goals to be achieved and several optional side quests. Plus, there is a Prologue campaign to introduce new players to the controls.
The plot and cutscenes are magnificent. The main cutscenes are 3D rendered while the inter-chapter ones are usually done with "cameras" and the 3D game engine. Voice acting is on par even if at times it seems somewhat "kung-fu movie" dubbed.
Music is excellent as always and reflects the mood of the campaign or task being done. Each campaign has its own style of music.
The world editor for making your own missions, campaigns, or simpler maps could have been a separate product on its own. It gives a 3D accelerated view of the "map" being created. Triggers, units, buildings abound throughout. You can even included custom units and music (it even takes MP3's for compactness!). Maps and missions can be as complex as you can make them. Blizzard wisely included this gem at no extra cost.
The races are nearly perfectly balanced. No more lopsided Orc Bloodlust rushes like in WarCraft II. Two equally competent players can match each other unit for unit regardless of the races involved.
The collector's edition while somewhere around... more than the standard edition gives you a wealth of extra booty (soundtrack CD, video DVD, 160-page WarCraft Art Book, 4 8x10 art covers, special edition manual), plus a nice big storage box to keep it all in.
Pick this baby up and give thanks at the Blizzard shrine when time permits....
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warcraft 3, July 2, 2002
By 
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
Warcraft III is a new spin on the RTS (Real Time Strategy) genre of games. It's very similar to the game Age of Empires.
The basics are the same as any RTS, you begin by selecting your choice from the 4 races: Night Elves, Undead, Orcs or Humans. Each race has their worker units and their fighting units, buildings and defense structures. Each race must harvest 2 resources which are gold and wood. Where this game begins to take a different turn is the concept of heroes. Each race has a collection of 3 different hero types which they can use to supplement their military force. Each hero has more hitpoints than your regular unit and has some sort of beneficial spells (some offensive and some defensive). What makes this hero concept unique is that during the game the hero gains levels as you progress through battles. As they gain additional levels you gain additional points in which to increase existing skills or add new skills.
A side concept to this leveling is the existance of neutral units. Animals are neutral units that lurk about around camp sites, neutral buildings, or other important spots on the map. They are basically harmless.
There are also neutral buildings where for some amount of money you may purchase mercenaries to join your army. So if you have a lot of cash and need people quickly just stop by the local mercenary shop and see what the daily special might be.
Finally, Blizzard keeps this from being a typical RTS game by limiting the unit numbers to a low amount. You have a 90 food supply and each unit draws from that amount. (Not necessarily on a 1 to 1 basis most units are 2 or more) They have a penalty called "upkeep" which says if you are over a 30 supply then the rate at which you mine gold becomes less efficient and another hit at 60+ supply. So if your supply is less than 30 you mine 10 gold per peon unit and depletes the mine at 10. 30+ you get 7 gold while depleting the mine at 10.
Some of the issues are that the races don't really feel that different, but as of yet the game is still in Beta and those are some of the changes they are working on.
As for my review I can't give a game 5 stars before it is in production, but I don't doubt it will become that. Keep in mind that Blizzard is a company devoted to producing a quality game. Their most criticized game was Diablo II and that has sold over 2 million copies. Starcraft is a game which is over 4 years old and it's still going strong. Fans of Starcraft may be disappointed that it's not as violent and that it doesn't have content unsuitable for teens.
Overall it's a fun game and more friendly to younger people than previous RTSs.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best RTS Games Ever, July 11, 2002
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
I've only played through the human campaign, and I'm already hooked on this game. I have played as the other races in custom games, but I'm not going to tackle Battle.Net (Although I'm sure that is excellent) until I've gone through the game. Anyway, the game is one of the best RTS (Real-Time-Strategy for the uninitiated) games I've ever played. The story is engrossing, and I can't wait to play more to find out what happens to the world in Warcraft. All the races, although very different, are pretty much perfectly balanced. The aspects that are different from the older Warcraft games are great, such as the addition of two races, the 3D view (You can zoom in to be right in the action), and the addition of the Hero unit is great. I love the Hero, because it combines an RPG element with an RTS, and I love both. The union is superb. The cutscenes in this game are also excellent. I wish I had bought the Collecter's Edition so I could get the cutscene DVD. I would buy this game, it is well worth the money. I hope Blizzard continues to produce games of this quality, and I can't wait for World of Warcraft to come out. This game, in my opinion, is far better than Starcraft or the other Warcraft games. Buy it!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't play warcraft....start...........NOW, July 15, 2002
This review is from: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac (CD-ROM)
Where to begin? Well, I've played all the warcraft games, including the expansions. This game is the apex of all that real time strategy. Also, it gives you 4 races, including the standard human and orc races. Humans still weak but that's another review :P The graphics are choice for this title; everything is done in 3d which make things look a little more realistic. There is a wide diversity of units which makes it a little more fun to play. The spell effects are dazzling. There is a new feature in this version. I'll call it the "hero system." This is a system in which you are given a single, or sometimes 2 or 3, heros which can be leveled and given powers like in any RPG. Leveling also increases their stats. There are many plot twists within the warcraft world which just makes you want to keep playing until you know everything..........EVERYTHING! All in all, this is a really strong title and I highly recommend this game to anyone who is into fantasy/rpg games or strategy games. Such examples would be Starcraft with the expansion Brood War and also Warcraft 1 and 2.
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WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac
WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos - PC/Mac by Blizzard Entertainment (Mac OS X, Windows 2000 / 98 / Me / XP)
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