|Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment Genre: Strategy & War
|Min OS X: Any Version CPU: G3 @ 400 MHz RAM: 128 MB Hard Disk: 700 MB 4x CD-ROM
The Druid of the Claw can roar during battleÖWhile WC3 may be just a tad deficient in its graphics, it more than makes up for it in the sounds department. The main draw for many will undoubtedly be the excellent voice acting, which is prevalent throughout the game. Almost every voice used is highly convincing in terms of emotion and motivation, no small task considering the huge amount of units that needed voicing. Each unit, if capable of talking, has its own set of quotes that it will cycle through when either selected or instructed to do something. In classic Blizzard style, clicking repeatedly on a unit will often yield a string of highly-amusing quotes that are quite out of place in a fantasy world. My personal favorite are the Dryads of the Night Elf race, who are clearly based off of stereotypical airheads. One of their quotes goes something like this:
ďLike, let me use my Human mating call to draw the enemy here. ĎHello, Iím soooo wasted!íĒ
The music is also suitably orchestrated and fits perfectly within the swords and sorcery setting of WC3. Each race has its own individual theme that plays during the game, though this can be toggled off for players that find it too annoying.
Also worked into the game are various sound effects, which are broken up into ambient environmental sounds, the movement sounds generated by units in motion, and the sounds that non-verbal units make when they are selected. Each sound effect is quite clear and distinctive Ė a good player can tell what unit is either traveling or selected simply by the sound it makes. This also adds to the overall effect of the game itself Ė few things are more distinctive than the rumbling of a Meat Wagon as it harvests dead bodies, or of a Steam Tank as it devastates enemy structures. Players who actually stop and listen to a melee in progress will be assaulted by the clanging of swords, the twangs of bowstrings, and the screams of the dying as battle ensues. Needless to say, itís quite a thing of beauty.
For those who find such sounds annoying or wish to improve game performance, they can be individually turned off by the categories listed above, though turning off the unit sounds would be a shame in my opinion Ė the sounds and voices are half the fun and can really pull a player into the game itself.
It is still unclear as to how many worlds they consumedÖAs magnificent as WC3 is, I canít in all fairness call it a must-buy. This is due to the fact that WC3 is an RTS, which is a very specific genre that, while appealing to many, is also rejected by many. The building of structures and the management of myriad units are concepts that understandably donít appeal to everyone.
However, I will make an appeal to non-RTS fans to at least give WC3 a whirl. And donít harp to me about a demo either Ė Iím sure you know ten friends that camped out in front of a nearby store to buy a copy. While WC3 isnít nerfed, it is streamlined and has simplified some of its processes to make it more accessible to the casual as well as the hardcore gamer, including the formations, the Autocast feature, and the smaller Tech Trees and Food Caps. To be honest, Iím not a hardcore RTS fan myself. StarCraft only appealed to me mainly because all my PC friends (coughgetarealcomputercough) were playing it and insisted that I play it with them or die horribly. However, after gaming a while with WC3, I think itís safe to say that it appeals to me greatly and just may convert me over to the ranks of RTS fan.
To all those who are already RTS fans, if you donít already own a copy of this game, I have no doubt that you will sometime in the future. Blizzard owns the RTS genre and has reasserted its grip over the world with WC3. If StarCraft was and still is popular to this day, WC3, which improves upon the StarCraft formula in virtually every way possible, should still have millions of followers by the time StarCraft 2 hits stores. If unit production and strategic warfare are your thing, I canít recommend WC3 enough. Go and buy it now if you havenít already. There are few games that have players end up with their eyeballs about 2 inches away from their screens, and WC3 is one of those games.
Incidentally, those who finish the game and skipped through the closing credits, go back and watch them. They contain numerous bits of wacky Blizzard humor, and thereís a bonus for those that finish the game on Hard difficulty.