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Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is an epic real-time strategy game that plunges you into a world of fantasy and warfare. As the commander of one of four mighty factions, you must lead your armies, build a formidable base, and forge alliances or wage war against rivals. Unleash powerful hero units with unique abilities, level them up, and equip them with legendary artifacts. It features an engrossing single-player campaign, thrilling multiplayer modes, and a vibrant modding community.
At the beginning of the game, Thrall, the leader of the Orcs, is plagued by a troubling nightmare foretelling the resurgence of the malevolent Burning Legion. Guided by a mysterious figure referred to as "the Prophet," Thrall interprets his dream as a prophetic vision rather than a mere nightmare. Fearing the impending danger, he embarks on a journey, leading his forces away from Lordaeron and towards the uncharted territories of Kalimdor. This exodus marks the start of a new chapter in Thrall's quest to confront the emerging threat and ensure the survival of his people.
In parallel, Arthas, the protagonist of another storyline, valiantly protects the village of Strahnbrad from a relentless orc assault. Following this successful defense, Arthas teams up with Archmage Jaina Proudmoore, who becomes his ally in unraveling the mystery behind a fast-spreading plague. This devastating affliction not only claims the lives of its victims but also transforms them into nightmarish undead creatures. Together, Arthas and Jaina embark on a perilous quest to understand the origins and nature of this deadly plague, confronting the grim realities that lie ahead.
- Four playable factions: The game features four distinct factions, each with its own unique units, structures, and abilities. These factions are the Humans, Orcs, Undead, and Night Elves. You can choose any faction to play as each offers a different playstyle and strategic options.
- Resource management: Warcraft III requires you to gather and manage resources to build structures, train units, and conduct research. The game features two primary resources: gold and lumber. Gold is obtained by mining gold mines, while lumber is harvested from trees. Effective resource management is crucial for maintaining a strong economy and supporting your armies.
- Upgrades and technology trees: Each faction in Warcraft III has a technology tree that allows you to unlock upgrades for units and structures. These upgrades enhance unit capabilities, improve armor or attack damage, and unlock new abilities. Managing your faction's technology tree and choosing the right upgrades is essential for staying competitive as the game progresses.
- Tactical combat and unit control: Warcraft III emphasizes tactical combat, where careful positioning, unit formations, and effective use of abilities can turn the tide of battle. You can issue commands to individual units or groups of units, such as attacking, moving, using special abilities, or holding their ground. Mastering unit control and utilizing effective micro-management can greatly enhance your chances of victory.
- Hero system: One of the defining features of Warcraft III is the introduction of hero units. Each faction has multiple hero units with different abilities, strengths, and roles. Heroes gain experience, level up, and can equip items found during the game, making them powerful assets on the battlefield. Hero units add an RPG-like element to the game and allow players to develop and customize their strategies.
- Map editor and custom games: Warcraft III introduced a powerful map editor that allowed players to create their own custom maps, scenarios, and game modes. This feature led to the creation of an extensive modding community and spawned the popular genre of tower defense and MOBA games.
Graphics and sound
Warcraft III features impressive graphics for its time, with detailed unit models, lush environments, and vibrant spell effects. The game's art style is distinct, combining a stylized look with darker and more atmospheric elements.
In addition, Warcraft III features beautifully crafted cinematic cutscenes that advance the game's story and showcase key moments. These cutscenes create compelling narratives with dynamic camera angles, dramatic lighting, and cinematic effects, which greatly improve the level of immersiveness and engagement.
Regarding the sound, the game features a memorable and epic musical score composed by Tracy W. Bush, Derek Duke, and Glenn Stafford. The music varies depending on the situation, with different tracks playing during battles, cutscenes, and menu screens. The music captures the grandeur and intensity of the game, heightening the emotional impact of key moments and immersing players in the fantasy world of Warcraft. Each unit in Warcraft III has its own unique set of voices and sound effects. From the battle cries of warriors to the growls of monstrous creatures, the unit voices and sound effects help give personality to the various units on the battlefield.
Duration and game modes
The game's main story is about 20 hours long if you focus on finishing it through the single-player game mode. In addition, it features a multiplayer game mode where you can battle against other players online or against AI-controlled opponents.
Warcraft III offers an extensive single-player campaign that follows the epic story of the war-torn world of Azeroth. The campaign is divided into several chapters, each focusing on a specific faction and its struggles, including The Scourge of Lordaeron for the human faction, Path of the Damned for the Undead faction, The Invasion of Kalimdor for the orcish faction, and Eternity's End for the Night Elf faction. The story is immersive and features memorable characters and plot twists.
In multiplayer games, the primary goal is to dismantle all the opposing players' buildings, ensuring victory. In default melee matches, players have the freedom to select their own heroes, and losing a hero does not result in an immediate game over. To expedite the pace of the game, the map is initially revealed in its entirety but concealed under the shroud of the fog of war. This setup encourages strategic decision-making and careful exploration, as players must uncover unknown territories while devising tactics to outmaneuver their opponents.
What do the reviews say?
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos has a Metacritic score of 92/100 and is mainly considered a piece of art that inspired the future of RTS video games.
"This game is so much fun to play, and does everything so well that it is totally almost impossible to put it down... WarCraft III is the pinnacle of the recent Real Time Strategy Genre and sets the bar for how all RTS games should be developed." (Pregaming)
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is rated PEGI 12 as it contains violence.