I remember 2002 like it was yesterday, as I had just got my new Dell PC and had downloaded the demo to Warcraft III which hooked me right away. It wasn’t long after that I went out and bought it and played for countless hours only to do the same later with the expansion, The Frozen Throne. Now 18 years later Blizzard has remastered this legendary classic and expansion in Warcraft III: Reforged. While it does have unfulfilled promises and issues, it’s still one of the best RTS games around for a reason.
I’m sure plenty of people already have some general understanding of the plot of the Warcraft series from either this title or the ones before it, or from the famed MMO version. The gist of it is that humans and orcs have been fighting since time began but now other evil forces are coming into play where they’ll have to put aside their differences and work together to defeat it or die. It falls on you to control both Alliance and Horde factions as you gather resources to build your structures and army as you march to victory.
Of course with this being a real time strategy game, this will be easier said than done most of the time as you’ll have to plan your movements and attacks carefully. It really helps to have a variety of units out on the field so they play off each other’s strengths while also filling in their weaknesses so that you’re always ready for what comes. If you’re coming from the 2002 original like I am, the first thing that will hit you are the redone and remastered graphics which look pretty good. The heroes such as Thrall, Uther, Jania, and others look more like their World of Warcraft selves, but the downside is that they don’t control as well as they look which I’ll get into later.
The units and buildings also look amazing while some of them have new animations to go along with their sweet looks. Outside of the redone graphics, intro cutscene and a new one or two later in the game, that’s about where all the cool stuff ends. The game is fun to play for the most part as it is basically a port and reskin of the 2002 classic, but this isn’t the remaster people were looking forward to as all of the things wrong with the original and some new problems are present too.
Issues such as a clunky UI which was supposed to be redone, giant text that covers a fourth of the screen, and the awkward framerate of the units moving around that feels laggy and clashes against the rest of the smooth gameplay is here too. Sadly there’s also a lot of things Blizzard cut from the final game that I pray will somehow make it back in with future patches such as redone cutscenes shown back at BlizzCon 2018 that aren’t in the game, competitive ladder PvP matches, a reworked UI, new and redone voices, added retcon that expands on some of the hero characters, and more that a lot of fans are up in arms about.
Despite all of the countless issues with Warcraft III: Reforged I still managed to have a good time with it. Thankfully I didn’t run into many of the reported technical issues (Yet!) such as missing audio, server disconnects, game crashes, etc, and I’ll admit I’m a sucker for nostalgia which is most likely why I had more fun than I should’ve. Here’s hoping Blizzard will patch this game into the one they promised and into something both them and us fans can be happy about and proud of.