I have a special place in my heart for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Back before it came out, I loved me some RTS (Real-Time Strategy) games on the PC, highlighted by Age of Empires II. So when I saw the bright colors, unique characters, and Blizzard style all mixed together, I knew I had to check Warcraft III out. Long story short, I absolutely loved my time with it and still regard it as one of my favorite games I’ve ever played.
Part of the reason why I found the game to be so engaging was its diverse set of characters and the story that unfolded over the course of the game. Watching the downfall of Prince Arthas, the rise of the Undead Scourge, how the Orcs came together under the unique leadership of Thrall, and the Night Elves struggle with the other factions as well as Illidan Stormrage flowed together so well and managed to neatly tie together by the end. Thankfully, the story continued in the equally awesome expansion which dealt with the continued storyline of Arthas becoming the terrible Lich King.
With how popular World of Warcraft has continued to be, I never though another Warcraft style RTS was realistically on the table. While it may not be the next big thing, I was floored when Blizzard announced Warcraft III: Reforged. I’m beyond overjoyed that WoW fans will be able to rediscover this game, as many of the events that have happened in the MMO were directly inspired by characters or events from Warcraft III.
Based on what Blizzard has shown off, the biggest change players will notice is the character models. Let’s be honest here, Warcraft III hasn’t aged well visually. The gameplay is rock solid, but the graphics certainly look their age. Sure, there’s a charm to it, but seeing characters like Jaina, Arthas, and Uther without all of those janky pixels and instead look more human-esque is quite a sight to behold.
Details from BlizzCon this year were limited, though we do know that besides the updated visuals, the Reforged is going to contain both the main game as well as the Frozen Throne expansion. Gameplay will get a bunch of balance changes and minor elements will be changed to synchronize it better to what World of Warcraft has already established. Author Christie Golden was even brought in to establish more parity between the games for characters like Sylvanas Windrunner and Jaina Proudmoore since those two have since gone on to become major players.
As someone who started replaying Warcraft III over the summer, the timing of this announcement couldn’t have been more perfect. We’re still without a solid release date, but you can be sure that Warcraft III: Reforged is absolutely on my radar. Now, Blizzard, about that Warcraft 4 announcement…