WarCraft III: Reforged launched yesterday and being a huge fan of the original and the Frozen Throne expansion I was heavily anticipating it's launch. Now that the game's out I've downloaded it and played it on my PC and started the Orc prologue campaign. Back in 2002 Blizzard released the Orc prologue campaign as a standalone game demo that setup the events of WarCraft III. I always felt like it was a unique way to release a demo, with original post game content but as Blizzard recently noted, most fans had no idea it existed. Later on they patched in the prolog into the main game as a playable option but it didn't contain the incredible voice acting and most people we're either focused on multiplayer or were done playing WarCraft III to notice. All that said, WarCraft III: Reforged is back and it might be a cliche thing to say at this point but it's more true with this game than most but if you loved the original you need to play Reforged.

Let's Start With The Controversy... Because There's Always Controversy

The strongest part of WarCraft III: Reforged is the thing it's getting some negative reaction from in that originally Blizzard said that they'd change up aspects of the single player campaign considerably and it seems like they let that go in favor of giving you the original game with a new visuals. As you can see from the video above the way they showed the scene at Blizzcon this year is not how the game shipped. It seems Blizzard took the fan critique they heard from players that preferred the original WarCraft III camera and reverted back to that forgoing the more modern cinematic style they showed at Blizzcon. This has caused quite a negative fan reaction but I frankly can see both sides and I'm with Blizzard on reverting the camera style to the original.

Put simply, HD remakes are better served with fewer changes to the original source material and deciding to prefer the original camera angles is best form of respect to the original material. I know the original WarCraft III is still available to install and that version will always exist but focusing HD remakes on making fewer changes to the base game is the better choice because HD remakes are generally more more accessible because they are newer and in the case of WarCraft III: Reforged seamlessly connect to modern Battle.net and are available in the launcher making them more accessible. There's also a charm to the hokey camera angles of WarCraft III that firmly date it back in the 2000 era of PC gaming that should be experienced by a modern audience in 2020.

I Don't Care About Camera Angles, Is This Game Any Good?

If you like hero focused real time strategy games then uh yeah, WarCraft III is good, it's actually really good. But you know, I'm also incredibly biased because every couple years I come back to play the campaign. In fact when I heard Reforged was on it's way I stopped playing WarCraft III and decided to play the Reforged campaign from the start again ... for the first time.

And like I said before, this is WarCraft III with a 4K coat of paint and it's superb. The gameplay is crisp and that 2000's PC era awkward polygons of the original game are rounded out to create quite a visual treat. Blizzard did such a great job respecting the original game it's actually pretty hard to notice many changes. That said the biggest change to the game are the visuals, something they took the most inspiration from being World of Warcraft. Because, see kids, before World of Warcraft hit the streets WarCraft III was the king of Azeroth. As World of Warcraft became the biggest MMO of all time it also developed a more of a unique visual identity that was originally rooted in WarCraft III. That said, as visuals evolve and 3D tech to match it certain characters look different in World of Warcraft than in WarCraft III. One big change I noticed right away is that Thrall in WarCraft III: Reforged looks quite different than in vanilla WarCraft III. It's not a big deal but as the original is burned forever in my brain I noticed. And a lot of other models have changed too to fit World of Warcraft better and this is a change I don't mind. It's less keeping WarCraft III: Reforged for strict purists but it's not abandoning the World of Warcraft players either.

I heartily welcome WarCraft III: Reforged because it's Blizzard giving one of my most beloved games a very purist treatment. But I do understand that some people wanted what they saw at Blizzcon and I can't say I blame them for that. With that I also agree with Blizzard for keeping to the original game because at the end of the day, the game was already great it just needed a 4K coat of paint.

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 01/30/2020 at 10:00am

I've played the first two WarCraft games and that's it. I'm not sure how I over looked WarCraft III. I'm glad they did this, that means I have something to look forward to playing, whenever I get around to it. It's difficult to play classic games in modern times, because they look awful in comparison, that's why I love these HD remakes.

Travis   Admin wrote on 01/30/2020 at 03:55pm

All that I’ve read about this game controversy-wise seems to be that it’s way unoptimized and buggy but it seems like you haven’t seen that at all.

It could have been neat if they kept the changes they presented at blizzcon with the option of switching to what they shipped with. Best of both worlds. There’s lots of speculation as to why they ended up shipping what they did but this wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 01/30/2020 at 05:21pm

> but it seems like you haven’t seen that at all.

Last night the game seemed to hard lock near the end of a mission but it just paused and continued and I was REALLY nervous i'd have to replay it. So i'd say so far, everything is fine, but there are little pauses from time to time that I imagine Blizzard will fix. Seen nothing beyond that but i'm running a pretty beefy Desktop and Windows 10.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 01/31/2020 at 03:43am

Uh, this isn't very cool.

"All your Warcraft 3: Reforged custom games belong exclusively to Blizzard"

https://www.pcgamer.com/all-your-warcraft-3-reforged-custom-games-belong-exclusively-to-blizzard/

I guess they are still sore about DoTA.

Travis   Admin wrote on 02/01/2020 at 08:38pm

I saw this reddit comment breaking down some of the critiques. The one about them removing the old client for online play and forcing that download, while removing features is problematic. Even if you don't buy this, your current version of War 3 gets downgraded.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/ex1927/warcraft_3_reforged_has_a_record_low_08_score_on/fg5y8pp/

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