Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is based in a medieval world in which you can play as four different races - humans, orcs, the Undead and the night elves. Each of these races has different buildings and units which you can build and different spells (some of which can be set to automatically cast) which you can use to hinder your opponent or aid yourself.
In this latest instalment of the Blizzard real time strategy series, they have tried to move away from players building huge armies and just throwing them against each other without any consideration for tactics or using spells. To do this the unit cap in the game is ninety (in Starcraft it was two hundred.) Different units consume different amounts, a basic worker consumes one, and the powerful land units consume four. They have also now introduced a tax system on the primary resource in the game, which is gold. If you have between 41 and 70 units you lose 30% of the gold you mine, if you have more then 70 units you lose 70%.
A new feature to Warcraft III, which has not previously been in Blizzard RTS games, is the ability to use heroes - these units are a lot powerful then normal units, and each have four spells, with the heroes having different spells from one another. To prevent a player just building heroes only, each race only has three different heroes, which the player can only have one of each type at anytime. During the game the hero can gain experience points by fighting enemy units and creeps the tougher the unit the hero fights the more experience points they receive. Once the hero gains enough experience points he advances a level up (to a maximum of ten) and gains additional health points, chance to upgrade a spell, and powers.
Neutral units called creeps are located around the map during the game, and stay where they are unless they are provoked by a player and normally are guarding something such as treasure, which heroes can pick up and use, or neutral buildings which sell items for heroes or units which the player can buy.
Although the game contains new features it still retains the basic structure of RTS games from before, with a wide range of the units that the player can build. Each race has approximately ten different units which it can build, some of these can fly, some can cast spells, some attack land units only, others attack air and land units. All the units have some use, and are strong against some units, weak against others. This means that to be successful you have to build a balanced army of different units, just building one type of unit is the quickest way to lose a game.
Warcraft III features a set of campaign missions, with roughly 8 for each race, with a choice of difficulty setting for the missions so you can learn as you become better at the game, or plunge straight in on the hard setting like a real Warcraft pro. Other gameplay takes place with skirmish missions and multiplayer options either via local area network or using blizzards own Battle.net to play other gamers over the internet.
Campaigns gradually introduce units, buildings and spells which allowed you to learn what each of them do, and get a good grasp of the game. After playing a few skirmish missions against the computer, it's clear to see that AI has been improved, and proves to be a worthy opponent, but still not as fun as playing a human advisory.
Graphically Warcraft III has received a major overhaul over the previous titles in the series, and are now in 3D which means you can change the angle of vision or rotate the screen - the one downside of the graphics is that it during the heat of a big battle it is harder to tell your own units apart and at times which are yours and which are the opponents.
Overall Warcraft III is enjoyable to play, and I would recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed Blizzard’s previous titles, and although the game is different from previous titles in the series, the main basis to the remains the same.Overall score: 8 out of 10
Players: 1 plus online and network play
Recommended Price: £29.99
Available: NowBuy Warcraft III for the PC and Mac from Amazon