Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf
Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf was the first try of Battle Realms at expansion packs. We all know how unfair the world of video games can be, and how important is the timing when releasing a new game. Some great games get lost in the sea of releases, Battle Realms could be one of these.
Battle Realms was the first game developed by Liquid Software, a real-time strategy title with many great things. A great powerful engine, beautiful maps, nice gameplay, and much more. But it was never too popular, and we'll talk about why in a moment, but first, we should talk about Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf for a moment.
About the game
As we mentioned before, it was planned to be the first in a series of expansions for the original game Battle Realms. Winter of the Wolf takes place 7 years before the events of Battle Realms. The Wolf Clan used to have a wild lifestyle in harmony with nature in an unexplored land. But when something shook their home, they were forced to use the power of their sacred totem to transport to a safer place.
However, they ended up in the middle of lands under the control of the Lotus' and the Snake's clans. It didn't take long for the Lotus Clan to find out about the Wolf Clan in their domain and enslave them. But a brave leader, Grayback appeared to free his people out of the mines and slavery. Fight for justice in a campaign heavily affected by climatic and environmental elements through the endless winter.
Why didn't it succeed?
Battle Realms had a rough time in the market, it launched too close to Warcraft III. As you know, Warcraft already had an immense fan base, and given the similar gameplay style, it opaque Battle Realms. So much that in fact, 'Winter of the Wolf didn't even see the light in many places outside of the US.
This is what happens when a new IP launches almost at the same time as a big name in the same genre. While it did well in reviews and it still has fans, it's nothing compared to the legendary Warcraft series.
Just like the original title, Winter of the Wolf features an interesting and well-developed campaign. Nicely developed characters in an excellently built game-world. However, it doesn't add much to the original game, and there isn't really any big change. But that's natural in these older expansion packs, where they add enough content to make the game bigger but not enough to be a complete game by itself.
Overall it's a shame Winter of the Wolf wasn't released worldwide, as it's an excellent expansion to an already great game.
Graphics and visuals: The game looks excellent. The powerful engine renders beautiful 3D maps and detailed characters. These are even better than its main rival Warcraft III, which is why this is even more of a shame.
Gameplay: Winter of the Wolf has everything from the original game, and adds up the almost constant extra of the eternal winter. The snow affects the characters and their behavior, making it an interesting element to consider when making decisions. The controls are super comfortable and the AI is competent and solid.
Sound: The game has an excellent original soundtrack and nice sound design. Definitely a worthy competitor to the Warcraft series, but the timing of the release was a huge miscalculation for the success of this title.
Download Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Why do we like Battle Realms so much? Firstly, the amazingly simplistic yet highly tuned and easy to pick up gameplay means any old ham-fisted fool can have a go. Secondly, the incredible orientalstyle graphics and animation bring the whole world to life in a way that has never been done before on the PC. And thirdly, the brilliantly inventive unit alchemy' technique means you can retrain existing warriors to create a veritable potpourri of weird and wonderful fighting creations. In short, it's not a game - it's a delight. And now, there's more.
The Battle Realms: Winter Of The Wolf expansion pack introduces a second campaign focussing on the plight of Grayback, the leader of the wolf clan. In short, you must help him escape the slave mines of the Lotus clan and defeat Yvaine, their evil leader. WOTW also offers new units and Zen powers for each of the game's three clans, meaning more Yin and, of course, more Yang.
Overall, Battle Realms provides one of the most complete RTS packages on the PC. What's even better is that both games are being packaged together, so when you buy this expansion pack for $14.99 you get Battle Realms absolutely free.
There can be no beating about the bush - if you want a thoroughly original and enjoyable strategy game that's going to give you weeks of unadulterated entertainment, this is the one.