Warcraft III

Warcraft III is, above all else, a Blizzard game. That means excellent plot, excellent graphics and just a heck of a lot of fun to play.

For the first time in Warcraft history players will have a chance to lead a cavalry charge or an orc massacre in richly rendered 3D graphics. The characters, especially heroes, seem alive with details as they swing their way into battle and the game's ability to zoom in on a scene makes the beauty of the game that much more obvious. The sounds too, have gotten an over-haul and while fans of the game may recognize the peons' shout of 'Work's done'? they won't believe the echoing cries of battle and steel-on-steel sounds of war.

Warcraft III's single player game is uniquely designed to both teach new players the basics and lead the more experienced gamers through a detailed storyline that has them playing as the classic game's humans, orcs and the two new races, the undead and the night elves.

The game has players work through the storyline hopping from one character class to another until you've unraveled the mystery of the story and have mastered the intricacies of playing any of the classes. Each class has similar character types, but they are illustrated and animated in such a unique manner as to make the game seem infinitely more interesting than previous versions of the game. The minor differences in classes also help to make the fighting style of each race diverse enough to appeal to a variety of players.

Despite the addition of new character classes, gameplay in Warcraft III is much the same as in previous versions of the game, but with one major difference: heroes. The inclusion of these Uber-characters lends the feel of role-playing to an already wonderfully crafted real-time strategy genre. The heroes each have the ability to gain levels, hit points and mana and to collect magical items and learn spells.

Unfortunately heroes start afresh in every multiplayer battle, which are fought through a LAN connection or over the Internet on the new and improved Battle.Net. Despite this one draw back multiplayer games are still the heart of Warcraft III's value. The variety of maps and chance to head-to-head against friends and strangers in massive battles make this game worth keeping on your hard drive for a long, long time.

Warcraft III is everything Blizzard fans have come to expect from the company that virtually created fantasy real-time strategy. The robust gameplay and detailed graphics of their latest creation make playing this game over and over again a sheer delight.

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