Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP:
  • 400 MHz Pentium II or equivalent
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 8 MB 3D video card (TNT, i810, Voodoo 3, Rage 128 equivalent or better) with DirectX® 8.1 support
  • 700 MB HD space
  • 4X CD-ROM drive

Macintosh® OS 9.0 or higher/ Mac OS X 10.1.3. or higher:

  • 400 MHz G3 processor
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 16 MB ATI Technologies or nVidia chipset 3D video card
  • 700 MB HD space
  • 4X CD-ROM drive

Recommended:

  • 600 MHz processor
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 32 MB 3D video card
  • DirectX® 8.1 compatible sound card

Multiplayer:

  • Low-latency, active Internet connection rated at 28.8 Kbps or faster. LAN play requires TCP/IP connection.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (PC)
List price – Standard Edition $59.99 Collector’s Edition $74.99
Blizzard Entertainment
Official site – www.blizzard.com
Review by – Steve Uribe
Platform:

Check out this game on Amazon.com

 "Warcraft III may not be a sci-fi game but it's a solid fantasy game none the less. Plus it's also one of the biggest games to come out this year. I had to review it, this game is the granddaddy of Real-Time Strat games. Three years in the making this game...really addictive.

But I'll get back to real Sci-fi next review. Quick preview. It's called Gun Metal, it's about a 30ft robot that transforms into jet fighter. It's for the xbox, should be pretty cool. It comes out at the end of the month, company called Majesco games is the publisher.

Another review I'm planning is for a game called Robot Alchemic Drive or RAD. Doesn't come out till November but I still think you might find this game ultra cool. A scientist dies and leaves the main character (you) a RC Car-like remote controller for a 40ft robot. You play from the perspective of the guy on the ground looking up at the robot or from the roof tops of buildings. It's pretty cool. Enix is the developer/publisher. Can't wait for that one. -Reviewer X"

For years Warcraft has been the game by which all Real-Time Strategy games are judged. It has spawned other games that bare close resemblance to itself like the ever-popular StarCraft and its close rival Command & Conquer. It was also the first game of its kind to support any form of multi-player. The battles between the humans and orcs of the world of Azeroth have waged since the year 1994. Now, eight years later Blizzard Entertainment has once again returned to the lands of Azeroth to bring us one of the most highly anticipated games of 2002 Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and the wait was well worth it.

            Being a real-time strategy game means having the following things: Constructing a base, managing resources and building and army. This format has changed little over the years but Warcraft III has added side quests to keep the play from getting too repetitive. There is a nice balance between search-and-destroy missions and defend your base missions. With the addition of two new races, the elves and the undead, Warcraft III has given the player different strategies to work with. Each of the races has their own strengths and weaknesses and playing through the single player campaign will teach that. Where the Orcs are simple brute force, the elves are more calculating in their attacks, relying on magic more so than strength. The undead overwhelm their opponents with a large number of troops, having the ability to raise the fallen in battle to fight again. The humans are a simple balance of strength and magic but that doesn’t make them less powerful than the other races. The biggest additions to the game are the hero characters. They serve as strong fighters or powerful spell casters to defend your base but they are best used in a large group for an attack. These characters gain experience by participating in battle, which in turn will gain them special abilities. These abilities vary from soldier units being stronger in the hero’s presence or the ability to raise the dead. The mouse will control most of the action but hotkeys are set up to help you out with most of the tasks. These keys can’t be remapped but after a few rounds of play you’ll become used to their scheme.

Blizzard has changed the series little over the years only adding minor touches here and there to improve gameplay and to clean up some of its graphics. Warcraft III is the first game in the series to make the big leap to 3D. The lush forests of the elves to the blighted lands of the undead everything has an excellent look to it. The textures are very detailed in all the environments. The characters also have great detail although not quite so much as the environments. They each have their own specific animations during battle and also standing dormant. The transition from 2D ‘sprites’ to full 3D characters has been done very well and just adds to the overall look of the game. Low to mid-range machines should have no problem running the game and having it still look good. If you have a high-end machine and a graphics card to match then you’ll be in for a real treat.

The sound effects complement the action on screen very well. From the sound of clashing swords to the moaning noises of ghouls the special effects really add to the battle. The in game music is different for each of the four races; it doesn’t really overpower the battle sounds but does add a nice level of immersion to the game. The voiceovers for each of the characters are also well done Blizzard spared no expense in hiring top-notch voice actors to bring their characters to life and it shows.

Warcraft III may be an action title but hidden in there is a well thought out story filled with revenge, honor, and deceit. Each of the campaigns for the different races flow well into each other giving the sense of an epic story. As you complete each mission the story is moved along through cut scenes that are rendered using the game’s graphic engine. There are also pre-rendered movies the open and close each chapter of the game. To say that these movies are absolutely amazing would be doing the programmers a disservice.

Adding to the longevity of the game is the skirmish modes and multi-player matches. In skirmish mode you set up a scenario for yourself consisting of the races you wish to fight against and simply try to win. It’s not as in depth as the single player campaigns but it is a good training tool if you wish to battle real online opponents. Battle.net a free service run by Blizzard Entertainment is an easy way for anyone to join into a multi-player battle. Just start up the game, click on Battle.net and jump into match. The service provides a ladder ranking system that matches you up with an opponent that is equal to your ranking. It gives us novice players a nice way to wade into the online gaming pool rather than just dive in against some experienced hardcore players.

A good story, amazing pre-rendered movies, and non-stop action make Warcraft III a great game that will easily write itself into the annals of gaming history. If you don’t already have a copy then go and get one, you won’t be disappointed.

© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu