Gamescom 2018

Battle for Azeroth's Warbringers Marks the Return of One of WoW's Oldest Villains

And it manages to feel like a true Lovecraftian cosmic horror if you're into that sort of thing.

What has to be one of, if not the creepiest World of Warcraft cinematics, Warbringers: Azshara, tells us the story of the game’s longest-lingering presence and her deal with a god of old. The over-seven-minute cinematic provides fans and players a background for the “big baddie” of the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth expansion.

Though you may not have encountered Azshara before, you’ve certainly seen her people–the Naga–a race of slithery-looking sea folk who are generally up to no good, before as they’ve been present in the game since vanilla. Warbringers: Azshara tells us how they came to be:

Queen Azshara rules from the underwater city of Nazjatar, though it wasn’t always underwater. 10,000 years ago, she began a genocidal conquest to cleanse the world of anyone not a Highborne elf under the command of Sargeras. You may know him as the giant space demon that stabbed Azeroth with an insanely large sword. After that, the Sundering brought a tidal wave that demolished her city, but in a last-ditch effort to save her people, and herself, she agreed to command an army of soldiers for the Old God N’zoth. From then on, her people became the Naga.

The cinematic is jaw-dropping and hair-raising and I’m not used to being frightened by a 14-year old MMORPG. While many praised Blizzard’s recent “Old Soldier” cinematic, which told the story of High Overlord Saurfang before the Battle of Lordaeron, as the most-polished CGI cinematic we’ve ever gotten, Warbringers: Azshara is one of the most well executed. It’s some Lovecraftian horror if I’ve ever seen and I’ve played a lot of the Souls series.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth‘s first raid drops on September 4. It’s not clear when we’ll be facing off against Azshara, but it’ll be a big deal when we do.

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Noah Buttner

Noah Buttner is a staff writer at Dualshockers. He specializes in textual and visual analysis and is based in New York, where he recently obtained a degree in Journalism from Stony Brook University.

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