Blizzard announced to fans at BlizzCon 2018 that Warcraft III is getting an HD update. Warcraft III Reforged brings updated graphics and improvements for RTS fans in the modern age. I was fortunate enough to get a hands-on demo for the remake of the 16-year-old classic.
The demo features “The Culling” mission with Arthas as the playable hero. Right from the first cutscene, character models and animations are smooth and vibrant but keeps true to the original tone of the game. The voice acting was also re-recorded to match the HD re-skin.
The demo’s opening cutscene has Arthas heading into Stratholme to stop Mal’Ganis from creating more zombie minions by killing innocent people. When his allies Jaina and Uther find out about Arthas’ plans, they leave him by himself to commit the deed.
When I got into the Warcraft III Reforged itself, I had to build up resources and troops before I could invade the town of Stratholme. Just like the original you build farms, blacksmiths, scout towers, and more to bring up your camp and prepare to take on Mal’Ganis and his minions.
The objective is simple, destroy the red roof homes full of infected townspeople. It was pretty satisfying pulling all of the units and coordinating different attack groups throughout the map. Occasionally my camp would get attacked with a handful of enemies, though, it never was too tough for myself to manage.
I think the gameplay itself is satisfying though I wish there wasn’t a cap on selecting units. In the later part of the demo, I had to select multiple groups to attack the same area and found the select cap to be a little annoying. From what I was told, the selection cap is intended and was kept to match with what the original had in mind.
I occasionally also had to go back and check up on my camp to upgrade my castle and troops, as well as build more farms and lumber mills to keep up with the mass of units I was creating. I think this back and forth, the managing and upgrading of units while attacking the objective, is where the graphics upgrade shines.
I really enjoyed looking across the map and seeing these vivid and fluid moments that happened during my time with the demo. From using Arthas’s special abilities to seeing buildings burn after being hit; Warcraft III Reforged’s visuals just made the whole experience easy to get immersed in.
I never really faced too much of a challenge other than losing some troops to Mal’Ganis and his army or getting some of my buildings damaged from invaders. There was, however, the option to play the demo on hard for experienced players. I was told from some others playing that the hard difficulty was quite the challenge for someone who frequently plays Warcraft III.
As someone who never really got a chance to play the original Warcraft series, I definitely enjoyed myself jumping into this engaging experience. I think people like myself who are new to the series will see this game and be thrilled to dive in for the first time. With an HD re-release, I assume that Blizzard is definitely looking to capture new fans like myself.
Since I’m new to playing, I played on the normal difficulty and was able to get through the game without too much of a struggle. One thing to note is that developer Brian Sousa confirmed with me also that there will be a beginner difficulty for new players that unfamiliar with the deep RTS.
Warcraft III Reforged is probably the highlight for me as far as new titles go. It has been a minute since I’ve touched an RTS and what’s a better game to get into than Warcraft III? I look forward to playing all of the custom matches and mods that will be carried over from the standard version as well as getting to enjoy the rest of the story.
The game is expected to have Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion The Frozen Throne as well. I look forward to experiencing the tale that introduced much of the lore to World of Warcraft.
You can pre-order Warcraft III now on Blizzard for $29.99 now and receive both the original standard game as well as Reforged. You can also get the Spoils of War Edition which features in-game goodies such as hero skins and a meat wagon mount for World of Warcraft and a Hearthstone cardback. Warcraft III Reforged is slated to release in 2019 with no exact release date within the year.