Warcraft III Reforged didn’t make a good impression when it originally came out. It got so bad that Blizzard refunded purchasers who wanted to return the product.
Despite that, I was still curious about the game and whether the issues other players had can be overlooked.
It’d be easy to play the game as soon as it’s released but I decided to wait a bit, to see if anything’s been done to the game before giving it a review.
This is that review.
What is Warcraft III Reforged?
Warcraft III Reforged is a remastered version of Warcraft III, bundled along with its expansion. the Frozen Throne.
The basic gameplay remains unchanged, but the other chocolaty shell has now been updated to more (circa 2017) visuals. The new look’s a more realistic take on the older graphics, ditching the cartoony World of Warcraft aesthetic for something that looks more natural.
Character models have been improved across the board, though since most of the cutscenes only feature the Hero characters, they’re the ones who’ve been upgraded the most.
With the extras included in the package, I seriously think Blizzard flubbed by not having a model viewer mode. I would love to take a look at the new character models outside of the game, so I can admire them instead of being forced to look at them through the limited angles in-game.
They gone to all the trouble to make them right? Why not show them off?
Apart from the character models, textures too have been updated with higher quality ones. They’re decent but you won’t really notice these too much (if anything they highlight how barren the ground is in the game), unless you’ve spent a TON of time with the old game (or see a side by side visuals comparison video on Youtube).
Ironically, these updates only serve to show how Warcraft III hasn’t aged that well. Features that made it stand out at the time like its Hero units, being able to equip items and the like are now commonplace in games, not to mention RTS.
Then there’s the limiting unit cap that forces you to only have a certain number of units, which means huge battles like those seen in Supreme Commander, Planetary Annihilation or the like aren’t possible…without custom mods at least.
Hopefully Blizzard works on the back-end and updates the networking features in Warcraft III Reforged. Being denied multiplayer features present in the original is just weird so hopefully they’ll be reintegrated over time.
Warcraft III for a new generation.
Of course, it goes without saying if you’ve not played Warcraft III before, then this is the best deal you’re ever going to get.
It’s not a bullet point, but if you have Warcraft III Reforged, you can actually changed the visuals to the old school Warcraft III look if you desire. It’s not like you’re buying two games in one, but it’s a nice touch, especially for the younger gamers who might not have played the original.
On top of that, Warcraft III Reforged also packs in The Frozen Throne expansion, which adds to the game’s already lengthy campaign. So while it’s not exactly a new game, you are getting a whole lot of bang for your buck.
Weirdly though, I also think the game might be a bit unoptimized.
Despite exceeding the Recommended specs, I still encountered some frame rate stutters, even on 1080p. Even on the main menu screen, the animations from menu selection and response time felt sluggish.
The stutters and frame rate drop does get better in some missions (which makes me think I may be right about the optimization part), but the menu issues are still weird, especially when you consider that not much should be taxing the hardware at that point.
The bottom line.
If you’ve not played Warcraft III before (or even owned it on Battle.net), then Warcraft III Reforged should be a no brainer purchase. Yes, Blizzard made empty promises that they didn’t deliver on, but at the end of the day, the game’s still a great bargain for newcomers, even if it’s missing some features the original had (mostly in custom games and multiplayer).
For the stalwarts though, I can definitely see the pain in being duped by not getting the promised features included. The visual upgrades and minor quality of life improvements don’t really add up to much if you’re played the original. Sure, they make the game look nicer but that’s pretty much it.
Plus, performance issues mean you might be getting a better experience playing the original anyhow. Of course, now that Blizzard’s retired the old Warcraft III client and merged it with Warcraft III Reforged, that’s not really an option.
Great if you’re new, not really worth it if you’re a veteran.
- Characters look better now.
- Great value for those who’ve never played Warcraft III or The Frozen Throne.
- Incredibly lengthy campaign.
- Missing features.
- Not much new for veterans.