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Warcraft: Orcs and Humans
Warcraft: Orcs and Humans
Jonathan Wrobel

Published by Blizzard Ent

Demo: Yes.

System Requirements
68030, 68040, or Power Mac
2X CD ROM drive
OS 7.1+
Machine Tested On:
PowerMac 6100/60 MHz
4X CD ROM drive

ESRB Advisory:
All Ages

Warcraft is a fantasy simulation covering the conflict between the peaceful Humans and the bloodthirsty Orcs. Players have the option of playing a campaign of 12 levels, playing in a custom level or playing head-to-head over a network via modem.

Hardware Demands:
Although Warcraft does not have complex 3D graphics as is common with the latest genre of games, you will need a powerful machine. Scrolling across the screen is particularly slow when involved in complex battles (twice the machine paused for a second causing the animated figures to suddenly speed up momentarily). The game is loaded into RAM before play, thus removing the need to access files during gameplay. With this is mind, a fast CD-ROM drive is not necessary except for the cut-scenes and the game introduction sequence which requires a 2X drive. Lastly, stereo speakers/headphone are recommended as you receive feedback from your troops in the direction that they need help.

Warcraft is Blizzard's first product for the Mac. Although a port from the PC version, the graphics and sound quality have been improved in order to bring them to the standard we expect. Although we obviously want this, having to wait a year for the port is a bit much.

Game Background:
In Warcraft, you get to play either the Humans or the Orcs.

Human: You have encountered evil times. The kingdom is in turmoil because an evil sorcerer has created a gateway between Azeroth and an unknown world. Through this gateway has come some hideous creatures known as 'Orcs' that have come and attacked our land. They have killed the King. His son, now King of Azeroth, has left the responsibility of saving the land from these foul beasts to you.

Orcs: As Orcs, we have conquered our enemies but the craving for blood is upon us. So we have turned against ourselves in a battle in which only the strongest shall survive! But one day, the Warlocks brought news that a portal to a new world had been discovered. Now under the fearsome leadership of Blackhand we have united once more to conquer this land and all that shall stand in our way.

The Game:
The game comes on one CD-ROM and provides three layers of installation, which is taken care of by an installer script. The standard install takes up 27Mb but you can install over 100Mb of game material. However, copy protection has been written into this program - requiring the CD to be in the drive when playing or answering a question based on the manual. The manual, by the way, has been specially rewritten for the Mac.

To begin with, you are given easy tasks like building up a settlement (initially a Town Hall), the town's center, and a farm (for feeding the troops and to slaughter any wandering foes). After getting peasants to collect the resources of the land: lumber and gold; you can start to build additional buildings: barracks for the training of additional troops; lumber mill for upgrading the power of spears; blacksmith for upgrading the armor and sword efficiency; stables for breeding horses; churches for training Clerics to heal the wounded (or in the case of the Orcs, to bring the dead back to life in the form of skeletons), and towers to permit mystical warlocks to be trained in the way of calling Daemons and Elementals.

In Warcraft, you don't just build up settlements and then conquer others. You are sent on quests to rescue fellow knights, rescue friendly cities that are already under siege and to kill the Orcs Chief's daughter! As you build up experience, you have to pit your wits against two (or even three in the final episode) enemy outposts simultaneously! However, this rarely becomes a problem. In fact, if anything the game on the whole is a bit too easy, except in the difficult action scenes when I found myself slowing the game down. It is mainly constructed of three factors: defend, building up your armies and attacking. A difficulty setting would have been appreciated as I had this game finished within 8 hours (a little disappointing). Add to the fact that after playing it through again, the computer does not adapt its tactics as the situation progresses . Kill a guard and the computer will not replace it; instead any new forces are just put straight into the battle even if you are not attacking. One of my tactics was to build up a collection of 30 soldiers and wait. The enemy only come in a maximum of 5 units at which point they get hacked to pieces. After a while this becomes boring as you are soon able to conquer the computer fairly easily.

Some would say that some of the graphics are not up to scratch, but to be perfectly honest you are so caught up in the action you don't really care what those pixels look like (as long as that Raider dies!-Oops). In particular, the graphics of the citizens carrying gold and felling trees are excellent, as are the sound effects. All of these sounds combined can make the game quite busy as you have sounds coming from all over the place. Luckily, these sounds are portrayed in stereo, which is a great help. The speech, however, is a little disappointing as clicking on a citizen will produce a "Yes my lord" or "Yes!" repeatedly which becomes a little monotonous. The Orc-ish speech is not so bad - probably because it is complete gibberish.

However, once you have beaten the computer to your heart's content you are ready to go head-to-head by using the multi-play option which brings the game to a new level. You are able to play opponents via network, direct link or modem. You can even play your PC cousin by installing the software supplied on the CD! This certainly gives you a new challenge as the moves become more erratic and the pace livens up again. Blizzard has obviously thought things through as you are able to play another person without buying another copy of the game (a la Marathon style). Well done, Blizzard.

The Interface:
Warcraft's interface is a snap to use. You want your forces over there? Just highlight the relevant soldier, press the move button and select the new position. Each command has a keyboard shortcut, so you will be flying along in minutes. By shift-clicking, you can highlight up to four minions which is very useful for attacking in force. While foot soldiers do not respond to the enemy nearby, spearmen will attack as soon as they come into range, which is excellent for guarding bridges.

While the interface does have its pitfalls, it also makes a lot of tasks simple for the gamer. If you want a peasant to collect gold, he will do so until you tell him to stop or the supply is exhausted.

Bug Report:
There were a few minor glitches in Warcraft. From time to time you could no longer select your soldiers. The only way I found to get out of this was to press help and then click OK.

Secondly, as mentioned before, the game froze twice on me for a second before returning to normal.

If you like Civilization or strategy games then you will like Warcraft. The simple interface joined with great graphics and sound makes this a must for many a gamer. Certainly a good sign was that I could not stop until I had conquered all the enemy forces! As of this writing (April, '96), Blizzard is just about to release Warcraft II on the PC which will improve on some of the flaws of Warcraft, namely: four races, instead of two; more units; more structures and two more resources. We have learned that this should be out on the Mac by the end of this year. To ensure they don't have second thoughts and continue to release Mac products you should definitely consider purchasing Warcraft.

So has Blizzard's first product been worthwhile waiting for? If you enjoy it as much as I did, you will hankering for Warcraft II a lot sooner!

Overall: 92%

- Great detailed graphics and sound.
- Very easy to pick up.
- Multi-play.
- Mac specific manual.
- Easy Installation.

- Too easy!
- Minor bugs.
- Limited replay value.
- Difficulty option needed.
- Limited tactics needed.

Sorted by date

Title Date
Master of Orion III Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Black & White: Platinum Pack Sunday, May 04, 2003
Legion Friday, May 02, 2003
ThinkTanks Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Dungeon Siege Friday, April 25, 2003
Enigmo Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Alias Underground Monday, April 14, 2003
Incoming Friday, April 11, 2003
Worms Blast Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 Tuesday, April 08, 2003
PowerMate Thursday, March 27, 2003
Payback Friday, March 21, 2003
Freedom Force Friday, February 14, 2003
Ghost Recon Tuesday, February 11, 2003
The Sims: Unleashed Monday, February 10, 2003
Spaceward Ho 5! Monday, January 20, 2003
Three More From MacAlly Friday, December 20, 2002
Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Thursday, December 12, 2002
Yexi Wednesday, December 11, 2002
No One Lives Forever Monday, December 09, 2002
X-Arcade Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Bugdom 2 Monday, November 11, 2002
Soldier of Fortune II Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Dual G4 1.25GHz Sunday, October 13, 2002
The Sims Vacation Monday, October 07, 2002
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