Warcraft III

Was the wait worth it? WarCraft fans won�t find anything to complain about for the latest installment.

It may have taken a few years for Blizzard�s latest installment in the WarCraft series to surface, but it�s been more than worth the wait.

Orcs, Night Elves and Undead, Oh My
The conflict between the Humans and the Orcs is once again reaching a boiling point, but there�s a new threat on the horizon. The Undead are spreading a plague that is devastating the country, but they don�t seem to be acting alone. The Night Elves, the oldest race of this world, must once again surface to stop whatever has gone awry. The epic storyline continues to unfold as the manipulating hands of the Burning Legion are finally revealed.

Anyone familiar with the previous games in the series will have no trouble adjusting to the different ways each race handles. You start off playing as the humans; the story then continues through the campaigns of the Undead, Orcs, and finally the Night Elves. As anyone who has played Blizzard�s sci-fi RTS StarCraft can attest to, it�s a brilliant way to tell a story from different viewpoints.

To Battle!
Once the action gets rolling you run the gamut from the usual resource gathering and survival missions to razing whole towns or search and rescue sorties. It all fits into the story nicely and the degree of difficulty can vary wildly even in the earlier missions. Long months of Beta testing have proved fruitful, as the multi-player aspect of WarCraft III is immensely addictive. The addition of Hero characters who gain experience and cast special spells or other combat related powers works just fine. Building up your character during the single player game feels pointless sometimes, but it will mean a world of difference in a multi-player skirmish. Planning your offense and defense around the heroes adds a whole lot more possibilities than ever before. The Upkeep system is also very critical to how you manage resources in that it encourages you not to build units like a madman too early or you work twice as hard harvesting gold.

Nobody Does it Better
Titles that have as much care and personality seeping out of every pore are few and far between, making the long wait seem bearable. WarCraft III doesn�t revolutionize the RTS genre, but a well-executed story, drum-tight gameplay and a long shelf life as a multi-player title make WarCraft III a must for and PC owning strategy fans.