WarCraft played a special role in my life. If it wasn't for WarCraft 3 The Frozen Throne you would never be able to read this text. It's because of WC3 that I had a chance to organize national tournaments, led the Polish team, met my best friends, so when Blizzard announced Reforged, I knew that the production would meet my huge expectations. In hindsight, I know one thing - it couldn't have gone more wrong.
I won't hide the fact that I have a lot of affection for the WarCraft brand. In fact, Blizzard games have played a special role in my "gaming life", so I'm approaching this text for the third time and I still don't know how to put into words my disappointment. The developers have shown great ignorance and instead of delivering a fantastic remaster that would re-energize the scene and make fans believe in the "return of Blizzard", they delivered another botched title that confirms the theory of a growing number of gamers - the old Blizzard is gone.
This won't be a typical review, because frankly speaking, there's nothing to review here. With WarCraft 3 Reforged, Blizzard decided to polish two campaigns providing players with over 40 hours of pure fun - 62 missions set in almost the entire WarCraft universe with great characters and many interesting plots. I got to know these stories after the original release (2002-2003) and then in subsequent years, and the stories still stand up - the developers thankfully didn't touch the core gameplay mechanics, so in terms of story WarCraft 3 still stands up. If you've never experienced these stories before, you'll be delighted - you just have to be prepared for a very classic presentation of the action.
What I mean. In 2018, Blizzard, when announcing WarCraft 3 Reforged, showed great-looking and fully revamped cinematic interludes that, while still running on the game engine, looked much better than the "talking porters" from 2002. However, the developers apparently decided somewhere in the middle that there was no point in getting too tired, so they decided to provide players with the usual restored units, characters, buildings and locations. Does the production look better? The matter is unfortunately extremely debatable, but here, of course, one can always say - there are tastes and preferences... Fortunately, before the start of the game, the developers allow you to jump to the "classic" setting, so if you belong to the group of players who can not look at the new Blade Master - you can switch the option. However, it is difficult to talk about huge revolutionary changes in the whole project, because the developers have only refreshed the models - without any interference in the source code. In retrospect, this is actually the best news... Because at least it was not destroyed.
Warcraft 3 Reforged - review 2
WarCraft 3 Reforged - are you destroying it? Do not forget to cut out
If I could end the text here, I would complain a paragraph more about the lack of the expected revolution, but still with a smile on my lips I would turn on the production and play with friends in subsequent matches. Blizzard, however, has done something that is really hard to explain in words - the studio has cut several extremely important features from the gameplay itself.
In WarCraft 3 Reforged you won't find ladders, which drove the fun and encouraged fans of the series to fight for better and better scores. The production even lacked a simple way to enter the player's profile to check his performance. The developers cut out the option to play online tournaments, stripping the game of even the basics like clan features. This has all been available in the series for 17 years, but someone decided to cut out critical features and provide no gratification. There are no new systems, no fresh modes, no new options for duels - there is literally nothing new here. The studio defends itself by claiming that hardly anyone has played tournaments in recent months (much like they did with the balance from Reign of Chaos) and I can believe that. However, no one has come up with the idea that the high interest in the revamped version would drive players to participate in tournaments again? If the answer was no anyway, the developers didn't communicate this before release, so players may feel that something is missing from this title.
Even something as simple as moving the gameplay one-to-one hasn't been dealt with - the fog of war doesn't work for two races in online matches. Fortunately, we can't see all enemy units, but we can identify where the Night Elves and Undead base is - in the former case, the mine disappears, in the latter the trees are tainted and black. How could such basics have been allowed to be neglected? I have no idea, but the studio didn't even take care of the font, which can go out of place and in the match summary the numbers of units created are not in the table.
The problem is also the fact that the community was forced to play WarCraft 3 Reforged. Now you can't turn on "classic WC3" and enjoy the previously available features because this option has been removed. Every WarCraft owner received an automatic upgrade to Reforged - whether they wanted it or not.
Despite these clear problems, WarCraft 3 Reforged has one thing going for it - a fantastic community. Since last week, I've been popping into the servers at every spare moment and all my friends have returned. Although we are aware that we are playing an experiment of second-year students of classical philology, whose budget did not exceed the value of three Freshmen, but the title still has "that something" in it. The gameplay of classic WC3 hasn't changed, thankfully, so you can still have a great time testing old tactics on young players or deciding with three friends to try some fun strategies. It still works.
Just like all UMS - under this name are hidden all the custom maps prepared by the players. Footmen Frenzy, Green TD, or maybe Farmer vs Hunter? There's no shortage of players on the servers who enjoy playing these classic titles, and here you'll still find dozens of great games that aren't hard to lose yourself in. However, Blizzard wouldn't be Blizzard if I didn't mess up even here - the new rules clearly emphasize that it's the developers who own all the projects prepared by supporters of the title. The studio doesn't want another situation where ambitious fans create a new Dota and then their project is bought out by an outside studio. Now even if you create a new genre, which will be appreciated by the whole world - its ownership will be a corporation.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the text - this is not a typical review. Blizzard did not provide a painful minimum, and instead massacred a classic that seemed impossible to spoil. The representatives apologize, they let you refund your money, but honestly? That's the kind of thing you don't do.