It is hard to believe that the classic Warcraft 3 was released approximately thirteen years ago today. At this point, as difficult as it might be for some people to accept, it is not unreasonable to look at this still-awesome game as an essential component to a golden era of real-time strategy gaming. That means looking back on a game that has been out for over a decade and change. For some of us, it’s hard to imagine that so much time has gone by.
In fact, with the successor World of Warcraft poised to pass its own ten-year anniversary mark, some people have completely forgotten Warcraft 3 ever existed. But it did exist, and guess what? This golden age, awesome gem of classic real-time strategy is still a lot of fun to play.
Warcraft 3 Retrospective
When it was released in 2002, Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos was hailed as a landmark achievement for its genre. Critics considered it to be the best game of the Warcraft series. The add-on Frozen Throne was released a year later, which only served to deepen and enhance the then-astonishing array of features and immersive qualities of the main title.
Warcraft 3 remains an awesome game for a number of reasons. It presented a classic story of epic wars, brutal skirmishes, and tenuous alliances. It depicted the ongoing, vicious war between the Azeroth and the Burning Legion. The top/down perspective of the game will bring to mind the current crop of releases from the StarCraft universe. In Warcraft 3, players watch massive struggles unfold, managing a myriad of possibilities and resources every step of the way. Gathering resources, creation, and war tactics are the defining characteristics of the title. It is seen today as a golden age title for the simple fact that it presented all of these things in what was arguably the best possible package for that era. It also helps that even now, it remains an immensely playable, engaging title.
Blood Elves and the Undead made their first appearances here, just two of the many landmarks that were introduced with the title. A mission could be an intricate operation of stealth and cunning, but it could also be something as elaborate as a full-scale war. The World Editor and Hero System are further examples of why Warcraft 3 continues to be so highly regarded.
Even today, this game can command attention, and win over new converts. Hey, Blizzard, how about a remastered edition?