Content at a glance:
Computer Platform: PC (Windows)
Produced by: Blizzard
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Patches / Upgrades: Frozen Throne
System Requirements: System: PII 400 or equivalent
Reviewed By: Kaikuro
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
Genre: Strategy, Real Time Strategy
Christian Rating: 2 of 5 (poor)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 3 of 5 (mild)
Adult Content: 3 of 5 (mild)
Those familiar to the Warcraft real time strategy (RTS) games will find gameplay a little different this time around, but the offensive content remains similar to its predecessors- just with better graphics. Even so, Warcraft 3 is a very fun game if you can look past its dark elements and other concerns.
Warcraft 3's story line is simple. The world of Lorderon is not expecting an apocalyptic demon invasion from the skies, so a prophet who knows of this attempts to warn the two races of the island Lorderon to flee overseas to the lands of Kalimdor, where they can regroup and defend their world from the demons. Some characters think the prophet is a madman and they stay in the island only to be slaughtered, while some heed his warning and flee to Kalimdor.
The gameplay is terrific, though it swerves from its predecessors and may turn off some veteran players. (I liked the changes, but my brother hated them and would rather play Warcraft 2.) Similar to its predecessors, it is a RTS, therefore, you build a base, mass troops, and invade your enemy. You must select a good balance of units and deploy them against your enemy. There are 4 races in the game that you play as, each with their strengths and weaknesses and special units. However, this time around, Warcraft 3 introduces heros, and gains an RPG element- leveling up and purchasing upgrades with each level. This makes the game a bit more complicated then the Warcrafts before it. You must keep up with your hero and constantly cast the spells needed to decimate the enemy while protecting your hero with lesser troops. The addition of heros IS fun, but as I said, some may find Warcraft 3 more burdensome.
As with most RTS games, you must build an army and slaughter your opponents. So, expect to see a lot of violence. When a unit dies, they cry out in pain, blood spraying from their wounds, and collapse on the ground, where their body decomposes over time. The camera is positioned very far away from the action, though, but you can still easily see the violence.
To be mentioned here, the Undead race has units that can devour these corpses to regain their health, or they can pick up the corpses and store them for use later. Pretty gruesome stuff.
A few D***s, H***s, B*****ds in the dialogue, especially in the opening clips for each mission. You can skip them, but you'll miss out on some of the story and you may not know what you're doing. There's probably one or two of these curse words for each opening clip. Also, some units, mainly the humans, say some things if you click them over and over again. However, the beautiful, CG-rendered cutscenes are without any bad language, so it'll be a blast to work your way through the campaigns to watch these.
Though there are no nude units, there are some female units showing a bit of cleavage. But, the camera is displayed very far away from the battlefield, so you wouldn't really notice at first. However, you really do notice on the opening menu for the Night Elves team, as it shows a close-up of a Night Elf female unit wearing a bikini-ish outfit. Also, the Harpies, an enemy monster, are flying bird women who wear no clothes, but there is nothing detailed.
The majority of the game deals with demons and an evil invasion. Evil creatures fall from the skies and storm over the world. Later in the game, you must play as the Undead race who have close contact with demons. Near the end of the game, the character Illidan falls to the temptation of demons and becomes a demon himself. In one part of the game, evil Orcs sacrifice human peasants on an occultic altar to summon demons. In a cutscene, the main antagonist draws a symbol in the sand and creates a sand replica of buildings, then destroys the replica, and the real buildings are destroyed in the same manner.
But what I found the most offensive was dealing with the character Prince Arthas. He begins as a very good character, following the Light like his fellow Paladin, but slowly, as revenge grips his heart, he falls to the Undead. You must play as him in the Undead campaign, and you must kill all of his good Paladin friends, including his own father. Prince Arthas is never redeemed in this game, and after playing as him, I felt a bit dirty.
The Undead themselves are completely evil, and when you play as them, you find yourself dealing with some really nasty looking units, collecting corpses, and killing the good guys. However, after you get through with the Undead campaign, the rest of the game you play as the good guys again who are killing the evil Undead.
The game does draw a line between good and evil, and the good guys do win in the end, but the game makes you play as the bad guys, which is a bit disturbing.
Also, some typical fantasy elements like casting spells on the enemy is common here. There are also wizards and arch-mages. This may offend some.
Overall, Warcraft 3 was a fun, fresh RTS experience, but with its occultic situations and dark material, I found it hard to thoroughly enjoy. I would not recommend this game to anyone younger then fifteen.
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Year of Release — 2002
[tags] 3.5 stars, Strategy, PC (Windows), T (Teen), Blizzard [/tags]
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.
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