World of Warcraft review
World of Warcraft

The good:

The good news is that World of Warcraft is already shaping up to be far more than a tacky second-rate spin-off or an attempt to cash-in on the latest buzz word, and if nothing else the game's visuals should help it to stand out from the ever growing online crowd. Like Warcraft III, it has a stylised cartoon-like feel which is eye-catching without being overly cutesy. From curvaceous half-timbered medieval villages and farms to lush jungles and wide sandy beaches, everything is beautifully detailed while still looking like a twisted caricature. This world basks in the glow of the now traditional dynamic lighting, shown off in the demonstration we saw by a lighthouse casting its beam into the night as waves gently lapped on the shoreline below. The result is a nice middle ground between the extremes of overhyped photo-realism and gimmicky cel shading. The character models are equally impressive, with humans, orcs and bull-like taurens all intricately detailed and lovingly animated. Monsters range from fantasy staples such as the kobold (here portrayed as rat-like creatures with backpacks) to more outlandish creatures, including what appeared to be a Freddy Kruger look-a-like with glowing red eyes and fence posts attached to its back. The mind boggles.

The bad:

blizzard is putting all there effort into WoW and i highly doubt it will meet everyones exceptions but only time will tell at the moment i doubt blizzard can bring much if anything to the MMORPG genre but lets wait and see the graphics look fantastic like i said but gameplay is still unfortold


World of Warcraft is looking promising if not exactly revolutionary, but the biggest question surrounding the game is when will we actually get to play it for ourselves. When Blizzard first announced it at ECTS a few months ago, designer Bill Roper joked that "whatever release date I give you, you won't believe it .. and you'd probably be right". Shipping games on schedule has never been one of Blizzard's strongpoints, and massively multiplayer games have a much longer development cycle than those of any other genre to start with. Certainly we wouldn't expect to see the game until well into 2003, and by then players may be justifiably cynical given the remarkable lack of innovation we've seen elsewhere in the genre so far. Whether cartoonish graphics and the Warcraft name will be enough to overcome that remains to be seen.

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