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Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:50pm 03/02/20 | 0 Comments
With the release of Blizzard's remaster of its classic RTS Warcraft III: Reforged, one would have expected it to be a bit of lay-up. The foundation is there, so anything else is gravy. But with the cinematic ambition of the game scaled back after its impressive 2018 debut, several issues related to matchmaking, a lack of customisation or UI updates, and how it treats custom games - community consensus seems to be a general feeling of, well, disappointment.

Which is reflected in the user-review scores found on Metacritic - where Warcraft III: Reforged now has the distinction of being the lowest rated game on the service. Of course this does not make Warcraft III, even in Reforged form, the worst game of all time. The campaign, with the newly updated graphics, still holds up as a grand fantasy epic with a memorable cast of characters. The RPG elements and branching mission design present a pre-World of Warcraft look at a franchise opening the door to a wider cinematic future.

But, the feeling of what could have been can be seen (and felt) in the following comparison video.

Since its 2018 debut the team at Blizzard went quiet in relation to the real-time cinematics being scaled back - the focus instead was placed on the visual updates and having the client be compatible with the original release. Blizzard's comments at BlizzCon 2019 on the change in direction noted that keeping the original voices and cinematics would remain true to the original.

Warcraft III looks better than ever in 2020, that much is true, but how Reforged changes the original's online functionality and how limited its customisation is - has many wondering if an unfinished product was rushed out.

No ultrawide support, no ability to change key bindings without opening a text file, no changes to the UI or ability to scale, saved games are tied to graphics settings, no ability to select individual campaign missions even if your pre-update Warcraft III could, custom campaigns no longer supported, no clan support, competitive and ranked matchmaking removed, no LAN support, no player profiles - the list is extensive. And, yes, disappointing. Also, updating the custom game agreement to keep it in line with the StarCraft II model - where Blizzard now owns any and everything related to a fan creation - didn't sit well with many. A change that makes sense in a post-DOTA landscape but another aspect of Reforged that has led to the backlash.

On the visual front things aren't perfect either with an overall lack of depth to shadows and lighting - giving certain maps a flat look. Issues like this, and many of the above can be improved in patches and updates. But, a remaster for what is now a very old game, shouldn't begin its remastered rebirth in such a state.

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