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Warcraft

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Warcraft

Warcraft has been around, in various forms, for many years now. The version I usually play is Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Warcraft is a fantasy wargame strategy game. The player controls various forces, builds military and other structures, and generally controls his forces starting from a few peasants and building towards a mighty army consisting of various fighting and magical units. The idea is to destroy the army of the other players: either computer controlled, or controlled by other players in the multi-player network version.

I have never really liked playing against the computer in Warcraft, the computer seems to either build a large army impossibly quickly and eliminate you early on, or it is easily defeated later in the game. Playing against other people is much more interesting and unpredictable. We usually play on four computers on my local network and that creates sufficient chaos for most people!

Warcraft is easy to play, but quite difficult to play well. To be really competitive you need a lot of knowledge regarding the relative strengths of different units, and you need to plan ahead. Different capabilities take time to develop and can make a big difference to how the game progresses.

[Warcraft]

A picture of the orc base where units are produced and technologies are researched.
Here you can see the shadow hunter standing outside the orc mill getting ready to
gather more forces before attacking the enemy.

There are 4 different races you can choose from when starting a game: human, orc, undead, and night elf. While all the races can do similar things, they have different strengths and weaknesses which can be exploited by a skilled player. I prefer the orcs and undead, but all races are competitive when played properly. Each race can summon up to four heroes which have different attack, defence, and healing powers. As the hero gains experience he or she learns more devastating abilities. Using the heroes properly is a key aspect of play.

Warcraft's graphics aren't true 3D but they are very detailed and realistic looking. A moderate powered machine will play the game at a reasonable speed. We run it on Power Mac G4/733s with all the options on. On a G3 iBook the graphic quality is much lower but the speed is still useable. The graphics card is probably as important as the CPU to get good performance. A GeForce 2 seems adequate. The only other hardware requirements would be a decent amount of RAM (512M) and a two button mouse (its possible to play with a standard Mac mouse, but the extra clicks put you at a disadvantage).

[Warcraft]

Combat between the orcs and humans. The orc forces (yellow) are being attacked
from off screen by a mortar team. The shadow hunter has conjured the giant orange
snake to attack the human hero and knight.

Warcraft is one of the best games ever, and the best in its genre in my opinion. Apart from interesting and varied game play, it also has real humour. The characters have their own personalities, and come up with some really interesting speeches, including the rasta-like shadow hunter, the evil undead dread-lord, etc. So I can almost guarantee you will enjoy this game, especially if you play against other people instead of the computer.


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