Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos is a popular fantasy real time strategy game released in 2002 by Blizzard Entertainment that features a familiar struggle between good and evil in a strategic framework with light RPG features for your hero units. In 2003 an expansion pack (Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne) expanded the game content with a full 2020 remake of the base game and expansion titled Warcraft III: Reforged with the same story albeit some notable changes from the original.
Set several years after the previously successful Warcraft II storyline the game once again centres around the evil Burning Legion’s attempt to take over the fantasy world of Azeroth with an undead army. Led by the fallen paladin Arthas Menethil it is the three other game factions of the night elves, orcish horde and human alliance that rise to the challenge as they attempt to stop the corruption of the World Tree and in turn the entire world. Playing as each of these factions (including the undead) through the story campaign players gain a wealth of story telling knowledge from all sides of the conflict.
Throughout this story players will meet powerful heroes from each of these factions including Prince Arthus, the fallen Arthas, Thrall the orc warchief and the high elf Tyrande Whisperwind. Not only are these heroes key story and plot points but they join a roster of other controllable heroes that serve as powerful and customisable units on the RTS battlefield.
Regardless of the campaign and faction under your control the core strategic gameplay remains the same in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos with players collecting resources, building up their settlement and training their troops to achieve the specific mission objective. Each of these scenarios offer diverse objectives and often provide secondary challenges that can reward players with additional units, resources or items to equip their heroes. These items provide boots, potions, scrolls and other equipment pieces that provide stat bonuses to make your heroes stronger or can be sold to a merchant for something more suited to your tastes.
In addition to the equipment for heroes you’ll find that each levels up with battle experience that allows you to improve their skills further as you see fit that are often pivotal to your battlefield success. While the differences are often small between skill and equipment choices it provides another strategic game mechanic for players to optimise and provides a greater sense of agency to the player.
While the four playable races have distinct unit and buildings designs each has similar units to ensure they have a mixture of infantry, ranged and siege units that work in conjunction with each other to achieve victory. In addition Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos simplifies resource gathering into two resources (gold and lumber) across all factions with players chopping down trees and mining the available gold mines for resources. While not directly obtained from the environment a third resource (food) is also in the game but simple restricts the number of units that players can build and requires structures to improve.
- 4 unique races to play each with their own campaign story for players to adventure through with unique heroes.
- Simple dual resource system keeps you focused on military strategy and efficiency rather than resource management.
- Develop your hero units with items and level up skill choices to give them greater personality.
- Varied environments and objectives to create a realistic story focused environment.
- Originally released in 2002 with a 2020 remaster version (Warcraft III: Reforged).
Review Platform: PC