|Platform Reviewed||IBM PC|
|Genre||Real-Time Strategy Battle Simulation Game|
|Number of Players||1-8|
|Length||Long, With editor, indefinitely so.|
|Skills Required||Strategic Planning and Tactical Decisions In Real Time|
|Interface Devices||Mouse or Keyboard|
|Game Design and Playability||Absolutely Superlative|
|Type Of Fun||Warfare combined with Empire Building|
|Replay Value||With editor use, vast indeed.|
|Overall Value||Very High|
|The Best||Fun even to those who dislike war games. Brilliant interface and very good graphics. Great use of voice, and decidedly intelligent design throughout. This is an well crafted game in every way.|
|The Worst||I honestly cannot think of an important thing I object to. I wish that there was even MORE to play with, but that is admittedly simply greed on my part. This says a lot in itself.|
|How much I would pay for this||65 bucks|
Warcraft II, the sequel to Warcraft: Humans and Orcs, is a real-time strategy fantasy war game. It revolves around a brilliantly intuitive and simple interface that allows the player to construct and defend an empire with up to 7 other players. Sim City like elements permit the player to build and balance the logistical needs of a strategic campaign, and the flexibility of the design allows for the use of real military tactics. Sun Tzu would be happy with this game.
For Human Readers: The Orcs are coming! Stop their advance or we will perish!
For Orc Readers: The peasants are really tasty, it takes work to get the meat out of those armored knights!
The lands of Azeroth are in conflict as two dissimilar intelligent fantasy races essentially commit genocide upon the other in the struggle to achieve dominance. War is well, War.
Warcraft II is the one of the finest realtime wargames I have ever had the privilege to play. Warcraft is so intuitive to use that it is possible to play the game and never touch the manual. Depth lies in abundance beneath the simple seeming waters, and both sound and graphics add to what must be described as a truly satisfying gaming experience. This is a wargame for everyone, even those who do not ordinarily like the genre.
The only fault I would give the game is that I personally disapprove of the design given to Victory in the game. When the player wins, the game simply halts and a requester comes up informing the player of the fact, when clicked on, the player is shown a colorful total of various statistics concerning the game and their prowess.
I would have had the onscreen warriors all stop and cheer animatedly, praising their own victory, and had the music turn to a triumphant march. Then I might also have had the requester box come up with an addition: Continue Building. It would be nice to be able to fiddle with the hard won empire and attempt to further enhance it before the totaling of statistics. Such a small touch would have given the needed punch to winning a scenario, in my opinion.
The game is so good, that I can absolutely recommend it -especially for the Windows 95 user. Only in Windows 95 is the built in scenario editor available. And it is worth it, if you, like I, enjoy creating worlds.
The high points of Warcraft include the clever use of voice; every individual responds uniquely, with peasants whining (exactly like the character voice of 'Neal' from the British comedy series 'The Young Ones' - a brilliant touch), Knights being haughty, and Dwarves coming off like Left Handed Scottish Bagpipe Technicians whenever commands are given. The Orcs too, (it is possible to play as either Good or Evil in this game, another perfect decision) have unique ways of expressing themselves which one must simply experience to appreciate.
Also particularly of note is an adherence to a James Burke like appreciation of the process of technological advancement. In order to have Knights, for instance, one must have already developed such things as stables and Blacksmiths. Most games assume a 'supermarket' approach - if the player has the cash, anything can be bought. In Warcraft, technology proceeds through logical evolution and development.
As a final testament, I am currently using the editor to construct Warcraft scenarios which uniquely illustrate each of the thirteen chapters of Sun Tzu's The Art Of War. The fact that this is even possible should inspire the reader to comprehend what an amazing program Warcraft II is.
Jennifer Diane Reitz is a Game Designer and Computer Artist, and one of the founders of Happy Puppy. She is the creator of numerous games and software products, including Boppin' , Shark Chums, Elsewhere, and many others. She has worked for such companies as Activision, Sculptured Software, Epyx, SRI, and Electronic Arts, and founded Accursed Toys. She has been active in the computer gaming industry since its earliest days. She considers games to be works of artistic merit and achievement, and views computer entertainment as the most important media of our era.