At the time of the announcement, Warcraft III: Reforged looked like a real treat for fans of the original game. An iconic strategy game with updated graphics and modernized cutscenes, how could something go wrong? It turned out, maybe. Reforged's user ratings on Metacritic are nearing zero, and on the Blizzard forum, one of the most popular topics is how to get refunds for purchased games. Something clearly went wrong and in the review of Warcraft 3: Reforged, from the point of view of a fan of the original Warcraft 3, I will try to answer what the remaster is so hated for and what are the main problems of the game.
Yesterday we also published an article in which Blizzard talked about the main innovations of Reforged and why it is worth playing the remaster. Today's article is in many ways the opposite of an interview with Blizzard, so take it as a list of reasons why you shouldn't rush to buy an updated version of Warcraft III. At least for now.
The revamped cutscenes are one of the most intriguing promises Blizzard has made with the announcement of Warcraft III: Reforged. We were even vividly demonstrated on the example of the mission "The Culling of Stratholme" the updated presentation of the plot. And yes, even if the result is far from ideal, promises are promises. You either fulfill them or declare that for a number of reasons you cannot fulfill the words spoken earlier. Blizzard, on the other hand, took a different path and left the in-game cutscenes virtually unchanged from the 2002 version of Warcraft 3 without any announcements. It is expected that after such actions, or rather their absence, Blizzard received a well-deserved tub of slop from the gaming community.
And the most surprising thing is that the official Warcraft III: Reforged website still has an inscription about more than 4 hours of updated videos. This number includes both game cutscenes and cinematic CGI videos, which in Reign of Chaos and Frozen Throne are about 30 minutes in total. And okay, if only the videos on the engine received a minimum of innovations, but Blizzard's approach to work carelessly was not limited to this. In fact, only the opening video was changed and the final fight between Arthas and Ilidan was reworked, turning the Prince of Darkness into a cartoon hero of memes. All of the other CGI videos have received higher resolution, but this is hardly something that you should be so proud of when you bring in the main features of Warcraft III: Reforged "4 hours of redesigned videos".
In fact, apart from cutscenes, the redesigned graphics engine is the only reason to buy Warcraft III: Reforged. Since all other changes of the remaster, the owners of the original game receive along with a free update. But is the new picture worth 1,300 rubles? Hardly. Of course, the decision to update most of the animation and redraw all of the effects along with the character models is commendable. In particular, I would like to note the unique models for each unit with a personal name, which is why now many characters do not look like an army of mutated clones of different sizes and colors.
The updated styling raises questions, let it sound like a subjective nit-picking. The emphasis from the original cartoon design has shifted towards realism, which, together with a faded picture, makes it difficult to identify units in the heat of battle or even on an empty landscape. And given the second-rate optimization, as for the graphics of a decade ago, and the locked character animation at around 40 FPS, I want to nod reproachfully towards Blizzard and return to classic Warcraft 3. But here, too, the Refordge curse took root.
The original version has also undergone a slight graphic modification. The slightly changed lighting and reworking of some familiar units, for example the Fireflies from the Night Elves, are striking. Everything would be fine, only the updated graphics, as in the case of Refordge, became more faded, which is expressed both in the overall picture and problems with detecting units that merge with the environment, and in the interface. From now on, even the fog of war on the minimap is less visible compared to the classic version of Warcraft 3 from 2002.
SoftKlab's USA translation of Warcraft 3 is often cited as an example of one of the best localizations of games into a great and mighty language. The translation, although it was full of SoftKlab's own improvisations and the text was often at odds with the English version, but the selection of voices, sound post-processing, the excellent work of the voice actors and a number of cult phrases that have already turned into USA-language memes make you fondly recall the classic localization of Warcraft 3.
For some unknown reason, Blizzard at Reforged decided to radically revise the USA localization and the result came out, to put it mildly, far from ideal. Many well-known phrases have sunk into oblivion, some of the actors seem not to know what accents in intonation are, speaking phrases in a lifeless voice, and as a special "compliment from the Blizzard chefs" there are frequent voice overs. Some discomfort can be caused by changes in recognizable names, which is why the same gravedigger began to bear the name of a necroarachnid in the manner of the original English version. And if you also consider that the new localization has lost in details compared to the version from SoftKlab, such as the translation of names on the loading screens, then there are hardly many words of praise for Blizzard's work.
Bugs, thousands of bugs and disconnects
The original Warcraft 3 worked like a clock, so much so that you would rather hear a cancer whistling on the mountain than encounter bugs in the game. But even here, Warcraft 3: Redorged has managed to make an unpleasant difference. Graphic artifacts, crashes to the desktop, missing textures and character models in the updated version of the strategy do not seem like something out of the ordinary. It is rather a given that depends on your fortune.
Separately, it is worth noting the unstable network code, which can lead to both rare freezes during multiplayer battles, and even throw it out with an error when trying to join a match. This problem also applies to the classic version of the game, even if you have not downloaded Warcraft 3: Reforged, since from now on all versions work within the same online infrastructure.
Changes in the map editor
All functional changes in the map editor are commendable. As promised by Blizzard, it has become a little easier to learn, has acquired support for 24 players and has lost the limit on the number of units. Only here it was not without a fly in the ointment. We are talking, of course, about the updated license agreement, after which all maps, including the unique ideas of the mapmakers embodied in the editor, are wholly owned by Blizzard. In Warcraft III: Redorged, developers have the right to remove maps if they contain copyrighted content, and also prohibit players from duplicating maps in any way outside of Reforged.
In theory, Blizzard's new policy could lead to a churn of users who prefer to use Warcraft 3's tools to create their own levels and block hundreds of maps that go against the updated license terms. Time will tell how it will actually be.
Warcraft III: Refund
Summing up all that was said in the review of Warcraft 3: Reforged, I admit that the fruit of Blizzard's many years of work has come out far from ideal and all the rays of hatred sent in its direction from the fan community are fully deserved. Such a number of silly mistakes and general negligence of work is the last thing you expect from Blizzard, which has always been famous primarily for the high quality of its products. At the moment, Warcraft 3: Reforged looks more like an early access Steam craft than a remaster from some of the biggest development studios in the world.
Does Reforged deserve its Metacritic score? No, because the game is not devoid of good ideas, and most problems will sooner or later be corrected after numerous patches. Most likely, the user assessment was influenced by a series of controversial decisions by Blizzard, where the Warcraft 3 remaster became the last straw of patience among the fan community after the announcement of Diablo: Immortal with "you have no smartphones?" and Overwatch 2, which looks more like an addon than a full sequel.
It remains only to believe that the disastrous release of Warcraft 3: Reforged will be the last black streak in the history of modern Blizzard and the developers will prudent, if only for the sake of improving financial performance. After all, the love of the gaming community is always converted into dollars, which clearly does not hurt a company with several thousand employees.
The Topic of Article: Why they hate Warcraft 3: Reforged and what are the top 5 problems of the game.