The best story I've ever experienced from an RTS.
I came into Warcraft 3 not knowing what to expect other than it being Warcraft because I saw the WotLK trailer for WOW and thought that I had to see the story of Arthas. Now i'm not the biggest fan of RTS games and while I liked CoH and RA2 they were probably the only ones I've ever liked in my life and the problem I find with them is you eventually get to the point where you find out the most effective way to win and from then out each game plays the same. However what's weird is Blizzard have this funny way of taking a genre I don't like and... not making me love it but making me accept it and having fun playing it. I'd never of thought to play anymore action RPG's because I can't stand them but I picked up Diablo 2 and I'm having alot of fun with it. This is done to the story Blizzard creates and the characters, I don't know why Blizzard are so good at this but when it comes to a story I think they're the best.
Now Warcraft 3 has you start off as an Orc for a tutorial, which normally I wouldn't play but Blizzard, again with their genius made me feel like it was a vital part of the story and covered up the tutorial aspect very well. It felt very much like if you watched them Starcraft 2 demo's with the guy talking and telling you what everything is but at the same time showing characters and a story that you'r einterested in. You then go off to play as Arthas which is what most of the main story is about and how he becomes corrupted, though he acted alot like he was always corrupted. You then play other main characters after you tie up the Arthas story and it's basically their own stories but still all linked with a common cause and that's the Undead/infected evil people, yeah sorry I forgot their names.
I just thought the game had such a great story for an RTS and it was the first RTS I ever played that I wanted to see what happens at the end and then buy the expansion to see what then happens next in the story. The design was just so amazing and I loved how they linked all the main characters together and made you care for all of them. Before Warcraft 3 I thought that the horde were evil and battling the alliance who were trying to protect the land. However I learnt that it's more like the modern day where you have lots of different races of Humans and when they don't agree with eachother they have a War, there is no good vs evil but just a difference of opinion.
There are some things I didn't like about the game and this really comes from my dislike of the RTS genre and that was some of the gameplay elements. I don't care for base building and I don't care for having to defend my bases for 30/45 mins at a time and this happens a few times in the game. What I loved was the more RPG aspect of the game of having one main character which you can customize and a few buddies to help you on the way. I also liked finding side quests and having to help people out because it just adds some more depth. I didn't like the fog at first but then it grew on me because I realised it's too easy when you can see everything, however I wish they did it in a different way other than seeing black everywhere.
There is one last thing I didn't like and that was the graphics because I really loved the style of the CG movies but then you get into game and it's all cartoony and over the top. I would have prefered it if the game could have been styled like all those CG trailers Blizzard keeps doing and I understand you can't have graphics like that in real time and specially in a game they want everyone to play, I'm just not a fan of cartoony graphics in Warcraft. I also found the graphical scale to be really inconsistent. Like you have to enter a city and it's like your character is taller than the buildings and the city is like 4 houses.It has that Final Fantasy feel to it when you're out in the open world and I hate that because it makes for a hard time when trying to get into the story. once you're in the city it loads up and suddenly it's much bigger and I just found that abit odd like why couldn't they have shown the city to be big on the last map?
I can't comment on the multiplayer because I have noone to play it with and all the people online are going to be much better than me so I don't even want to bother and the whole battle.net signup thing just seems like effort I can't be bothered to put in.
So.... I'm not a major RTS fan and blizzard managed to suck me into their Warcraft Universe where I hadn't been that interested in before. I really liked the RPG elements of the gameplay but didn't like the RTS elements so much. I loved watching the CG movies and wish'd blizzard would put them into WOW like when you complete quests and that. I just wish'd that Blizzard would create a graphical Epic game where I can fully immerse myself in the story like say a Mass Effect or Oblivion. I'll be sure to play the expansion after I've stopped playing Left 4 dead.
I will also say that I heard Dawn of War 2 is trying to emulate what Blizzard did with Warcraft 3 so I hope they pull it off. However Warhammer games have never been great and they always have boring storylines and worlds that I can't get into. Relic is making it and they came good with their previous titles so fingers crossed.