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Quick Look: Warcraft III: Reforged

So many years later and Arthas is still making the same mistakes.

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Jan. 31 2020

Cast: Brad, Ben

Posted by: Jan

In This Episode:

Warcraft III: Reforged

60 Comments

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cornfed40

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that grass at the beginning sure looks nice

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Decaped

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Glad to see this gets the lambasting it deserves. Blizzard makes mediocre games now. For whatever reason, they just don't hold themselves to the quality and polish that they used to.

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steveurkel

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steveurkel  Online

A flawless port from the masters themselves who can do no wrong, blizzard.

I'm glad they fixed all the things people didn't like about warcraft 3 and made a feature complete remaster.

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Brazzle

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That scene with Malganis isn't new either.

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NoelVeiga

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Edited By NoelVeiga

Look, I'm not saying you can't be disappointed, but that stuff does NOT look like the original. This is what Arthas looked like in the original, according to giant bomb dot com.

No Caption Provided

I don't feel about this very strongly. I am already not a fan of Warcraft III as it is (and no, Ben, hero units suck and everything they led to sucks also and screw MOBAs), but sometimes you have to be... you know, cautious about letting your memories of an old thing go unchecked when evaluating something like this in public.

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Brazzle

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Ben is thinking of Uther Party btw, there were a couple other clones of it.

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Brazzle

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Warcraft 3 is probably my second or third favourite game of all time, I wish this was getting better reviews.

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Genessee

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Somewhere, at Konami, people are sighing in relief while thinking of Silent Hills.

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I_Am_A_Robot

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Warcraft 3 Reforged: "It's not like it's not playable"

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arcadefire

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@decaped said:

Glad to see this gets the lambasting it deserves. Blizzard makes mediocre games now. For whatever reason, they just don't hold themselves to the quality and polish that they used to.

Blizzard isn't the only company doing this but sure is the only one getting vilified for it.

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steveurkel

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steveurkel  Online

Blizzard, gimme a game where Nova, Jaina, and Valla (the 3 best blizzard characters) team up to fight monsters, aliens, and demons.

I'm sure a lot of people are worried but this doesnt have me worry about diablo 4 at all. It just shows they are prioritizing what's important and that is diablo 4. They'll patch all this anyways and people will forget about it when they get a 5 dollar rebate on the next wow plushy or whatever.

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Brad

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Brad  Staff

@noelveiga: I guess I forgot the part where we said absolutely nothing was changed in this release, although I do remember the part where we zoomed in on the character models to point out that they look better.

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Dan_CiTi

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Edited By Dan_CiTi

@noelveiga: Not gonna lie, that old one looks dingy, badly proportioned, and awkward; the new version looks worlds better.

And I never understood the hub-ub around hero units. They were just another mechanic in the game, just another thing to use that had unique trait and usage. When the unit was cool, it was fun. That being said I've never touched Warcraft 2 at all and probably never will (it was really old and didn't seem all that special by the time I was aware of it), so that addition to the series never seemed major to me.

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ayopch

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Edited By ayopch

@decaped: The reason is Activision's increased influence in the last few years.

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limond

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@arcadefire: I can't speak for others but for me it's because Blizzard used to be the "We will release it when it's ready." They took the time to put out amazing games and they supported them for years. Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty being the last game they put out that had that craftsman ship.

With every release since then Blizzard has slowly eroded away the years of trust and loyalty that they built up putting out those high quality games. They are still trying to ride those coattails from 10-25 years ago. Games for Blizzard are now about player retention and micro transactions. The quality of the gameplay and a good product are no longer the forefront in their mind.

From what they promised at the reveal of WC3 Reforged to today it is blatant that this was killed in a board room "this project will take longer then expected or cost more then expected and we can't earn it back on in-game purchases so just push it out."

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Onemanarmyy

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Edited By Onemanarmyy

The thing people are really annoyed by is that they rolled both versions into one, which means that it comes with all the quirks of the new battle.net. The old client is gone. No cross-region play. community fixes for the old client don't work anymore. The ranked ladder system is gone. The profile with your winrates is gone. Automated Tournaments are gone. Clan support is gone. If you don't own reforged, you're still downloading a 30 GB client to play a worse version than the game you played a few decades ago on the 700MB client. Personally i'm stuck at the startmenu with an error and a greyed out box that prevents me from entering my CD-key after a 30 GB download.

The one upside is that it looks quite nice and enough people are giving it a go so i'll get to see some good warcraft 3 on twitch. It's just sad to see that such an important game gets this treatment while Microsoft nailed their version of Age of Empires 2 so well.

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thebluefunk

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I don't feel about this very strongly.

(and no, Ben, hero units suck and everything they led to sucks also and screw MOBAs)

You're a strange and insipid little man. Get over yourself.

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Do_The_Manta_Ray

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@brad: I rewatched the original cutscene where Arthas obtains Frostmourne, and Muradin dies. In said version, it's very heavily implied that Arthas sacrificed Muradin in order to get said power. It's the first "price" he has to pay for that power.

The dialogue, and the effects, aren't particularly different from this version of the game, but the framing, camera-work and mood couldn't be more different.

It almost feels like whoever made the cutscene didn't understand the original intent of the scene. Which is the weirdest nail in that coffin.

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Onemanarmyy

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Edited By Onemanarmyy

Yeah.. i just watched both versions of the frostmourne cutscene and in the original warcraft it's very clear when magical artifacts are invoked. The weapon lifted, the magical glistening on it and all. In the newer version it looks like Arthas just talks at the sword and only really interacts with it at the last moment when he wants to pick it up. I don't like that.

And when you look at Muradin's death, i don't see why on earth you would change it from the sword breaking out of the ice, and a shard straight up murking Muradin. In Reforged, the sword splashes a few magical blue dots at muradin to make him fall over. It's pretty clear which one is more dramatic and fitting for a good character turning bad and killing a major character off. Cutscene starts at 3:39, for some reason the timestamp ain't working properly :/

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noblenerf

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pls get Frostmourne

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noblenerf

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thank you

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TurtlesAWD

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Edited By TurtlesAWD

I think it's worth saying that Brad's "it's not like it's unplayable" does indicate this is at a better state than what the preperatory patches did to the original game some months ago, which left multiple campaign levels unplayable.

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Coldhands0802

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I bought it to replay the campaigns with new graphics (and because I've long since lost my old disks), so Reforged is OK. I would like Blizzard to patch in more though. The cutscenes, while "authentic" just look old, and the inability to remap your keys without getting into a config file sucks.

From what I can tell, the new cutscenes and UI were shouted down by WC3 purists after the initial reveal, so Blizzard backed off. Which is a shame.

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confideration

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This was a guaranteed purchase for me only because of my fond memories of the original game.

- The install size is unjustified

- The 'reforged' graphics claim feels like a troll (pun intended)

- I'm happy that this is included in a launcher that I actually have other games on

- I want Blizzard to know that this isn't what we expect from the 'when it's done' mantra. They could have cancelled it and I would have been fine with it. Feels like a cash grab and I bought in.

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Fonzinator

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Around the 20 min mark you guys commented on the story being changed. Blizzard originally did announce that the story would be changed to fit WoW, but reversed that call after fan outrage online. That was announced back in November 19'. So the story NOT being changed is intentional. As for the other issues... well...

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deactivated-5e851fc84effd

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looks about how i expected

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RikiGuitarist

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@decaped said:

Glad to see this gets the lambasting it deserves. Blizzard makes mediocre games now. For whatever reason, they just don't hold themselves to the quality and polish that they used to.

Blizzard isn't the only company doing this but sure is the only one getting vilified for it.

That's false.

Bethesda has been recently vilified for Fallout 76. BioWare has been vilified for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Ubisoft has been vilified for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. Yes people were disappointed in Wildlands, but a lot of people enjoyed it, including Jeff. Most of those people ended up hating Breakpoint.

Kojima Productions got a lot of flak from fans due to Death Stranding. And Valve got some backlash for Artifact.

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atomicfuzzbox

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Honestly I was so excited for this port, bought it without checking out reviews and kind of regret it. I'm getting all kinds of weird glitches, like creep models not loading for skirmish matches, and all kinds of lag. My rig is *semi* decent, it shouldn't be chugging this much. I hope they patch it up soon because I was genuinely looking forward to replaying this one.

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Edited By puppymehard

Warcraft 3 is my favorite game of all time. I played it religiously from release up until like... 2009. I am beyond disappointed at how WC3 Reforged turned out. But I was also pretty underwhelmed at their original reveal trailer back in 2018.

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OtherJZee

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"Micromanaging heroes is what makes this game fun!" (Immediately tabs past Muradin who needs to be leveled up) I'm sorry, I couldn't help it.

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Deadstar

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Edited By Deadstar

Blizzard is trash now. I hope they sell off their ip. What a slap in the face. This should have been so much better. Warcraft 3 is one of the best games of all time.

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reversegamelan

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If Brad doesn't even use the word "rudimentary" it must be really bad.

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yabbering_yeti

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Edited By yabbering_yeti

Hey, those models looks much better than the original. The models were plain terrible in terms of polygon count and texturing in WC3, even for the time. It's definitely the one element that I can say is a great improvement... Perhaps people just forgot how bad they looked?

Other than the unit and building quality mesh and texture increase, I'm just not seeing a lot else other than texture updates. It looks like nice models running around an old looking low-poly map with outdated lighting and effects, including a questionable lack of shaders on... well, everything.

It feels like the game needed a higher budget and a larger scope for improvements.

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NoelVeiga

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@brad said:

@noelveiga: I guess I forgot the part where we said absolutely nothing was changed in this release, although I do remember the part where we zoomed in on the character models to point out that they look better.

Oh, go on, really? The literal quote I was reacting to is:

"So once I got in here and started playing it I was like "this looks... quite a bit like I remember."

"This looks like Warcraft III"

"Yeah. I mean, side by side, if you look at it, you know, there are higher... higher textures"

"The stone on the building probably looks a little better. The armor..."

"Obviously you can see Arthas has a new design here, if you remember the dopey face he used to have". They redid the character portraits and stuff, but I don't think I need to relitigate all the stuff going on with Reddit and so forth."

So yeah, that implies that maybe they tweaked a thing here and there but the game still looks largely like the original. Which it does not. Every asset is revised. There are visual features missing and they didn't redo all the cutscenes as they had said they would, but by "not relitigating it" you DID say in so many words that this doesn't seem like a full remake, which is not quite true.

I get it, it's hard to be funny, compelling and informative all at once in a live, off-the-top-of-your-head one take thing like this, but Ben literally goes "this looks like Warcraft III", which this does not at all. Considering how unreasonable angry gaming fans can get with this sort of stuff I don't like relying on "you absolutely obviously already know and understand the fan gripes about this game on Reddit, so I'm just gonna joke about it in ways that are not accurate and keep going".

And hey, I obviously like you guys and your stuff, I just don't think you did this one justice by coming out of the gate with a joking, inaccurate statement and then reluctantly pointing out the times after that point when it turns out that they did redo a bunch of scenes and all the visual assets. I just don't think it's the right approach.

Respectfully, dudes. I think there's a big relevant conversation here about how bound you are to a target once you put it out there and about what happens if you just aren't gonna hit that target. Should they have cancelled it instead? Maybe. I'm not sure. It's complicated. Should you buy this? Maybe. Just make sure you check out what you're actually getting before. Is it good? Dunno. Probably depends on what you wanna do with it. I just don't think you guys engaged with what's actually going on particularly well in this, being perfectly honest.

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NoelVeiga

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@dan_citi said:

@noelveiga: Not gonna lie, that old one looks dingy, badly proportioned, and awkward; the new version looks worlds better.

And I never understood the hub-ub around hero units. They were just another mechanic in the game, just another thing to use that had unique trait and usage. When the unit was cool, it was fun. That being said I've never touched Warcraft 2 at all and probably never will (it was really old and didn't seem all that special by the time I was aware of it), so that addition to the series never seemed major to me.

Well, here's the thing, the original is a very early 3D RTS and to their credit they avoided the mistakes of many other early 3D RTSs by still managing to give each unit a super recognizable silhouette...

...from the top.

It all goes like this with this game. They couldn't do as many units as Starcraft because of the 3D thing, and the camera needed to be up close, so they pulled it all back into the micro, which is why there are hero units and all the special abilities and stuff. Helps them keep the hardcore, high-APM gameplay from Starcraft without being able to throw hundreds of zerglings onscreen.

And even before the downgrade I thought it was super weird to try to give everyone realistic faces, because man, the visual outlines in this thing are so over the top, just to try to make units distinct. They look cartoony *for a reason*. Arthas' tiny remake head and blocky hair were already like that on the "good" trailers, and it was probably already a bad idea there.

I don't know what they should have done to make this right, all I'm saying is they definitely didn't just upres the old assets and call it a day.

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Spazoid

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Brad needs to explore his buildings more for the UMS games. He could have revived his hero in Footmen Frenzy at his Barracks.

I guess he hasn't played much UMS.

War Stomp was 99% better than Thunder Clap since it stunned units instead of slowing them down.

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Blister

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Blizzard still sore about DOTA

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winsol

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@onemanarmyy: If I had to guess, it would be because Muradin comes back in wrath of the lich king so they wanted to make it more plausible for him to survive. Rather than what was in the original with him getting speared by a chuck of ice. Not trying to justify it I should say, just my interpretation of why they would ruin the cutscene.

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ltcolumbo

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@deadstar: “Blizzard is trash now. I hope they sell off their ip. What a slap in the face. This should have been so much better. Warcraft 3 is one of the best games of all time.“

It’s the 4th best Warcraft game.

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Edited By DasaKamov

@noelveiga: The game getting a spit-shine does not necessarily invalidate the GB crew's claim that the graphics look the same. I get that maybe the Blizzard team wanted to make the game have the same artistic style that OG War3 did, but then you look at Starcraft 2...

The "remastering", at least visually, looks like they took the original game from 2002 and gave it a 2012 paintjob rather than a 2020-quality overhaul.

Also, pretty shitty of Blizzard to say, "we own any modifications you make and we have the right to make money off the work of modders". That signals the death of that studio, in my eyes.

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TheBorree

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@noelveiga: I think the point they were making is that it looks like what they remember WC3 looking like, not what it actually looked like, which is always way worse. Thats exactly my first reaction when I saw it.

Of course this game looks better than the original, my watch has games with better graphics than OG WC3. To me the bummer is that, better or not, this simply doesn't look good at all...Lighting, textures, models, animation, particle effects, UI...ugh. Makes it feel like they really tried saving money on this

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AuspexAO

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@arcadefire: I mean...no. Bioware, Bethesda, even Square Enix have taken quite a pounding in the press. Don't worry, those hacks at Blizzard are in good company.

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Edited By Onemanarmyy

@winsol

Ah thanks for bringing that up. Never played WOW so that didn't occur to me.

Still, i'd prefer the icerock because 1. it looks more dramatic and life-threatening 2. It makes the sword look more evil, Arthas has to sacrifice a life to wield it and 3. It wouldn't be too hard to believe that a chunk of ice gravely wounded Muradin but that he managed to survive none the less. This series has magic and healing spells. Healing potions, Invulnerability potions! They could have their cake & eat it in this case. This scene in warcraft 3 can keep the iceshard + Muradin can survive it without it being a plothole.

I find it hard to imagine anyone preferring how Muradin just kinda tips over after getting some particles sprinkled on him. It doesn't look all that more lifethreatening than a polymorph spell or something. But apparently the devteam preferred this. Oh well. I appreciate the information!

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DrM2theJ

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I'm baffled by people defending this. Essentially all Blizzard did was give it a graphical update which, honestly, is the least they could have done. For $40? That's absurd.

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Edited By NoelVeiga

@theborree: @dasakamov: Just so we're clear, I'm perfectly fine with all those criticisms and sympathise with anybody who is disappointed by this thing. What threw me for a loop was misrepresenting what is actually in the game (whatever they meant, they said what they said, and it's not correct), and then deferrig to Reddit to actually explain why people would be pissed with this.

It's not a huge deal when it's just a matter of taste. Even if you say something factually incorrect about a game when explaining why you just don't enjoy it that's fine, your experience is your experience. However, in a thing like this, where a bunch of people are super angry in ways that aren't always super rational, and with the context of how situations like that have gone in the past, I wish they had taken it from a different angle.

Does that seem fair?

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ToxicAntidote

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@winsol said:

@onemanarmyy: If I had to guess, it would be because Muradin comes back in wrath of the lich king so they wanted to make it more plausible for him to survive. Rather than what was in the original with him getting speared by a chuck of ice. Not trying to justify it I should say, just my interpretation of why they would ruin the cutscene.

It's a fantasy world filled with all kinds of magic which they can use to justify bringing back an old character. It definitely feels like they made changes aimed towards the WoW audience more so than the WC3 audience.

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PraiseDaSun

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Gotta say, those old up-resed cinematics still look as cool as when they first came out. Arthas "succeeding" his father was my favourite right behind Grom killing the demon lord.

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pmurph03

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Ah the classic move of joining a multiplayer game, and killing your teammates until they leave.

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winsol

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@winsol said:

@onemanarmyy: If I had to guess, it would be because Muradin comes back in wrath of the lich king so they wanted to make it more plausible for him to survive. Rather than what was in the original with him getting speared by a chuck of ice. Not trying to justify it I should say, just my interpretation of why they would ruin the cutscene.

It's a fantasy world filled with all kinds of magic which they can use to justify bringing back an old character. It definitely feels like they made changes aimed towards the WoW audience more so than the WC3 audience.

It could have been worse. They were talking about retconning a lot of the story and maps to make them more inline with wow until the community told them they'd prefer it to be as it was.

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ImmortalSaiyan

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I've never played this game but I was curious to get the story and see what lead up to wow classic. Its a shame they never even updated the story at all, or barely anything for that matter. I was looking forward to how they would change it to line up more with wow as well but hearing they totally abonded that idea is dissapointing. I'd rather just play a rerelease of the original as it was than this.