If you’re a sucker for the old-school days of PC gaming or Warcraft, the upcoming Warcraft 3 remake may tickle your nostalgia. The company originally announced Warcraft 3: Reforged in 2018 as part of Activision Blizzard’s annual Blizzcon to warm reception. After a year without a proper release date, Blizzard finally shared one, and it’s pretty right: January 28, 2020.
Blizzard promised a 2019 release, though January 2020 isn’t a terribly bad miss. The remake has not only the original campaign, Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos, but also The Frozen Throne, the game’s popular and only expansion.
At this year’s Blizzcon, Blizzard announced some changes for the remake. We know at this point that the game is mostly keeping its visual overhaul. But while Blizzard promised English voice acting do-overs, it opted to keep most of the original lines instead. The change received mixed feedback in the community; the original is deemed to be classic, but a do-over never hurt anyone. (Dual tracks?)
Other changes are a little more dramatic. Blizzard revoked plans to re-align lore with modern World of Warcraft content. Plus, remade cinematic cutscenes won’t show up in the mix — minus the one already shown at Blizzcon 2018. Are these changes for better or worse? Depends on what you expected out of the remake, I guess.
Warcraft 3 had quite a few reasons to retain its place in gaming history and earn a remake. Warcraft was already a pretty legendary series. However, WC3 was the last step in the Warcraft franchise before Blizzard essentially pushed all of it into the MMORPG legend Warcraft. Which is to say, since then, we haven’t really seen a Warcraft single-player game since.
Just as important, though, was the modding community. Custom games in Warcraft 3 let game designers dream up imaginative single- and multiplayer experiences. At the time of the announcement, Blizzard brought modders from the original WC3‘s custom games community in to preview the new Warcraft 3 engine’s offerings. Reforged allegedly will support all custom mods.
And a Dota 2 player, it’s obligatory I point out that this was the original proving grounds of the original modern ARTS, Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars. (That means “action real-time strategy,” the original name for the genre before Riot called it “MOBA.” Both names are bad.)
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The WC3 remake also thankfully comes out before the mess of early 2020 releases. February 2020 is going to be a breathing point for gaming fans. That is, unless you’re planning on analyzing every detail of Kingdom Hearts 3: Re:Mind, or just aren’t that great at platformers and will keep failing at Ori and the WIll of the Wisps. So, you’ve got a bit of time to grind out the original campaigns and try a few mods.
All this comes with the reminder that in 2018, Blizzard got $221 million in tax credits because it could afford to overpay their taxes in 2017, and then it laid off over 800 people. Fuck Activision Blizzard!
Disclaimer: Fanbyte is owned by Tencent, which has partial ownership of Activision Blizzard. But we have editorial independence (which is to say “we don’t talk to our estranged adopted family”) so Victoria can keep the editorial whiplash as seen above.