Every great once in a while, thereís a game that doesnít do anything new or incredibly inventive but manages to do everything right. World of Warcraft is this game. Thanks to the fine people at Blizzard and my friend/editor Jakub, I havenít lost this much sleep in quite some time.
Blizzard has pulled off a rather perfect coup by taking the formula that has made games like EverQuest and Anarchy Online so popular and refining it down to itís most simple form. The down time is minimal and the action is often quite furious. What it all comes down to is that this game is, for lack of a better word, fun. Yes, fun is a dubious word to use in the magical, make-believe art of game reviewing, but there it is. I dropped the fun bomb. Itís very blatant and I make no apologies. This game is crazy fun. And there are several justifications for this statement.
Blizzard owns several very successful game franchises. Anyone that plays games has more than likely heard of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. The communities around these games are unbelievably large and for a very good reason: Blizzard releases high quality work. Along with the basic quality of their games, the WarCraft series also has a deep back story with plenty of possible cool locations to explore. Playing through any of the WarCrafts, youíll come upon plenty of places that stand out and would make good landmarks in an RPG. Thereís something to be said for seeing many of the locations in a 3D world. One of the real joys of playing a MMO is the exploration and discovery, which World of Warcraft offers in spades.
The clincher, though, is the fact that Blizzard puts a ton of work and quality control into all of their games. While the constant delays may drive fans nuts, there's no denying that a first impression lasts a lifetime, especially with a pay-to-play MMO. Blizzard's recent server capacity problems only highlight this fact.
So, letís get down to it. World of Warcraft is a MMO. If you didnít know that already, maybe you shouldnít be reading this. Just in case some of you have been out of the loop, a MMO is a Massively Multiplayer Online Game that is often fitted with a role playing theme. World of Warcraft is just that. Itís a RPG based in the WarCraft universe that allows you the option of playing either the Horde or the Alliance.