Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a comprehensive review of World of Warcraft. The game is quite user-friendly, mechanically speaking, and so I don’t find it necessary to discuss that too much, especially since this is a game where the mechanics are constantly changing, since the game has almost weekly updates. This is simply meant to be a basic review of the game and its largest components, meant for those who might be interested in trying it out.
I remember when World of Warcraft first came out (which, in case you were wondering, does make me kind of old). At first, I had no interest in playing the game. I’m not much for gaming experiences that revolve around multiplayer, and that is one of the obvious selling points of World of Warcraft. Still, when I finally did try it, it was hard to not get hooked. Blizzard has done a lot of things right with this game, which is why it’s been around for almost a decade.
The first thing you’ll probably notice about World of Warcraft is that it looks great. Every environment is bright and colorful, and there are lots of people milling around, going about their everyday lives, which makes the world feel much more real and active than it really is. Character creation features a variety of races with unique faces and hairstyles, and equipment drops frequently, so the look of your character is constantly changing. The artistic style of this game is a big part of its appeal, and makes progressing to each new area and finding new equipment very enjoyable.
In addition to the artistry, World of Warcraft has a story rich in lore, although most of that is found off the beaten path in the game, either through reading books or talking to other characters. A lot can also be found outside the game in novels and, of course, the previous games in the Warcraft series. Unfortunately, your character falls into the role of generic hero meant to save the world, which is basically a necessity in an MMORPG like this. Still, there are lots of individual questlines with great stories, so that makes up for this a bit.
To me, the two biggest problems with World of Warcraft are the repetitive nature of the quests and the generally crappy quality of the players. The former is simply something that happens when you have a game this big – the quests all become go kill ten of these, go collect ten of these, take this to this character in another city, and it just gets a little tiresome. The latter isn’t really Blizzard’s fault. As far as I can tell, they’re pretty good about policing inappropriate player behavior, but that can only go so far in a game where you’re required to group with other players to complete certain content. One of my biggest frustrations playing the game was ending up in groups with people who weren’t willing to work with the group and follow instructions to get through a dungeon, or end up in a group with people who did basically nothing and stole all the loot, or having to group with people who were just mean for no good reason. I game to have a good time, and there would be times when I would play for hours and not have any fun at all.
That being said, there is still a lot of content available in World of Warcraft that doesn’t have to be completed in a group, and it’s a good value if you’re a gamer on a budget, since it’s only $15 a month after buying the initial game. If you’re an MMO fan or you’re looking for a game to keep you occupied for a long time, this could be right up your alley.