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Warcraft 2 offers a fascinating insight into the development of the Warcraft phenomenon and also provides solid real-time strategy gameplay that remains challenging and enjoyable even now. Warcraft 2 takes many of the staples of the RTS genre, such as resource building, objectives and a wide range of unit types, and marries them with a fantasy storyline detailing the struggle between the allied forces of Man and the invading Orcs. While the plot and writing are somewhat hackneyed and overbearing, this doesn't detract from what is actually a deep and complex game. The inclusion of features such as objectives, aerial and sea-based units, and multi-player options provide the game with much of its appeal, and while the AI can be predictable at times, it is only with some real tactical thinking that players will emerge victorious. Production values are high, with cut scenes that are impressive for the time (and which stand up well even today)and in-game graphics which are colourful and full of personality. Players of modern mobile games like Clash of Clans and Backyard Monsters should make the effort to investigate Warcraft 2 and see how the RTS genre began.
Higher resolution RTS than the original, still highly playable
Warcraft 2 can still be played without issues. The higher resolution graphics allow one to better sink into the game, and also, to better recognize the unit types that are included. Still, Warcraft 2 is a 2D, isometric, real time strategy that has both the charm as well as some of the flaws of the original. For instance, from a modern perspective, some of the orc units might seem to move a bit too slow around, an aspect that was corrected later on. But even so, the Blizzard balance obsession is still visible, though not to the extent that Star Craft did. At any rate, the game manages to squeeze in lots of interesting missions, and it has a good flow, combining a simple but sturdy economic and developmental stage with skirmishes that are just as great, as well. So, while the inkling of Blizzard's later, 3D engine Warcraft strategy is there, this is still not the modern game you'd expect, but for those not too picky, it manages to remain highly playable still. All you need to consider is how much you can still stomach the old school feel and the rather lenient action.