|What the game is
This is the sequel to the very popular Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. After the struggle has ended, both armies move to a new continent and continue their war. You control either of the armies in an attempt to defeat your opponent and claim control of Azereoth. This is a revamped Warcraft with some nice new additions, and is well worth a look.
The interface is nicely done, being almost totally controlled from the mouse. Using both buttons on the mouse, the warriors' actions can be controlled without actually using the game's control panel. Improvements over the previous Warcraft include such things as: dragging a box around a group and controlling them without using the keyboard, a stand-your-ground option that makes your fighters stand in one spot and defend themselves when attacked, the ability to choose to attack or avoid combat while moving to a location, and 2-point patrols for your men (or orcs).
Also, there are controls which allow you to increase or decrease the speed of the game - very nice when you have many troops running all over the map and want to make sure they are doing the right thing. Game controls also let you adjust mouse and screen scroll along with sound and speech.
Graphically, this game is pretty good. Game play is done in SVGA with a large amount of detail for such small characters (until you get to ogres and knights). Buildings actually have snow on them and the rivers are covered in ice during the winter fights. The cut scenes are nicely rendered (just a bit grainy), but the stills between scenes are very clean. At no point did I encounter lag due to graphics activity.
The sound in this game is also very well done. Background music is run off the CD and can really enhance the mood and intensity of a fight. Combat can be heard anywhere on the map, but is much louder if it is actually on screen; a nice alarm if you have sentries out and about. The best thing about the audio, like its predecessor's, is that each of the troop types has its own set of responses to say when you select them and some of them are hilarious.
Playability of this game is very high; it definitely keeps you on your toes. Usually each scenario starts out slowly as you make the buildings necessary to create your troops, but once the action starts it doesn't stop until you are reading the scores afterward. This game also gives you the option of playing over a network, null modem cable or modem so that you can challenge your friends and make it really interesting.
The Bottom Line: