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World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King review

More of the same, which will satisfy most die-hard grinders and raiders

Unlike your average battleground, Wintergrasp rewards coordination and smaller groups protecting siege weapons, weakening walls, or baiting groups of players into the path of one of the long-range siege weapons’ guns. It’s important to realize that you can’t really win Wintergrasp reliably without playing as a team – have-a-go heroes on their lonesome find themselves torn to shreds, even at 80. No matter how many hours you’ve denied your spouse or your work life, you’re not going to win in a fistfight with a Demolisher.

This is a refreshing take on PvP, but disappointingly closed-off for the average player. Many will (reasonably) assume that this is a counterpoint to the PvP-centric Warhammer Online, only to find that out of the box they’re not going to be able to travel there – especially if they don’t even have a flying mount to begin with. What could have been a drop-in, drop-out PvP war zone is now a fun little club for the elite to hang out at – which is, now especially, not what it should be in the face of what Mythic has to offer.

Wintergrasp isn’t the only bizarre geographical choice that Blizzard made with Northrend. Before release, it was stated many times that the continent wouldn’t be made up predominantly of icy caverns and different kinds of yeti. While this is certainly the case, much of the continent feels put together seemingly at random. Lush plains roll into barren wastelands that in turn roll into Scourge-infested terrain that then subsequently rolls back into icy expanses.

The Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord are the worst examples, and feel rather like eight or nine zones stuck together with varying degrees of success, but much of Northrend lacks coherent artistic direction. Once you leave the loving arms of the Tundra and the Fjord (which takes far too long, in comparison to the transition between Zangarmarsh and Hellfire in The Burning Crusade), progression becomes a little more interesting, but it lacks a vigorous, adventure-like buzz. It’s more of a stroll through a series of well thought-out ideas that aren’t held together as well as they should be.

More Info

GenreRole Playing

There is little we could say to stop you from playing this if you're already an addict, but it gives you all you could want from a new expansion, plus Death Knights.

Franchise nameWarcraft
UK franchise nameWarcraft
US censor ratingTeen
Alternative namesWoW:WotLK
Release date13 November 2008 (US), 13 November 2008 (UK)