WarCraft: Orcs and Humans

WarCraft: Orcs and Humans
4
Platforms: PC, Mac, PC-98
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Genres: Strategy / Real-Time Strategy
Release Date: February, 1994
Game Modes: Singleplayer / Multiplayer

10This is where it all started. All of those World of Warcraft MMOs, books, comics, movie and one failed adventure game can all trace their lineage back to the glory days of Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans, an action-strategy Dune II clone. Playing as either Orcs or Humans, you begin each mission with an unexplored map and a few buildings. You must amass resources, expand your base, train units and throw them all against the enemy. There’s also the occasional non-production mission that plays like a dungeon crawl.

Most missions start out only with a City Hall that trains workers, who gather gold and lumber and build other structures, a barracks for training swordsmen, and farms that increase your population limit. But as you progress through the game’s 24 scenarios, things get more interesting. Soon you’ll be building lumber mills, which makes it possible to train archers or spearmen. A temple trains clerics or orcish necromancers, a blacksmith’s shop for upgrading armor and weapons, or a stable for cavalry. Typical to games of this kind, the early campaign missions start out with a constrained tech tree, but new buildings, units and upgrades get continually unlocked as you progress, incrementally upping the complexity of the game.

5The age of the game does show early and often. The playing area is reasonably large, so you get a good view of what’s going on, but you can unfortunately only select up to 4 units at a time, making large raids a nightmare. The AI for the units is also garbage on both sides and require a lot of guiding. Control groups are non-existent. The entire thing is just so damn hard to control. Still, we’re talking about a very old game, and for all it’s worth, it had the right stuff at the time to make it a classic.


System Requirements: 386/25 MHz, 4 MB RAM, DOS

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One Comment

  1. Viktor says:

    The game is literally unplayable if you only play it with a mouse. Like Doom, it starts to shine exponentially once you use a combination of keyboard and mouse.

    I always loved the game but thought it was unfair and kinda meh after level 5 or so up unitl 2015 when I discovered by accident that you can also use the keyboard. After that I never looked back and ever so often play a random map(usually 5 or higher) and see how fast I can beat it.

    The designers should have said thrice to use a keyboard in conjunction with the mouse to get the most out of the game! The limit of a 4 bunch was a design choice to not make it so passive and just have troops plowing away – due to this one can chance the outcome of a battle by being skilled and reacting appropriately during a battle – especially when a deadly catapult’s looming nearby.

    This game is my second favorite after DoomII – simply a beautiful little gem which is hilarious and has a very endearing art style that the series abandoned due to, at the time, technical improvements. It really sucks that there’s no official mission pack with maybe one or two new “player classes”.

    The followup, Warcraft II, was a GREAT game, but after playing a few mission it started to get annoying as it doesn’t feature the purist approach this one did. I also enjoyed the more “cinematic” part III, but it was really part II which made Warcraft feel like a cheesy franchise instead of a timeless classic.

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