December 2019 Retro Article: Warcraft 2 (PC)
Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft 2 is one of my favorite real time strategy games of all time. This, along with Command and Conquer (which I got the same day as this game), helped get me into the real time strategy genre. While there are other real time strategy games that have done the genre better, I still hold this game in high regard.
Warcraft 2 picks up shortly after Warcraft 1. Stormwind is destroyed by the Horde and they are moving onto the Human kingdom of Lordaeron next. This time around both sides have new allies and new naval units. The story on both sides was interesting and kept me engaged. The expansion continues the story from the main game and added in some new environments.
The gameplay is pretty straight forward for any RTS game. You build your base, gather resources, build an army and destroy your foes. How you go about that is up to you; if you want to send twenty archers after your opponent you can do that. Finding the best strategy for each game and opponent helped make this game interesting and fun. While the gameplay and combat hold up today, I miss some of the modern conveniences like queuing up production and waypoints.
I think the game still looks and sounds great. I always liked the bright, cartoonish graphics the game used. While the music is not the most memorable, the music used for the title screen is something I always remember. I'm not sure if the multiplayer still holds up, I never was big into it. My brother did go online a lot with his friends and he often had fun with it.
Warcraft 2 went on the spawn another RTS game in the series, Warcraft 3 along with another expansion. More importantly after that the series went on to create World of Warcraft, an MMO that is still going fifteen years after it started and has pushed the story into many new directions. There are also books and comics based on the franchise. While this was not the first game in the series, it was the one that pushed the series and genre to new heights.