Game | PC | $39.99
Rating: DIG IT!
Back in 2004, Blizzard Entertainment released its massively-multiplayer online behemoth of a game, “World of Warcraft.” Six years later, the poster child of online gaming is still going strong with over 12 million active subscribers. Capitalizing on the critical and commercial success of the game’s first two expansion packs, Blizzard released a third expansion entitled “Cataclysm” earlier this month. With this expansion, things are a little different.
The plot of “Cataclysm” revolves around a colossal black dragon known as Deathwing, a creature more powerful than anything players have seen in the game thus far. After spending years recovering from his defeat in “Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness,” Deathwing stirs once again, and his awakening will shake the world of Azeroth to its very core.
As with each of the previous expansions, Blizzard has added a significant amount of new content for WoW veterans. The maximum level cap has been raised from 80 to 85, and several entirely new areas of Azeroth have been created to challenge high-level players. In addition, two new races are now available to play: the crafty Goblins have taken up arms with the Horde, while the werewolf-like Worgen will be joining the Alliance.
The biggest difference in “Cataclysm” are the sweeping changes made to many of the oldest areas of Azeroth. The continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms — areas that have remained mostly untouched since the 2004 release of the original “World of Warcraft” — have been torn asunder in Deathwing’s wake. Fissures split the earth, desert canyons are flooded, and entire towns are laid to waste. The result is a fresh feel to some old and rather dull content.
These changes are permanent, and much of the old content is gone forever; but in the end “World of Warcraft” is a better game because of it. Blizzard has learned a lot in the past six years, and the redesigned content makes sure that their players, old and new alike, can fully appreciate the best the game has to offer.