Warcraft II Logo
by Azoloth in
Classic Gamer Corner Review

Azeroth fell in the first war following the Orc Campaign in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Now in Warcraft II the Orcs have turned their eyes upon the Kingdom of Lordaeron. The second war begins in earnest and sweeps across the land. The Orcs begin to make headway against the armies of Lordaeron, can you as the battle commander turn the tide of battle against them? Or if you are for the Horde, can you march your armies up to the very greats of the great capital of Lordaeron as you did in the first war?

Then venture through the Dark Portal. See the shattered land the Orcs have come from and what remains. Can you prevent the new world from succumbing to the same fate as the old? What are you willing to sacrifice to make that happen?

This game is number 10 on my top 10 favorite games list

Sargon’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Warcraft II Logo

Game Play:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Story:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Visuals:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Audio:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
User Interface:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Buy on Good Old Games

Warcraft 2 Rating 5.0

Warcraft 2 is probably the easiest game review I will do. I have been a fan of Warcraft since Warcraft: Orc vs Humans was released. In fact it was one of the first games on CD I ever purchased. We had a fire at my parents house when I was younger, it really sucked. I went from playing text based RPG’s and MUDs every day to having to live at my Grandmother’s house with my parents with no computer.

As soon as the house was rebuilt some of the money was put towards purchasing me a new computer. My brother took me to Best Buy and I had enough money to get several games. I picked Diablo and Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans. The game was already several years old by then but I fell in love with it.

When Warcraft II came out I was instantly hooked on it. While the game itself was good, and the story solid, it was my first real online multi-player game. Sure I had played some Diablo online, however, it was not like the experience of playing Warcraft II online. I joined a clan called AKC (Ass Kickin Clan) and specializes in playing fast and free games. I also had my best friend in highschool hooked with me. We would often play into the night pulling 12 hour game play sessions on dial up internet.

Fast and Free games let you build anything instantly. I could tell you stories about games where we got trapped and I had to tunnel behind enemy lines to win, or the one where I caught someone cheating because he upgraded his attack +1 more than was possible, so I cheated harder and beat him. However, this is not the time and place to tell those stories. Lets get to that review.

Game Play 5.0

The Game Play in Warcraft II was spectacular. It was so much more advanced that Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans, or any other RTS I had played before to be honest. I was able to spend hours battling computer controlled monsters and learning how each unit worked. I played through both the Human and Orc campaigns.

While the single player version was fun, what really made this game shine was its multiplayer component. I had to play on dial up as many people did back then. This game hardly ever lagged, and almost never disconnected as long as my internet did not disconnect. We would play for 12+ hours at a time it seems. Playing against other human players was the best feeling in the world. The ability to make custom maps and have them do anything you could imagine was also a huge plus. I grew tired of gathering resources and just wanted to fight. Hence my mentioned love of fast and free maps. The power they gave us to tweak and play with these maps was epic.

I remember I played so much I would close my eyes and have the Tetris Effect from this game. I would just see the shapes and characters in the game as I closed my eyes, I found this most enjoyable as I loved the game so much.

The game offered so many different types of combat. You could fight air, land, and sea battles. I will say land and sea were probably my two favorite types of battles. However, I never felt the sea battles worked as well in multiplayer as the land battles did. The air battles were interesting, however, just like in World of Warcraft there were never able to get aerial combat to feel as good as land based combat.

Story 5.0

Warcraft II CutsceneThe story was great. It picked right up where Warcraft Orcs vs Humans left off. I was disappointed to know the humans I had been rooting for in the first game lost. However, I was ready to avenge them. I jumped right in and played through both the human and orc campaigns. I wanted to see exactly what each side would go through this time. Now so many years have passed I have thought about doing playthroughs of the games to showcase each battle and how it came out in Warcraft lore in order. You cannot just play one campaign or the other to see this. If you follow closely in World of Warcraft each side one and lost some key battles as they went through.

The fact that this game laid down so much of the lore we would see in Warcraft III and World of Warcraft alone makes it worth a 5. Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans did not do nearly as much in my opinion. While it opened the door it was still finding its footing as to what it would be. When Warcraft II came out it knew exactly what it was. It is amazing so much has been built on the back of this game.

The only shame is we had to wait until Warcraft III and World of Warcraft to see what path was right. I am not sure how much Warcraft III told though. Honestly, I am not a Warcraft III fan. I was never able to get the hang of it, I did not like the hero classes. I just wanted my old Warcraft II back, however, everyone stopped playing it when Warcraft III came out.

Visuals 5.0

Warcraft II GameplayHow can I not give it a 5.0. The characters were colorful and fun. I believe at the time they were far better than anything I had seen before graphics wise. Even today I feel the graphics look very sharp and crisp. Then there are the cutscenes. Blizzard has always delivered in the cut scenes. They always feel like they are on the cutting edge of visual technology. They are stunning and they always advance the story line.

If there is one thing we can count on Blizzard for, it is to deliver beautiful graphics and stunning cut scenes in all of their games.

Audio 5.0

I cannot remember the music that much, what I remember are the sound effects. I loved the battle animations and sound effects and how seamlessly they worked together. However, just as in Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans… there was an even more special audio effect. If you would click repeatedly on characters they would get snarky. Each one had its own unique take on being clicked on so much. I spent way to much time exploring each one just to see what they would say. Of course if I got bored in a game I would sit there clicking them over and over just to hear it again.

User Interface 5.0

The user interface was then and is now so far ahead of what most games have in terms of ease of use. Everything is well thought out, easy to use, and actually useful. I have never ran into any issue making the game work.

The building, troop commanding, and map navigation are fantastic. I really enjoy the minimap and how you can click on it to zoom around the screen.

Final Thoughts

This game is well worth buying. I am so excited that gog.com was able to get it back into production. I had it up and running on DOS box but that can be finicky. It is well worth the $9.99 cost to buy the game.

The version of the game they are selling is even a battle.net edition. I plan to see if I can hop on and find other players soon. While I am not sure if anyone is even interested in playing this old game online, however, I hope they are. I want to see if I can find some fast and free matches and destroy my sleep patterns.

gog.com also has Warcraft: Orc vs Humans and Diablo for sale. I have all of them I just need to get time to buy them. For those of you who may wonder I have no affiliation with gog.com as of the writing of this article. While I have tried to reach out to them I have not heard back. I am recommending them for two reasons. First they have this and no one else does. Second they are the single biggest supporters of the classic games I love so much. Many of the games I talk about in my blog posts just are not available anywhere else so make sure you show them some love!


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