World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Review
Pain. Suffering. Deathwing's hatred runs through the cavernous deeps as he sweeps Azeroth off its feet, totally changing the face of the planet as easy as you wake up in the morning and eat breakfast. But pain and suffering surely won't describe what we think of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Dive into this quick review for newbies and oldies alike.
Hands down, Blizzard has once again outdone themselves as World of Warcraft’s newest expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm replenishes the dwindling mantra of the franchise into a refreshing, charming and epic game it’s been known for since day one. Cataclysm introduces new playable races, new game mechanics, new quests, new adventures, new achievements, new zones, new everything. Even the old zones have gotten a facelift to get with the times, a feat which made some fans cry of sentimental reasons.
But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, as several bugs and problems surfaced on the day of expansion. Players particularly in the US realms were extremely disappointed, but Blizzard immediately patched up the wounds with hotfixes.
Let’s do a quick round up of the new features before we get on with the review.
New Races – Players will be able to play new races: The ingenious Goblin for the Horde and the fearsome Worgens for the Alliance. Though some may choose them for their cosmetic look, several players want to experience the unique racial abilities that each of the new comers possess, especially the Goblins. And unlike the other races which are automatically baptized to their factions, Goblins and Worgens start out having no alliances whatsoever as they go through the wrath of war and the fiery hatred of Deathwing. Quests have never been this important in starting zones as your actions will decide the fate of your race.
New Zones – The new zones are simply breath-taking. From the Egyptian-inspired desert of Uldum, the rocky deeps of Deepholm, the underwater empire of Vashj’ir and the war-torn fields of the Twilight Highlands and Mount Hyjal. Each zones have their own unique lore that takes you in deeper to the Warcraft realm as you fight off the Naga’s, save an entire civilization from extinction, and save all living beings in Azeroth.
New Secondary Profession – Archaelogy is a new amazing profession that allows the players to search for artifacts of particular races to know more about their lore. And if you’re the type who likes to grind professions all day long, your efforts might be rewarded with epic mounts and gears.
New Dungeons and Raids – Unlike Wrath of the Lich King where it’s all tank and spank, the dungeons and raids in Cataclysm require players to do several tasks in one fight. Some fight mechanics are so tough, you’ll die and wipe over and over again. And that’s how we want it in the first place.
Okay so that’s the jist of what’s new in Cataclysm, now let’s get on with the judgement.
Game play and Game design (4/5): World of Warcraft is very well known to have unique gameplay and game design compared to the rest of the MMORPGs available. Level 80s progress the expansion via quests in specific zones and can immediately move to the next zone once they reach the required levels. Unlike back in Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade, Cataclysm’s zones do not rely on the other for you to enter. You can simply skip quests if you want to move to Uldum from Deepholm.
Gameplay wise, there’s nothing much new as Cataclysm banks on the successful game mechanics of Wrath of the Lich King, Burning Crusade, and even WOW Vanilla. Yes, you’ll still be picking up random items and yes you’ll still be killing a number of Twilight Cultists just to progress, but even though the gameplay is a little repetitive, the lore surrounding those quests is the reason why you’ll keep on pushing further. Other than that, there’s the benefit of getting EXP points and gears.
Story (5/5): If you’ve been a follower of World of Warcraft, then the lores of Cataclysm will surely tickle your thirst for a good storyline. Though quite plenty, each story has their own defining moments that’ll make you wonder what will happen next when it concludes. Each zone’s lore is well developed as you watch the plot thicken and end into a satisfying conclusion.
Music (4/5): Compared to Wrath of the Lich King, the music lacks a little in epicness. Either that or we’ve been hearing practically the same thing over and over. Many of the pieces used were like recycled from the past expansions, but I suppose music isn’t really the defining point of Cataclysm. However, you will still feel like you’re in the zone whenever you have the music up, but there’ll be times where you prefer the music of your iTunes while running quests in Uldum. Indiana Jones anyone?
Graphics (3.5/5): When it comes to the environment and dungeon/raid instances, the graphics are beyond awesome. But when it comes to the little details, WOW lags a little behind against the other MMORPGs. Many elements defy the law of physics in a VERY bad way. But to be honest, we don’t care. The graphics will grow on you. It has a certain charm to it that’ll make you forgive the short comings and just play the game.
Final Verdict (4.125)
If you’re a new player and have gotten past the flaws of the graphics, you’ll realize how fun this game can be and find out why it’s a huge hit, though I need to warn you that there are alot of grinds involved even when leveling. World of Warcraft is a long, but definitely exciting, experience as you work your way into becoming Azeroth’s valiant champion over its never-ending adversaries.
For the veterans, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is a completely new game where you’d want to experience leveling from 1 to level cap one more time. Several zones you used to love or hate are completely changed thanks to Deathwing. And as you scour the planet to get elusive gears, rare items, and fight off baddies on your way to defeating the Aspect of Death, you’ll realize what an amazing journey it’s been, you’d wanna do it all over again.