February 4, 2020 | 15:00
The Warcraft III: Reforged launch has been such a disaster that Blizzard is now offering instant refunds for any players who are disappointed with the game.
In a rare move, the automatic refunds even apply if you've played for a number of hours although there isn't confirmation on if there's a limit for this. It's surprising news in that few companies ever offer such a policy, but it's far from a surprise when it comes to how poorly received the game has been. It currently sits at a world record low user score on Metacritic of a mere 0.5 out of 10.
That's because the game feels fairly unfinished compared to Blizzard's past reveals. It may have sharper art and updated models compared to the original but they're a far cry from what was promised during events such as Blizzcon in recent years. Blizzard originally promised "a complete reimagining" of the game with hours of updated in-game cutscenes and rerecorded voice-overs and none of this has happened, with only a revamped intro to be seen.
Perhaps more importantly, other promises also haven't been kept. For instance, custom campaigns created for the original aren't compatible with this new version and you can't create your own custom campaigns either. There's also no sign of clan support or competitive play which were both important components of the original release. There's no support for Ultrawide monitors either and the UI is different (and not for the better) than expected.
In response, Blizzard has issued a lengthy statement explaining that it's working on a few fixes. Namely, clan support and competitive play will return in an update in the future, and that various bugs will be fixed. However, it's stuck stoically to not updating the in-game cutscenes despite previously advertising that they would offer new camera angles and takes on the original story. In the statement, that's down to "[wanting] to preserve the true spirit of Warcraft III" and suggests that after showing it off at BlizzCon last year, the team went back and rethought their plans. Something that perhaps should have been contemplated beforehand.
Critics have been a little kinder to Warcraft III: Reforged than fans with an average meta score of 61 but that's far from great really with many citing a missed opportunity to revamp a classic for the better.
Hopefully a few patches down the line and Warcraft III: Reforged will be as adored as the original. For now, it's a bit of a mess.
September 18 2020 | 18:30