Following the success of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, Blizzard Entertainment released the second game of the series in 1996. Once again the game was set in the kingdom of Azeroth with a single player game revolving around commanding either a force of orcs or humans through a multi-mission campaign.
At the time of Warcraft II’s release Blizzard Entertainment were in direct competition with Westwood and their Command & Conquer franchise. As a result the game features a host of new and improved features when compared to its predecessor. The graphics have been overhauled and now feature higher resolution artwork, rendered in SVGA, and along with this the sound has been enhanced. In response to Command & Conquer there are new units, both naval and air, as well as resources and buildings to support them. While the base building and resource harvesting game mechanics remain essentially the same, the AI has also been slightly improved. Units are now quicker to respond and have options to allow them to patrol and carry out tasks independently without continual player interaction.
These changes were enough to ensure that Warcraft II dominated gaming awards in 1996 and catapulted Blizzard Entertainment into the ranks of the elite developers of the time. Their success and that of Westwood in the late 1990s had a huge impact on the real-time-strategy genre and without a doubt shaped the games of today.
Review By Richard
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