WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne (Windows)

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WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

Windows - 2003

Alt names 魔兽争霸III:冰封王座, WC3:TFT, WarCraft III: Expansion Set
Year 2003
Platform Windows
Released in Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, United States (2003)
United Kingdom (2005)
Austria, Germany, Switzerland (2009)
Publisher Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
4.8 / 5 - 5 votes

Description of WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

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After having sold approximately ten jillion copies, and that's just in Korea, it's hardly surprising that Blizzard is doing an expansion pack for Warcraft III. What is surprising is how much work they've put into it when they could have just thrown a few new scenarios in a box. Come to think of it, these are the guys whose expansion packs for Starcraft and Diablo II were like whole new games, so maybe it's not that surprising.

Frozen Throne installs over Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, so it'll make permanent changes to your copy of the game. However, you can use a shortcut to go back to "Warcraft III Classic" if you ever feel the need. Not that you would. If you did that, you wouldn't get to play with the new units for each side (along with the increase in army limit to give you more room for the new units).

The Orcs get a Batrider who can trash buildings from the skies and a Tauren shaman who can debuff enemies from his invulnerable ethereal state (you can still hurt him with magic attacks). The Night Elves get a Faerie Dragon who's perfectly suited for zapping enemy spellcasters and a Mountain Giant who's perfectly suited for just about anything. One of his abilities is ripping a tree out of the ground and using it for a fixed number of powerful attacks. The new Human Dragonhawk Rider can use his breath to disable enemy towers and the Spell Breaker is a versatile counter-magic unit that can debuff, zap spell casters, and snatch enemy summons. The Undead technically get only one new unit, the Obelisk, which can be used to charge friendly health and mana. However, the Obelisk can morph into a Devourer, a fearsome flying magic eater.

Although the new units don't do much to change how you play each side, they do offer a lot more magical interaction with your opponents. There are many more counter strategies available that you can use to undermine whatever the other player might be trying to do.

The new heroes are what really change how you play the game. Each side has one, but there are also five new heroes that any player can summon from the neutral taverns on some maps. Since heroes are nearly as important a choice in Warcraft III as the race you're playing, this is where you'll find Frozen Throne's most notable contribution.

The Orc hero, a Shadow Hunter, is particularly welcome for his healing ability, something that always hindered Orcs in the early game. The Undead Crypt Lord is a powerful melee fighter capable of turning corpses into permanent summons (as opposed to the Necromancers, who squander corpses on all those temporary skeletons). The Human Blood Mage is a sort of direct attack counterpart to the Human Archmage. And the Night Elven Warden is, hands down, the coolest melee fighter to grace the lavish tilesets of Warcraft III. Meanwhile, the neutral heroes really break the gameplay wide open, allowing players to choose beyond the limitations of what their race offers.

The centrepiece of Frozen Throne is the new campaign, which is easily as long as the one packaged with the original. The early missions for each race introduce the new units and heroes, but then they start playing around with some really neat scripting and gameplay twists. There are missions here that play unlike anything you've ever seen in an RTS, although some of them are difficult enough to tempt you to quit in frustration. Fortunately, you can always restart a mission on an easier setting.

There are also a lot of dungeon crawl missions, which give you a taste of what the bonus campaign is like. The bonus campaign follows the adventures of a Beastmaster hero among the Orcs, but there's no army management or economics. Instead, it plays like a cross between Warcraft III and Diablo, with the emphasis on leveling up your heroes, finding magic items, and completing quests. Frozen Throne's bonus campaign is only the first of a three part series, with a promise that the next two episodes will be available for download in a few months.

Beyond the new units and campaigns, you'll find a lot of smaller, but no less valuable, additions to Warcraft III. For instance, each side can build a marketplace where heroes can buy and sell magic items, and you can even research backpacks so your other units can carry around extra inventory items until your heroes need them. You'll also find some really fun new inventory items, like the Mechanical Critter than can scout the map as an innocent neutral animal and a Sacrificial Skull that lets the Undead lay a patch of blight so they can build in the middle of nowhere. There are also a few new defensive options for each race, as well as some new tricks for old dogs, which all amounts to small upgrades that can have a significant effect on the balance of the game.

Finally, there are some interface changes that really help make Warcraft III more playable. You can queue up building commands and research, which gives you more time to manage your armies like you should. The minimaps now show the locations of creeps as well as their relative strengths, so you don't have to memorize every map in order to play well. It would have been nice if Blizzard had removed the unit selection limit, which is still a thorn in the side of the gameplay, although apparently beyond the scope of what Frozen Throne could do. Similarly, although the game supports custom hotkeys, you have to edit a file with some sort of esoteric scripting language. And how about allowing dynamically adjustable speed in multiplayer games for those who'd like a little more time to ponder the game's added nuances?

The icing on the whole big RTS cake is a set of new battle.net options for clan support and ladder tournaments. It's hard to imagine how anyone who plays Warcraft III online can get by without having Frozen Throne. We at Games Domain, in the immortal words of Mr. T, pity the fools.

Review By GamesDomain

WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne is an addon for WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos, you will need the original game to play.

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Comments and reviews

... 2021-12-09 0 point

The game is no longer available to buy in gog, put it back please. Reforged sucks

black 2021-11-11 3 points

This game is abandonware since it got replaced by Warcraft 3 Reforged, please upload it again. Also everyone who owned it before had to update to the Reforged version because Blizzard forced everyone to update...Please consider uploading it again.

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