The dawn of a new day brings more war to the shores of human occupation as the Orcish hordes begin to settle their scores with mankind, in the award winning strategy game "Warcraft II" from Blizzard Entertainment. This time, the battle.net edition ensures wider competition through a variety of Internet devices. The latter includes a wide tournament and the promise of over a hundred new battlefields to choose from.
If you've ever dealt with its predecessor, you may not notice much of a difference in the initial stages of the game. The single player option is strikingly similar to that of the original "Warcraft" and there exist only minor modifications to the controls. As usual, you are given the opportunity to lead an Orc or Human campaign and conquer the map charted out before you. The financial base for most of these military endeavors is usually made apparent by the existence of a gold mine, which can be utilized by your peasants or peons in an attempt to build up the treasury.
The game also tutors you on the fundamentals of raising battalions and building food farms to maintain your troops and eliminate enemy targets. The tutorial can help you understand the fundamentals of the game and prepare you for the outbreak of war and the adequate allotment of resources on the field.
Establishing a settlement worthy of resistance is easier said than done and involves substantial patience, training and expenditure. While the peasants and peons construct buildings and chop wood, you can build up the militant arm of your force and then use your soldiers as and when you deem fit. Some stages provide for the acquisition of a Circle of Power, which signifies your victory and an end to that particular stage.
This time around, the campaigns are more diverse and you have to deal with a wide array of climatic conditions and battlefields; you may have to navigate through fog or deal with the threat of aquatic warfare. Either way, the game promises to be a scream for anyone who has enjoyed the original.This article was first published on 18 Apr 2001.