Warhammer gets a “safe” B grade

So Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is days from release and the early reviews are starting to trickle in.

The hype of WAR as radically different from WOW or as a WOW-killer has certainly dipped considerably. 

Massively.com, for example, had this list of pre-release reviews.

General consensus seems to be it’s a well-executed MMO that raises the bar set by WOW in some areas and falls a bit short in others.  They agree it still has some rough edges but looks solid for launch (which is, sadly, a pretty big accomplishment for an MMO).

Eurogamer gives it a safe 8/10 (same as they did for LOTRO and AOC).  Common Sense Gamer gives it a B+.  Tobold recommends it but says “it will have some problems living up to the excessive marketing hype from Mythic.”  Kill Ten Rats describes it as  a “…sequel to World of Warcraft with a team-PvP focus.”

I pretty much agree.   WAR isn’t a clone of WOW, but they sure share a lot of similarities.  From the general fantasy setting to the layout of the user interface to how PVE quests work, they are extraordinarily alike and WOW players will feel immediately comfortable in WAR.  For a sheer variety of things to do and sense of limitless world to explore, WOW is still much more flexible than WAR and WOW is still the best choice for PVE raiding.

But WAR provides decent PVE questing and fantastic group-on-group PVP focus. It also introduces a number of nice innovations — such as open grouping, Public Quests and the Tome of Knowledge — that around bound to become MMO standards going forward.  WAR gets a lot of things right — especially when it comes to setting the game’s darker, more desperate mood — and I think it will appeal to a ton of WOW players (myself included) who’d like a chance to play something different, but not too different.

For me it’s the best of both worlds: I’m in a great guild in WOW and looking forward to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and my pre-order for WAR lets me in Tuesday to join a great new guild to start conquering a whole new game.

Now if there were only more hours in the day.

Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again. – Samuel Johnson

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