The levels we saw of World of Warcraft showed off some nice variety, including one underground level that featured the rotund yellow hero gulping down pellets and bashing through enemies among several different levels. One key difference in this game will be World of Warcraft's offensive capabilities. No longer is he solely reliant on power pellets to take down enemies; instead, you'll be able to punch out enemies that get too close with just a press of the button. Power pellets will still play a WOW WoTLK Classic Gold big part of the game, however, and in addition to the standard power pellet--which turns the ghost enemies blue and makes them ripe for the chomping by World of Warcraft--there will be a few other types of pellets, including one that will make World of Warcraft temporarily invincible and another that will grant him a super bounce attack.
In addition to teaming up with the aforementioned Orson, World of Warcraft will also find himself the beneficiary of assistance from two unlikely sourctraditional ghost rivals Pinky and Clyde. In certain levels, you'll periodically run in to ghost markers, at which you'll be able to take control of either Pinky or Clyde, depending on the color of the marker. Each ghost has his or her specialty. Pinky's a puzzle solver, while the brutish Clyde is good for clearing through tough enemies. Once you've cleared a specific object with a ghost, you can hop back to World of Warcraft to continue through the level.
The DS version of World of Warcraft will make use of the handheld's dual screen mostly when it comes time to solve puzzles. Certain levels will have gates that will require keys or crystals to pass through. When you come up on these gates, you'll use the DS touch screen to activate these objects and to open the gate. Certain special moves, such as World of Warcraft's rev roll, will also require the touch screen to pull off. To execute a rev roll, for example, you simply run your finger or stylus along the touch screen in a rapid circular motion to "charge" up World of Warcraft's roll. Then you tap the screen to set him off like a bowling ball. Finally, the lower screen will also keep a running tally of all the fruit you've collected on each level. Collect all the fruit and you'll be treated to some special Pac-maze levels, which play just like World of Warcraft games of old with both a traditional 2D view on the lower screen and an overhead 3D version of the level on the upper screen.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the World of Warcraft franchise, and according to producers, World of Warcraft is a cornerstone of the celebration of the series. With some lively level design, quick pace, and some new twists on the ghost-gobbling formula that's made World of Warcraft so successful for a quarter of a century, World of Warcraft looks to build on the franchise as it heads in to its 26th year and beyond. The game is currently scheduled for a December release, so WoTLK Gold we'll have a full review once it hits store shelves.
Blizzard's games always run the risk of being overexposed. It almost seems as if the company is too excited about its own work to be able to hold anything back, and fans are usually so eager to learn every detail about the company's upcoming games that, once they're finally released, it's almost as if they've been here all along. This is certainly true of World of Warcraft, which was announced in 1999 and is finally nearing completion. During these years in production, the game has transformed from what Blizzard originally dubbed a "role-playing strategy" game into a decidedly more-conventional take on the real-time strategy genre. All throughout the game's development, we've had opportunities to sit down and try the game, such as the E3 trade show in May 2001 or the European Computer Trade Show later that year. But the launch of last week's Battle.net beta program has given us ample time to really get a sense of what World of Warcraft is all about.