Blizzard World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
- Contains the same rich immersion and addictive qualities that have made WoW the ultimate MMORPG.
- Integration of new zones feels a bit 'tacked on'.
Some may be disappointed that this isn't a 'true' sequel, and others will lament how the new areas don't fuse with the current world, but the bottom line is simple: no WoW player will be disappointed with this expansion. Get it now!
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
It's hard to think of The Burning Crusade as an expansion pack. It brings enough new content to the World of Warcraft experience to beat out most other games in their entirety.
The Burning Crusade has enough hype built up around its release to match that of any two other titles. It's priced at $59.95--certainly less than most other five-star releases, but considerably more than the average expansion.
But it is an expansion, nevertheless, and as such, it delivers in droves. If you are one of the eight million fans of the most successful massively-multiplayer game in history, it'll be worth every penny. The Burning Crusade does not disappoint--to the contrary, it is a vital addition to your game library assuming, of course, that you were a fan of its predecessor.
A World of Possibilities
The Burning Crusade targets two types of World of Warcraft players: those who wish to experience the whole game anew from a different perspective, and those who want to take their veteran level 60 characters further than they ever could before.
For those who want to start over, two new playable races are now available, one for each faction. The Draenei, a race of regal, magical bipeds whose past was painfully entangled with that of the evil Burning Legion, have joined the ranks of the Alliance forces. The Blood Elves, on the other hand, tainted by their addiction to magical power and outcast by their Night Elf brethren, have found new friends in the members of the Horde.
Both races have each been given two new starting zones to explore and a new capital city to call home. The zones are full of spectacular sights and involving quests to see and partake in, and the cities are marvelous synergies of beauty and functionality. The Draenei start off in the Azuremist Isles, off the western coast of Kalimdor, while the Blood Elves are secluded on the northern tip of the Eastern Kingdoms in a land called Quel'Thalas.
Unfortunately, the integration of the new zones into the now-familiar world of Azeroth is somewhat disjointed. The Azuremist Isles are currently reachable by boat alone, while the only marginally convenient method of approaching Quel'Thalas is via a teleporter that translocates players from the Undercity to the Blood Elf capital of Silvermoon. As a result, the zones feel somewhat tacked on, not so much citizens of Azeroth as happenstance visitors to its shores.
The Trademark Blizzard Polish
Of course, there are legions of players who have already achieved level 60 in World of Warcraft and are far more interested in improving old characters than creating new ones. For them, The Burning Crusade provides passage through the Dark Portal, a monument of Warcraft lore that allows access to the disintegrating realm of Outland.
An entirely new continent replete with seven sprawling zones, Outland was built for players between the old level cap of 60 and the new one of 70. From the plains of Nagrand to the forests of Terokkar, from the blasted Hellfire Peninsula to the fragmented Netherstorm, it is a place where players can soar on The Burning Crusade's flying mounts and practice their hand at the new Jewelcrafting profession.
The new locations, characters, items, and monsters are nothing short of awesome. The voice acting is perfect, the sound effects spot-on, and the score at times both ominous and uplifting. Quest dialog is well-written and does a wonderful job of pulling players into the ever-shifting story of the war. Put simply, everything just feels right.
But one can never forget that The Burning Crusade is, first and foremost, an expansion pack and is geared towards those players already quite familiar with Azeroth. So long as you are, there's very little reason for you to not broaden your in-game horizons. If you can spare the cash, pick up the game. We'll see you in Outland.
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