WarCraft: Orcs and Humans
This is where it all started. All of those World of Warcraft MMOs, books, comics, movie and one failed adventure game can all trace their lineage back to the glory days of Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans, an action-strategy Dune II clone. Playing as either Orcs or Humans, you begin each mission with an unexplored map and a few buildings. You must amass resources, expand your base, train units and throw them all against the enemy. There’s also the occasional non-production mission that plays like a dungeon crawl.
Most missions start out only with a City Hall that trains workers, who gather gold and lumber and build other structures, a barracks for training swordsmen, and farms that increase your population limit. But as you progress through the game’s 24 scenarios, things get more interesting. Soon you’ll be building lumber mills, which makes it possible to train archers or spearmen. A temple trains clerics or orcish necromancers, a blacksmith’s shop for upgrading armor and weapons, or a stable for cavalry. Typical to games of this kind, the early campaign missions start out with a constrained tech tree, but new buildings, units and upgrades get continually unlocked as you progress, incrementally upping the complexity of the game.
The age of the game does show early and often. The playing area is reasonably large, so you get a good view of what’s going on, but you can unfortunately only select up to 4 units at a time, making large raids a nightmare. The AI for the units is also garbage on both sides and require a lot of guiding. Control groups are non-existent. The entire thing is just so damn hard to control. Still, we’re talking about a very old game, and for all it’s worth, it had the right stuff at the time to make it a classic.
System Requirements: 386/25 MHz, 4 MB RAM, DOS
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