I loved the Warcraft movie.
I started playing WOW just before Wrath of the Lich King and have enjoyed most of the expansions ever since. I was drawn to the game by my two sons who were active players, and it was something we could do together. So I rolled my first character, a Tauren Druid, and started. I soon realised that my play style was more suited to ranged DPS so I created an Undead Warlock and played him for many years. But then I discovered the delights of being a Hunter, and that’s the character I’ve been playing most for the last two expansions.
Yes. I’m a Horde player.
I tried the Alliance, but it felt too much like a live D & D game, lining up with Humans, Dwarves and Elves. A group of Orcs, Undead, Taurens and Trolls just looked and felt more exciting!
Each to their own.
I’d been following the development of the Warcraft movie for years, being a huge fan of Scott Johnson’s The Instance podcast, and when I was finally, finally! able to buy tickets for opening night I couldn’t wait. Me and my boys went to see it together. It was another lovely moment WOW gave me with my sons.
The lights went down and we were off.
I have to admit it took me a little while to allow the Orcs to feel convincing. The CGI was amazing, don’t get me wrong, but maybe that was the problem – it was too good. Instead of letting go and watching the film, for the first few minutes I was thinking things like, wow, that’s so real! I mean, I know it’s not, it’s CGI, but look at that! It didn’t take long for that to fade and I soon became absorbed in the film.
You were warned.
The story is good, and the acting also stands up. The special effects are astounding. Anduin reminded me a LOT of Ragnar from the Vikings series. I know it’s the same actor, but some of the expressions Anduin gives come directly from Ragnar’s locker of shock and insanity.
Oh, and I never thought I’d fancy an Orc female by the way…
The little touches that were put there just for WOW fans were brilliant. The Murloc, the Meeting Stone, the fishing float, and, oh my Gods, the Ding! You didn’t see the ding? Watch it again.
I’m a Horde player but I know Stormwind (I’ve been part of many a raid there, and have the Black Bear mount to prove it) so seeing it laid out before me almost brought me to tears. The rendering of the harbour was perfect. Seriously, the special effects are astounding. If they aren’t nominated for some kind of award it would be a shame.
There were a few liberties with the plot, if you were expecting something exactly like the lore from the Warcraft games, but I get why most of them were made. But here’s the rub – the next film will be the one most WOW players want to see. This one set the tone, and most of the lore came from the time before WOW, but now the door is open. I just hope the revenue accumulated by this film is enough for a couple of sequels.
It’s not been a pleasant ride so far for this film. It went down amazingly well in China, not so well in the USA. It seems that some people believed the critics but I think most of the criticism given the movie is unwarranted. It CERTAINLY isn’t this generation’s Battlefield Earth, as one critic said. It’s not perfect, and it really helps if you are a WOW player to see the full beauty of the film, but it’s not a bad film at all. In fact it got me excited about WOW again. I had let my sub slip between expansions and seeing the film made me want to experience that world again.
I have no idea (and don’t really want to find out!) how many hours I’ve spent in Azeroth. I have great memories playing the game with my sons, and just soloing new realms, seeing what the designers at Blizzard had created for me. The film has made me look with excitement to Legion, and reminded me why I love this game so much. It brought a world I had been living in to life. It was a gift to us WOW players, and I’m looking forward to it coming out on iTunes so I can buy it, and watch it again, and again.
I’m sure there are more WOW things I missed!