Home > Features (Gaming), Gaming, Opinions (Gaming) > Gaming: World of Warcraft: 3) Undead

Gaming: World of Warcraft: 3) Undead

There are lots of graves in this zone.

The starting zone for the undead Forsaken already had a lot of character before the launch of Cataclysm, the nature of the race enabling Blizzard to use well-established themes. It was an area of dead trees, graveyards, gloom and zombies, adding a lot of personality to a zone that was structured just like all the others. One key difference was that there were several-questgivers who were clearly evil (the game never presents either playable faction as villains), experimenting on people and working on a plague that they hoped would turn the whole world into free-willed undead and bring an end to the prejudices directed against them, many people unable to distinguish the Forsaken from Arthas’ Scourge. It was already a solid zone, but Cataclysm has still managed to improve it dramatically.

Right from the start it’s clear that things are different. You start as a newly-created Forsaken, resurrected by the angelic Valkyr who are also now part of the Forsaken, having been freed from the Scourge thanks to the events in Wrath of the Lich King. That’s significant, because one of the problems the race used to have was that they were unable to breed or create new undead, so their numbers could only ever decrease. As Cataclysm advances the timeline it means that Arthas has officially been defeated (the Forsaken’s numbers being dramatically reduced by their part in the campaign) and Sylvanas Windrunner, leader of the Forsaken, has been able to recruit some of his former troops and give their race its first injection of ‘life’ in some time. The very first area you start in has them resurrecting many new people, offering them a chance to join the Forsaken but not forcing them to, not wanting to be like Arthas. You’re tasked with helping some fresh recruits who are having trouble dealing with their new state of unlife, and one of them has a story that runs through the whole zone.

The new version of the starting zone still has some similarities with the version that existed before Cataclysm, the majority of locations still recognisable, but it’s all been updated and doesn’t feel like the basic retread that the orc zone does. Blizzard have taken what was already perhaps the best opening zone in the original game, added all they’ve learned since then and turned it into one that’s absolutely oozing with character. It’s by far the best zone of all the pre-Cataclysm races.

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