reviewed on PC
It's a dark and glorious day in the world of Azeroth as the Dark Portal finally opens to the long awaiting player population of World of Warcraft. After years of anticipation, the first expansion to epic MMO goes live.
Burning Crusade is the long awaited expansion for the 8 million player strong World of Warcraft. The Burning Crusade itself adds a lot of new content to the WoW experience. Encompassing content of all level ranges, you can have a new game experience regardless of your decision to continue to advance your veteran character through the shattered reaches of the Outland or start a new character with either of Burning Crusade's two new races. Everything from new high-end instant dungeon zones to expansion of current trade skills have been included in this all encompassing expansion.
If it isn't broke, don't fix it
Considering that BC is still "only" an expansion, not much has changed to the foundation of WoW's graphic engine. The environment is still the same cartoony, lighthearted pastel that is traditional to all of Blizzard's Warcraft titles. It is fair to say however, that the new content looks spectacular. Flying over the broken landscape of the outland you can get a real sense of how small your character is in comparison to your new alien environment. Upon stepping through the dark portal, you are greeted with the cold harsh reality in which your L60 epic gear might be only barely enough to keep you alive as you battle your way past the demonic inhabitants of the Burning Legion and your journey through Hellfire Peninsula into the deeper regions of Outland.
The interface hasn't changed at all with the expansion. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though; Why fix what isn't broken? For those who use UI mods however, be advised that most mods will still function, although they will have to be re-enabled after installation and patching.
New Sights and Sounds
The most noticeable addition the sights of Azeroth are those of the two new races, Blood Elves and Draenei. Coming with all the trimming expected of a Warcraft personality, each race has its own unique look, sounds and feel. Both Blood Elves and Draenei have their own starting area which further relays the history and personality of the race. The Draenei starting area is a fragment of the crashed Exodar. The surroundings are lush with greenery and life but have been badly mutated due to the release of the alien energies that powered their trans-dimensional ship. The Blood Elves, on the other hand, start within the seclusion of their homeland surrounded by the comforts of the arcane power they have grown to rely upon. Many of the creatures who co-inhabit the home of the Blood Elves radiate or are created of pure arcane energy just waiting to be harnessed.
With new sights there must be new sound as well. With the introduction of new lands and creatures, a new soundtrack accompanies some of these areas. Also, as expected, the voice-over work for both Blood Elves and Draenei are top of the line and add to further the personality of each race. The heavy Eastern European accent of the Draenei accents their boldness and unwavering faith in the Light while maintaining a certain naivety of being stranded on an alien world. The Blood Elves' cosmopolitan voice acting captures their arrogance and intolerance to other races perfectly. It is made very clear that no one is more important to a Blood Elf than himself.
No Pros and Cons at this time