The other new elements of Warcraft II are the additional units and buildings you can use. Not only will you discover new types of buildings, but also new units such as dragons, zeppelins, battleships, destroyers and submarines, making war in the air, on and under the seas. The buildings have an important role in the game as they provide your troops with support. The farms are necessary to feed your army, the barracks will train new soldiers and the Town Hall will provide peons to supply raw materials. Along with the two materials from Warcraft (wood and gold), Warcraft II adds oil produced by the oil platforms in the seas. Similar to the other two, you must find a source and send an oil tanker to build the platform on. Once it is done, you must establish an oil refinery on the shores to start stocking the precious oil. Although it won't be as necessary as wood and gold initially, oil will reveal itself very important when building ships and upgrading buildings. Of course, like other resources, oil wells have a limited capacity and when one comes to complete depletion, you should look for another one or destroy an enemy's platform to put one of your own instead.
As you can see, raw materials are essential if you want to win the battle. If you happen to miss one of them, you can't produce new units to replenish your army as you will inevitably sustain losses during fights. One thing I learnt with Warcraft II is to rapidly locate mines, forests and oil patches so that you can get an idea of where you must concentrate your efforts at first. Usually, mines are located closely from where you start, but as missions become longer as you progress in the game, you will need to exploit other mines. This consideration also applies to the oil patches but it especially true for the forests.
When you start a mission, the only region you can look at is where your units are located. If you want to see beyond that, you must send units to explore new territories. Once you discover new lands, they will be displayed on the map. As long as you have one or several units in place, you will be able to spot any enemy units in vicinity when the Fog of War option is turned on. If you move the units to another position, you will no longer be able to see your enemies in this region. This option can be turned off so that you are always aware of enemy presence on the revealed areas of the map.
If the two campaigns are not enough for you, you can start playing with the scenarios included or play a multi player game. You can play with another player through a null-modem link or a modem connection with only one CD-ROM. Blizzard made this possible with their spawning technology that avoids for both players to have their own copy. The same technology applies when you want to play on a network where up to eight players can play simultaneously. There are however some changes regarding the number of original CD's required to play on a network. You can play up to three players with one CD, up to six players with two CDs and up to eight with three CDs. The multi player games always offer a better experience as there is no artificial intelligence that matches another human player (in good shape). Regarding the artificial intelligence implemented in Warcraft II, I personally think it was not very developed and the difficulty came more often from spare enemy units than from their strategic abilities. Most of the time, when you only had a group of peons with a few soldiers, your enemy had already a well-armed armada with battleships and submarines and an army ready to annihilate you. Fortunately, you will only suffer from small and repeated incursions into your positions that will force you to leave a small garrison to defend your buildings against attacks.
Finally, if you think the various campaigns and scenarios are no challenge for you, you can take a look at the map editor and create your own scenarios. There is even a sound editor that will let you change the sentences said by the units during the game. Both the map and the sound editor are Windows 95 applications and can only be executed if you have Windows 95 or Windows 3.1 with the WinG library from Microsoft installed.
Warcraft II is from far, the best episode of the series with astonishing graphics and cut-scenes. It has a compelling soundtrack that plunges you into the battle of Azeroth as if you were there yourself with the enemy lying all around you.
486 DX-33 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory,
MS-DOS 5.0 or later,
Hard drive required,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card,
Microsoft mouse or 100% compatible.
Supports Redbook Audio; General Midi; Sound Blaster; Adlib; Pro Audio Spectrum; Gravis UltraSound and compatibles.
Windows 95 compatible.
Technical support: 714-955-1382
Fax support: 714-955-1381
BBS support: 714-955-1481
Order line: 1-800-953-SNOW
Email: Blizzard Entertainment
Web site: www.blizzard.com
28, rue Armand Carrel,
93108 Montreuil sous Bois Cedex.
Web site: www.ubisoft.com
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