World of Warcraft Review: Shadowlands is Currently in Progress

World of Warcraft Review: Six hours in, and I can already tell that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands bridges the gap between the past and the future of Blizzard’s 16-year-old MMO, even with my sparkling new +84 Agility.

As the film opens with a flurry of recognisable faces like Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore, and Darion Mograine, it also joyfully kicks up doors to hitherto unexplored areas of the Warcraft realm and introduces the menacing Jailer.

His introduction marks the beginning of a new era in World of Warcraft that isn’t tied to rehashing past successes, as he is the first major villain in the game to have no roots in the RTS games.

We’ve visited the demolished orc homeworld of Outland and the terrible depths of the Burning Legion’s headquarters of operations on Argus, so this isn’t the first time WoW has gone beyond the world of Azeroth. The afterlives of the Shadowlands, however, exist on an entirely separate plane, demonstrating that Activision Blizzard’s zone designers still have some tricks up their sleeves.

World of Warcraft Review
World of Warcraft Review

Orbs, with its towering, angular spires, and Bastion, with its muted, dreamy landscapes, both successfully sell the idea that we are no longer in Elwynn. Unfathomable light exhibitions of bending energy and mysterious portals fill the sky.

The creatures that inhabit this world are strange and fantastic, and the colours are far less vibrant than those in Azeroth proper. However, the levity with which we are introduced to this new world is somewhat lacking, as we are almost immediately thrust into the Maw, Warcraft’s equivalent of Hell, where the evilest souls go to suffer eternally.

Icecrown’s ice, blue and black aesthetic is completely abandoned in favour of a sickening orange colour scheme and terrible music. But the evil foes and structures are still in keeping with the Lich King’s taste, so we know we’re witnessing the source of his power.

Final Words 

World of Warcraft’s lore features a universe creation myth in the grand tradition of high fantasy. Titans were the first to set this in motion. These divine beings slept as world souls for the first few billion years of their existence. After reawakening, they set out to find more of their kind while they shaped worlds and kept order.

The game’s biggest drawback is that it’s impossible to log in and play every waking moment. After all, once you get going, you probably won’t be able to stop. Again, though, this game’s brilliance lies in the fact that it doesn’t assume that all you have to do in your busy life is play this one game, and so it provides a satisfying experience regardless of how much time you can devote to it.

So, paradoxically, it may end up being the last game you need to play for a while (whether that’s a few days, a few weeks, or longer). When compared to other online games, World of Warcraft’s overall quality is more akin to that of the best offline games. This is because offline games have traditionally been better at presenting intricately plotted, story-driven settings.

World of Warcraft, on the other hand, accomplishes this within the context of a vast, evolving world populated by thousands of other players with whom you may choose to interact, lending the proceedings a sense of deeper significance. Incredible work like this makes you feel lucky to be a gamer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is World of Warcraft Shadowlands free? 

With the release of the World of Warcraft: Dragonflight Pre-Patch, access to the zone Shadowlands is now included in the game’s standard monthly subscription.

Is World of Warcraft Shadowlands worth it?

Shadowlands boasts some of the most impressive cinematic work Blizzard has put into a quest experience, making it worthwhile to explore the world on your own if you’re interested in the tale. Some of the character writing in the overall direction is mind-boggling, though.