World of Warcraft: Legion review – Dying Light

WOW-legion

tl;dr, short and sweet spoiler-free version:

It”s good.

Well received, better looking, better sounding, UI and Class changes leave a little something to be desired, tons of new content and story elements added. If you’ve been looking for a reason to get back into WoW, this might be your in. Assuming of course, you’re wanting to foot the bill for the game+subscription.

Spoiler-Filled Version

The Story so far….

……F#@%……

That was the word that was ringing in my head when I completed the Storming Normandy-style mission at the beginning. This expansion is all about one recurring theme: Failure. The story continues from the end of Warlords of Draenor with the Gul’dan of that timeline being sent to the original one, finding Illidan’s body and bringing about a massive invasion of Legion demons to destroy Azeroth once and for all.

It kicks off with you being sent with the leaders of both the Alliance and Horde to stop him, only for you to witness his fall to pieces like a cheaply built bridge. Tirion dies from getting a demon blast to the face, Wrynn dies by sacrificing himself so that Greymane and others can get away, and Vol’jin dies by getting shanked by a fel weapon, but not before naming Sylvannas the new Warchief.

And that’s just the first 10 minutes/hour depending on how long it takes you to complete the first mission. That’s not to mention that it doesn’t even include everything else that happens after that.

Bottom line is, the story and writing have really knocked it up a notch, adding a level of immersion to the experience because while a good 90% of the in-game characters are losing hope, the burden of keeping them going is you the player, whose sole job is to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and you’re all out of gum.

Of course there are some story elements that are kind of irritating, like the Dragons being all around useless because they just had to depower themselves at the end of the Cataclysm expansion because… well, the script said so.

Aesthetics

The look, feel and sound of this expansion has also had a fire lit under its ass since the last expansion, because not only does a lot of it harken back to the Wrath of the Lich King expansion with the Stormheim and Highmountain zones in terms of looks and characters, it manages to catch you off guard at moments, like this one:

WoWScrnShot_090316_154431

There’s a lot of moments like that, in which you want to just take a few seconds while the rest of your team is fighting/dying to walk back a bit, disable the interface and take a quick snapshot before you get clubbed in the head by a pissed off a viking. A lot of the new music tracks have that same effect in certain areas, where you just feel the need to stop what your doing and listen to how well some of them match with the zones that you’re in.

The UI changes, however, left a little something to be desired, as a lot of them can only be turned on and off with key bindings rather than just going into the interface menus like before.

Gameplay Changes

One new feature they’ve added that I thoroughly enjoyed is the freedom in choosing your own path. When you reach your Order Hall (more on that further down), you’ll get the option of choosing which zone you start at. This gives a whole new feeling of playing an RPG, literally choosing which role you get to do. Will you start out in S̶k̶y̶r̶i̶m̶ Stormheim, venture through Hell and fight Odyn for a magic shield? Or will you journey to High Mountain and fight some angry mole trolls for a magic hammer that turns people to stone?

The new Demon Hunter class is both an old and new kind of animal to play with. It’s a Tank and Damage class much like the Death Knights, but rather than having 3 specs, they’re limited to 2, making it both easier to decide what you want to play as but at the same time kind of limiting the versatility of the class. However that doesn’t really seem to be a problem as the class is mainly focused on mobility and high energy damage output with the two best (and fun) things about it; Laser eyes and triple jump+glide.

One thing that irritated the hell out of me right off the bat was the weapon changes made to a majority of the classes. For example, I main as a Death Knight tank, which means that my main weapon is a 2-handed sword most of the time, because swords are superior to axes and whatnot. However there are times when I’d like to switch up to dealing damage instead of tanking, and could use that same weapon instead of having to find another one. Now I’m restricted to using one specific type of weapon for tanking, again the 2-handed ones, while in Damage specs I’m forced to either use dual 1-handed weapons, or a completely different 2-handed weapon that I have to build from the ground up.

Now granted you are given these new weapons in the form of Artifact Weapons such as the Ashbringer if you’re playing as a Paladin, but they come with their own skill trees that require special Artifact items that you find around the new zones or are given in quests. So if you want 2 specs, you’re going to have to pull double duty in order to pull that off, which does give you more to do, but it feels entirely unnecessary.

If you enjoyed the little side missions, you could send NPCs on from the last expansion. They’ve brought that back and instead of a Garrison, you have an Order Hall based on your class. They serve as central hubs if the returning city of Dalaran doesn’t suit your  mood and are the go-to place when you’re ready to upgrade the aforementioned Artifact Weapons. These Order Halls also give you class specific story quests, such as the Four Horsemen campaign for the Death Knights, in which you go around resurrecting dead characters from the past to fight against the Legion.

Nitpicking the weapons aside, there is plenty of content to keep you busy in this expansion making the $55 price tag (expansion+1 month subscription) tolerable, though how quickly you burn through it all is completely dependent on your play style.

Final Reaction

I like this expansion. I’ve been hesitant about it given how Warlords of Draenor was incredibly forgettable for 90% of it and how much people hated Mists of Pandaria. Granted I don’t know why, but I decided to just venture in and see its worth. For the most part it didn’t disappoint, and I’m very excited about the upcoming patch in which Karazhan will be coming back, so let’s see if Blizzard can keep its word on keeping a steady flow of content coming.

Rating: 4/5

NR 4 Atoms - B

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Jaymes Romero
Jaymes Romero 239 posts

What do you say to describe a guy who only sleeps 4 days out of the week? Probably a lot but if you ever see an obscure story about some kind of food product, indie game or something that doesn't quite fit on this site, you can (almost) guarantee this guy wrote it. Whether or not he was awake while it was written is anybody's guess.