Blizzard has been around for over two decades and made some of the best, most memorable franchises and characters. Using a new, unique humor and art style found in all of their games created a hook that would snag young and old alike and create the cult that is their fan base today.
It began in 1992 with The Lost Vikings, a multi platform game, featuring 3 bearded dwarf warriors fighting their way back home through puzzles and perilous terrain.
Just two years later, Blizzard released their first installment of Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans and the world of Azeroth was born and boy did it come alive. The Horde and the Alliance clashed in this real time strategy game and set the tone for Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness and the first expansion Beyond the Dark Portal, which brings the first glimpse of Outland, the rugged homeland of the Orcs.
Warcraft III may not have been the stellar game that it’s predessor was, although great in it’s own right, it was however a huge step forward in story telling, cinematics, graphics, multiplayer and custom games. It features the beginning of the story of Arthas as a Deathknight, the release of Illidan Stormrage and the mutual ceasefire between Thrall, Warchief of the Horde and the leaders of the Alliance.
World of Warcraft continues this story, giving players a conlusion to the epic battles that took place years prior in Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne and to experience the world in new light for the first time. To date, World of Warcraft is the most popular MMORPG franchise for too many reasons to list. From day one “vanilla” to latest expansion Cataclysm and the upcoming expansion at an undisclosed date, WoW is the pinnacle of games it’s kind. Tying together stories, and beginning new ones are what I enjoyed most about World of Warcraft and I was happy to be a part of it.
Lets not forget Diablo, which began in the city of Tristram, following the Horadric elder Deckard Cain on a quest to bring down Diablo and his minions. This great game was released in 1996 and reaped great sales. I don’t think Blizzard would be what it is today without this story of struggle between good and evil. A gothic fantasy game second to none, especially for it’s time.
Again each “sequel” outdoes the first and it is no surprise that Diablo II is a smash hit. New classes and expanded world give players a reason to leave all their other games on the shelf. Diablo 3 is going to be released next year and I know it’s very very high on my list of games to play.
Starcraft rounds out the big trio that has not only put Blizzard on the mega gaming map, but solidified their spot in the world wide charts as one of the best RTS games of all time.
Blizzard Entertainment has shared unfathomable success with all of their games of the past 15 years. Each has it’s own place in our hearts and defined Blizzard as a company then and now. I can’t wait to see where they go next and always look forward to a new game. One of the best things about this studio is that I have never been dissapointed and can expect great things, innovation, quality, bug-free, exciting gameplay everytime. Their consistency and success is uncanny, how fortunate we are to have these great pieces of art to enjoy. If there was one thing I am most proud of, concerning a gaming studio.. it’s that the company has held to ideals that brought it early success and are very much a product of their “roots”.