In WC3, the story revolves around 4 races; Humans, Orcs, Night Elves and Undead. In the campaign for each race, you play through a number of scenarios where you battle other races to reach a goal- for example, as the Humans, you must first defeat orcs, then undead, and then find a fabled sword, which leads onto the protagonist becoming the antagonist as the sword corrupts him and starts the undead campaign. The story is excellent, and has many twists and turns, so I wont spoil it for anyone who wants to play it.
Instead, I'll spoil all these famous stories. Sorry.
Gameplay is like any typical RTS- you build barracks to spawn troops, you build x houses/huts to get x food and so on. Like I said, battles are often won with superior micro management and troop usage rather than sheer numbers. However, what WC3 brought into the RTS genre was "Heroes". Each race has its own set of hero units than lead their army. They level up, which increases all of their stats, and can pick up items from various monsters around each map (which are there just for your hero). No RTS had combined RPG elements like this before, and whilst some people didnt like it, the majority thought it was brilliant (me included).
Typical hero screen, showing items, EXP bar and other stats.
The real gem in WC3 though is its online mode. You can play ranked or unranked matches of the original WC3 game online for a challenge, or you can head over to the custom games list for a whole lot of fun. There are all kinds of games that modders made using the WC3 engine, from tower defence (which actually originated in WC3) to hero wars and DotA (also originated in WC3). This is what makes the game hugely popular, even now after 7 years, and is what I spent the most time on (next to endless custom matches against bots, which practically made up my childhood.)
Also known as a popular Basshunter song.
Overall Warcraft 3 is a great game. Along with Half-Life and Runescape (sigh), it definately defined my childhood gaming experience and made me love the RTS genre, which I think is woefully underplayed. You can probably grab Warcraft 3 and its expansions on Amazon now for as little as £5 ($8ish), which is a great price. As always, I hope this review made you consider buying the game and, if you like my stuff, dont forget to leave a comment and follow me to show your support!