World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Review
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Blizzard
Pub: Blizzard
Release: September 25, 2012
Players: MMO
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence

Working my way through the Wandering Isle, I was struck by how few concessions Blizzard has made to modern trends in the MMO genre. Sure, they've made it more convenient to complete quests—the quest-givers warp around to follow you, and sometimes you can even collect your rewards remotely. But there has been no attempt to borrow many other recent innovations, such as the dynamic events of Guild Wars 2, or GW2's system for rewarding players who help each other out, or TERA's action-oriented combat.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot

As a result, questing in World of Warcraft can start to feel like a real pain. You trudge your way to a quest giver, read the text (or don't bother), trudge your way to the indicator on the map, kill or collect whatever you need to, get your reward, and trudge onward. What's great about many new MMOs is that even when you're playing solo, they always feel like massively multiplayer online experiences, rather than like a bland single-player game where other people happen to be roaming around too. There are some interesting story quests on Wandering Isle that I won't spoil, but for the most part, you're going around and killing X number of Y creature or collecting A number of B items. This is all faithful to the WoW experience, but it doesn't offer exciting new features for a player who's not already invested in the franchise.

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However, I shouldn't be too hard on a game that has lasted for close to a decade, still has an incredibly devoted fan base, and keeps expanding and improving to keep old players hanging around. Blizzard won't be retiring World of Warcraft anytime soon, of course, but the company does seem to realize the game might not be on top for much longer—they're already hard at work on a next-gen MMO. Until then, Mists of Pandaria will give WoW fans plenty to do, even if newer players will be tempted to join a different game.

By
Robert VerBruggen
Contributing Writer
Date: September 27, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.2
Graphics
The new areas look terrific, though the engine is showing its age a bit.
4.5
Control
Same as always for WoW.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The instrumental music is nice.
4.3
Play Value
It might not woo new fans, but MoP will certainly satisfy the faithful.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Battle to level 90. Ascend to new heights of power as you explore the verdant reaches of the Jade Forest, war with the terrible Yaungol on Kun-Lai Summit, and unlock the secrets of the Mogu'shan Vaults.
  • Unleash the Mighty Pandaren. Set out as a member of the enigmatic Pandaren—World of Warcraft's first neutral race—and join the ranks of either the Horde or Alliance as you enter the conflict brewing on Pandaria's shores.
  • Discover a Lost Continent. Explore the ancient kingdoms of Pandaria and mount your defense against a newly awakened evil stirring in the continent's dark corners.
  • Master the Path of the Monk. Learn the mystic powers of the Monk, World of Warcraft's newest playable class. Destroy foes with the Windwalker's devastating attacks, replenish allies with the Mistweaver's spiritual energies, and shrug off enormous damage with the Brewmaster's unyielding strength.

  • Screenshots / Images
    World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Screenshot - click to enlarge

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