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WARNING: What follows is one man’s subjective opinion of his time spent in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Your experiences and opinions may vary.
Sorry, but I felt I had to do that at the start of this review. Even before The Burning Crusade, writing a definitive review of World of Warcraft was almost impossible; so much depended on what you were looking for, how frequently you played, what level you achieved and who you played with that – once you got past the basic game mechanics, the graphics and the technicalities – you might as well review, say, a week in New York, a visit to the Louvre or a month inter-railing in Europe.
The experience is so subjective and so personal. If anything, The Burning Crusade makes things even more difficult, bearing in mind that a large portion of the content is aimed at existing high-level World of Warcraft players and that I am not, by any means, an existing high-level World of Warcraft player. Don’t worry; the team at TrustedReviews are at work on getting informed opinion from level 60 elites, but for now this is very much coming from the perspective of a lapsed World of Warcraft player, returning to Azeroth after spells with other games.
So let’s assume for now that, if you’re a high-ranking level 60 demigod who already devotes ten or more hours a week to WoW, then you bought The Burning Crusade two weeks ago and are already scouring The Outlands for elite mobs and new drops. Good for you. We’d love to hear about what you’ve done and how much you’ve enjoyed it so far. If, however, you’ve resisted the urge to join the Burning Crusade up to this point, then you probably want to know whether it’s worth a) buying it and reviving that lapsed subscription or b) using it as an excuse to play WoW for the first time.
Well, the answer to both is a qualified ‘yes.’ Qualified for old players, because this isn’t a revolutionary expansion by any means. If you found the core game’s emphasis on quests, item drops and levelling slightly tedious, The Burning Crusade isn’t going to change your mind. If you’re sick to the back teeth of murdering a specific number of monsters and collecting a specific number of items from their corpses, do yourself a favour and buy something else. It’s also a qualified ‘yes’ for new players, because you could just as easily start with the core game (which you’ll need anyway) and decide whether you needed The Burning Crusade later on. That said, there’s no question that the new races offer a thoroughly enjoyable way into the game, and that if you liked World of Warcraft in the first place, The Burning Crusade will remind you exactly why – in spades.
Even low-level players will find a lot of content to enjoy here. It’s easy to forget that two new races, the Draenei and the Blood Elves, don’t just mean new faces knocking around Azeroth but two completely new opening campaigns, but that’s exactly what we’ve got. As with the original game, these take you through from novice to intermediate experience levels, steadily introducing you to the mechanics of combat, questing, buying and selling, while also slowly exposing you to the wider world.