World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Review

“Mists of Pandaria” is the latest expansion for World of Warcraft to hit the store shelves and though it’s still too early to tell exactly how it will be received in the long run, gamers seem to be divided on it right now. On one hand, Pandaria is a much friendlier and inviting experience, which has some people applauding this latest release while others seem to think that it is almost completely out-of-character. That’s right; some people are turned off by the notion of a giant panda-like race, thinking that this might signal a move toward more comedic territory for Blizzard.

These fears are basically without merit though, because “Mists of Pandaria” is pretty much built around the same exact formula as any other expansion content. In other words; you’ll explore, you’ll fight baddies and you’ll also collect tokens of your achievements. The bottom line is that there’s not much difference between this expansion and the others, aside from the stunning environment and shift toward a slightly more lighthearted setting (which is a nice deviation if you think about it). Plus, you get an entirely new race to add to the ongoing list, so what’s not to like?

MoP (Mists of Pandaria) seems to be more about having fun than anything else. There’s plenty to do and see, along with the expected increase in level cap. But this isn’t simply a jolly excursion, Blizzard is actually introducing what they call “scenarios” in Mists of Pandaria which are going to allow them to add and change in-game content more easily and frequently. Given this news, the latest expansion seems more like a move forward than a backward or sideways step.

Visually speaking, MoP is everything you’d expect from a WoW expansion; it’s aesthetically pleasing, unique and expertly animated. The character designs are beyond excellent and everything seems to be running great without any major bugs or hang- ups, bravo. The environment for this expansion however, really steals the show with its unique beauty. In terms of gameplay, this expansion handles just like its predecessors and shouldn’t cause any problems in that regard.

“Mists of Pandaria” isn’t so much a complete attempt to repackage the mmorpg as it is a move toward broadening the base appeal of World of Warcraft in general. Since several new features are being added with this release which could greatly enhance gameplay for all future releases, MoP cannot be considered anything short of a step forward. World of Warcraft addicts should definitely check this one out, if only to gain the race and level cap perks and explore the wonderful environment. However, for individuals who might just be discovering World of Warcraft for the first time, “Mists of Pandaria” might make for an excellent introduction to the series, especially for younger gamers.

Rating: 9 / 10

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