warx.jpg - 13.9 K
by Alfred Giovetti
Price: $30
Genre: Strategy
Release: August 96
Developer: Cyberlore Studios
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Phone: 800-953-7669
Website: www.blizzard.com
Requirements: 486 DX, 33 MHz, DOS 5.0, 8 MB RAM, Super VGA, 2X CD ROM drive, full version of Warcraft II screen00.jpg - 20.6 K

Overview: Beyond the Dark Portal is an extremely difficult expansion disk for the immensely popular Warcraft II adding 24 scenarios, 50 new maps, and some gameplay changes. If you liked the first one, which almost everyone did, then you should like this. Warcraft catapulted a virtual unknown company from shareware to one of the big contenders in the game market. We are all awaiting further game designs in the hopes that this is not a mere flash-in-the-pan or a one hit wonder company. My opinion look for their next game with bated breath.

The plot of the add on scenario disk for the Warcraft II hit is simple. The portal has been smashed but a rift between the orcish and human worlds remain, so humans venture into the portal and pursue the orcs to their lair to continue the romp of the first game. Again, play the game from the view of orc or human with gameplay which is remarkable similar to Command and Conquer. The game is a combination of sim city and an overhead perspective strategy war game.

The fog of war blocks most view until it is explored. Settings can change the fog to include or exclude enemy beings in explored areas. Multiple buildings, air, sea and land combat units, and peasants are built with oil, gold, and lumber gathered from the environment. Buildings have functions that produce units or enhance gathering and fighting skills. Management of limited, every dwindling resources requires a critical balance between building and combat. ogres.jpg - 16.3 K

Multipayer: Up to 8 players over IPX network, serial and phone modem. Warcraft 2 uses spawning. No Virginia spawning is not that type of spawning. Spawning lets you play multi-player games without having to buy a copy of the game for every computer involved. Simply perform a standard installation of the game on every system that you want to use, and you can use the "spawned" installations to join multi-player games (only.) One CD will support up to three players this way. For more players you need more than one CD.

The difficulty is cranked up on this one, so expect a tough battle. If you feel overwhelmed there are various cheats and editors that will help you through the difficulties. Enjoy.

Review references
Peter Olafson, PC Games, August, 1996, volume 3, Number 8, pages 78, A, 95%.
Hugh Falk, www.cnet.com/Gamecenter/Reviews/War/
PC Gamer, volume 3, number 6, June, 1996, pg. 47.
Elliott Chin, Computer Gaming World, number 146, September, 1996, pg. 81.
Eric Eckstein, www.gamepen.com/softwarepen/pc/warcraftii.html, C-, 72%.
Elliott Chin, Computer Gmaing world, number 146, September, 1996, pg. 205-206, 4.5/5 (90%).

Prima’s WarCraft II Beyond the Dark Portal: Prima Secrets of the Game
Official Strategy Guide
Review by Al Giovetti
Author of Book: Mark Walker
Publisher: Prima Publishing
Phone: 9166324400

If WarCraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal is giving you fits, all those empires just will not submit to your diplomatic or military agenda. Your own colonies are not responding with the correct materials and workmanship. You just aren’t getting where you want to go.

You might want to try Prima’s Official Blizzard approved Strategy Guide which is chock full of all those things that anyone would want to know about the game. Included in the book are step by step strategies of how to beat all 24 missions in the game and a bunch of cheat codes for you to ponder the old question: to cheat or not to cheat. Go ahead try it.

John Patterson, Computer Player, volume 3, number 4, September, 1996, pg. 18.