This is why I loved the Warcraft movie.
Maybe the story was subpar. Maybe there were too many characters to follow and too many name drops.
But this game has been around for 12 years. In 2004, when we had that stunning CGI in Spiderman 2, you could explore Azeroth and to be honest, it didn’t look too terribly different than it does now. In 2004.
I watched cinematics. I discovered Outland, flying for the first time (man, I had goosebumps getting to go wherever I wanted and seeing the stunning sights), explored Northrend, Pandaria, and Draneor. I was there for the earth-shattering Cataclysm.
Lothar. Khadgar. Orgrim. Durotan. They were all characters that I’d heard of, or at least things that were named after them. Varian Wrynn was the boy king. Murlocs beat the shit out of me. Karazhan was massive on the inside and how I desperately wished to see what it might have looked like when it was in its hey-day.
Warcraft was announced in 2006. It really started getting off the ground a few years ago, and almost didn’t happen a handful of times, if I remember correctly.
And now, 14 years after the images of Northshire and Ironforge were being forged into my mind (I was six or seven at the time), I got to see them as they were supposed to be seen. I met Khadgar and Lothar and Orgrim and Gul’dan. I got to see what was supposed to be if we weren’t limited by graphics cards.
I got to see real magic. No wands, no simple flashes of light, but runes coming out of the ground, spells I had cast myself hundreds of times. I had polymorphed. I had ported. I had cast balls of fire and arcane missiles to disable enemies.
This, to me, was more than a fan service or simply a video game movie adaptation. This was, quite literally, my childhood and young adult life summed up in two hours. To look back and see myself and my characters running through the streets of Stormwind and facing off against the masters of the Fel was an opportunity that I’m eternally grateful for.
I loved Warcraft because it was the stories I played out in my back yard on a huge screen, more shiny, new, and gorgeous than I ever could have hoped for.