Blizzard's incredible World of Warcraft cinematic "Old Soldier" puts the spotlight on Saurfang

World of Warcraft's (WoW) next big expansion "Battle for Azeroth" (opens in new tab) launches on August 13th (or 14th, depending on territory), and it's waving goodbye to the previous expansion "Legion" with a bang.

With the demonic Burning Legion defeated, World of Warcraft's mortal races are once again turning on each other, this time, to fight over an emerging resource known as Azerite, the very lifeblood of the planet itself.

Earlier this week, players were treated to some time-limited story quests that detail the destruction of Teldrassil, the home of one of Warcraft's most iconic races, the Night Elves. The burning of Teldrassil has proven controversial with players, as it seems to indicate the Horde's current leader, Sylvanas Windrunner, is slipping into true villain territory. It seems that players aren't the only ones strained by Sylvanas' actions.

Blizzard's latest WoW cinematic shows High Overlord Varok Saurfang's slip into despair, as decades of war, and Sylvanas' dishonourable actions start to take their toll.

Blizzard is well-known for its insane cinematics, which are built and produced with industry-leading visuals. This latest one precedes the coming war for the Undercity, the home of the Horde's Forsaken faction, as the Alliance seek vengeance for the destruction of Teldrassil.

Battle for Azeroth is going to be a huge expansion, adding two new island continents. Kul Tiras is filled with pirates and nautical legends, while Zandalar, is a primal continent filled with deep jungles, gigantic dinosaurs, and oppressive deserts. Battle for Azeroth places a new emphasis on the war between Alliance and Horde players, with new game modes and PvP opportunities, while offering up new PvE threats as the world recovers from the Burning Legion's invasion.

The previous "Legion" expansion was the best-received WoW expac in years, adding an unprecedented amount of content, lore, and new features. Battle for Azeroth has a tough act to follow, but it seems that Blizzard is keen to up the ante. We'll have to wait and see if it can deliver.

Battle for Azeroth goes live on August 13, 2018, and is available for $49.99.

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Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Then you see the actual game... lol
  • Ubisoft level tactics 🤣
  • It's basically a 15 year old game at this point, the engine has been updated over time and a few graphical updates, but it's still the same game it started out with. It's really hard to push CGI graphics of this standard to even modern games. I remember all the kids being amazed by the FMV cut scenes in PlayStation 1 games, and they thought that was the graphics of the game. Kind of was but certainly not actual game play. Where do you draw the line between playing a game, and watching it? The CGI like the trailer works so well because you can sit back and bask in the story of it, if you had to control some aspects of it then the flow would be disrupted... you'd basically be playing a Telltale' game, or one of the old Philips CDi laser disc, interactive movie games. I think the only real way we're going to get full on CGI quality game play is if we take the VR narative aspsect from the Ready Player One where you play as a character inside a movie. Sadly not included in the movie version, so you'd have to read the book
  • "The only way" is to have powerful HW (GPU for skin, CPU for real game world, the procedural / AI animation, active ragdoll, to draw out more from physics engine and all that) that generates very less heat. Not VR.
  • Sadly, just throwing faster hardware at it isn't going to change the composition of how the gameplay is managed, you're certainly no going to gain any new advantage over what already exists, and as such you're still going to be playing the same old types of games as 15 years back, just looking a little prettier. But I get retro is all the rage at the moment, so if that's what you're aiming for.
  • note: I was not talking about old games... was talking about the industry and future. VR won't help cause it's not really related. It's more like yet-another-way-to-control-your-game (and, unless we can intercept brain output and perform brain input, current gen VR is limited to classic arcade rail shooter typpa game design).
  • Let me know when a game has in-game visuals this good :o
  • Bring it to console..
  • let us hope that never happens. that where mmos go to die
  • I think that's what he was saying, Mike.
  • Lol yup sarcasm.
  • I frigging love Blizzard cinematics, they put so much detail and effort into it.