Blizzard has released a new ‘Journey’ trailer for the imminent release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion for WoW Classic, and it’s amazing—but not for the usual reasons. When I think of Blizzard cinematics the first thought that comes to mind is the lavish CG spectacles that introduced us to the world of Overwatch, or Diablo and Starcraft’s ludicrously OTT cutscenes. This one, however, is all about the players.
There’s a reason for that. The video was put together by Hurricane, a youtuber who specialises in making awesome WoW trailers and has been doing so for many years. But they’ve always been a fan creator, someone beloved by the community but doing their own thing, and this is their first commission from Blizzard.
What’s awesome about this trailer is how it encapsulates the build-up to the Lich King’s invasion of Azeroth, and builds pure hype through the use of in-game models and real players’ avatars. To be clear, this is a mix of cinematic and what looks like in-game models with HD textures, rather than in-game footage, but a whole bunch of it has either been done in-engine or made to look exactly like it has been, mimicking the movement of large groups of players as they scramble to defend Azeroth.
That is ultimately why this is so good. Wrath is one of the most-beloved eras in WoW’s history: the death knight class is amazing, the quests are great, and the storytelling is as good as WoW ever got (which is to say: very good). It is an epic expansion, and so many of the great moments from it, large and small, get a few seconds in the sun here. It’s a simple reminder of what an awesome time WotLK was and will hopefully be again, and makes you want to no-life it.
Wrath of the Lich King Classic releases on Monday 26 September and, after this, I’m there.