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What Critics Are Saying About World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands

After being briefly delayed by BlizzardWorld of Warcraft launched its newest expansion, Shadowlands, on Nov. 23. Shadowlands may have only just gone live, but that hasn't stopped reviewers from contributing their thoughts about the newest expansion in the WoW franchise. As explained on its official page, Shadowlands has a brand new story, challenging players to "brave the beyond" and save all of reality from destruction.

The Shadowlands are where the spirits of the dead dwell, and they consist of five realms for WoW players to explore. First they arrive in Oribos, the new hub which serves as a crossroads, and where a character known as the Arbiter judges the destination of new souls.

A Destructoid review compared Shadowlands to the highly successful Legion expansion. According to the review by Chris Carter, Oribos is reminiscent of Shattrath City, and he claimed the new starting hub "gives an immediate weight to the adventure." Carter also went on to describe his experience in the Bastion zone, a "heavenly realm" which he said had a "Disney-like" quest that he found enjoyable. "Say what you will about ongoing support at any given moment, but Blizzard is still killing it with leveling content and the sheer star power of their zones," Carter wrote.

A review-in-progress from PCGamesN also praised the experience in Bastion, which is also the home of the Kyrian Covenant — angel-like beings who serve as soul guardians. "The landscapes are lush and beautiful – truly, Blizzard's art department has knocked my socks off in this expansion – and the sympathetic plight of the fallen made this feel like a more nuanced storyline than we often see in WoW," said the reviewer.

PCGamesN went on to list and review the other zones in Shadowlands, including Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, Revendreath, and The Maw. The review particularly recommended Revendreath, the vampire realm, lauding its Gothic aesthetic and well-written storyline, as well as its "immensely varied" and "fun" quests.

According to PCGamesN, the Maw is the worst of the bunch, but it has seen a slight improvement since its beta stages. Such changes included the option to hijack mounts when mounts were previously unavailable, and also the Maw's Jailer was made more formidable by dispatching various offenses against the player as they complete objectives. While the review still didn't consider the Maw their cup of tea, it claimed that the upgrades made the zone "slightly less obnoxious to play through."

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is available now.