It’s been over 10 years since the genre-defining game “World of Warcraft” launched. Despite the passing of time, there are still over 7 million people actively playing the game.
Of course, in that time period, games have gotten significantly more attractive.
Here’s what “World of Warcraft” looks like right now in its most current expansion, with the same art style and graphical fidelity it had when it started back in 2004:
Pretty rough, no? Ignoring the messy user-interface (all that text and the dozens of boxes on the bottom of the screen), the game’s graphics don’t compare particularly well with modern games.
Though the comparison is dramatically unfair, here’s an image of just-released game “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”:
But we’re not here to pick on an ageing powerhouse; with over 7 million players, it’s not really possible to dramatically upgrade the looks of “World of Warcraft” without potentially isolating millions of players. Rather, we’re here to marvel at the work of a man named Daniel Luchau. He took one piece of the massive world in “World of Warcraft” and re-created it beautifully in a modern game engine.
The results are stunning. Just look at this:
That’s from an area in “World of Warcraft” called “Ellwyn Forest.” Here’s what it looks like in the game:
Quite an improvement, no?
The game engine powering this, Unreal Engine 4, is responsible for the massive uptick in graphical fidelity. It’s being used to power everything from small mobile games to massive blockbusters; it’s even being used to develop virtual reality games, which require a far higher graphical standard than games played on a television.
Here’s the full walkthrough of Luchau’s improvements to “World of Warcraft,” in video form: