World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria preview

Blizzard brings Kung Fu Pandas to World Of Warcraft in its latest expansion pack

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World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria
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World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria
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World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria
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World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria
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World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria
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World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria
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World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria
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World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria

World Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria looks like it has a lot riding on it. With reports that numbers are down on Blizzard’s MMO, the developer is hoping its new expansion pack will draw players back to its game in droves.

World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria: Characters

It also arrives off the back of World Of Warcraft Cataclysm, which is a tough act to follow – when you’ve had a dragon destroy most of your world, what do you do for an encore? The answer seems to be to introduce your players to hominid Pandas and then teach them Kung Fu.

In Mists Of Pandaria, players will be able to create Pandarian characters – think a Panda crossed with a human and you're starting to get the picture. Not only that but the expansion also offers a new player-class of character: the Monk.

Unlike many of the other player classes, the Monk mixes magic attacks with martial arts, allowing players to perform a whole host of moves reminiscent of the Street Fighter games.

World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria: Plot

Of course, the expansion will offer far more content than a new race and new character class. The Blizzard scribes have been hard at work since Cataclysm writing a story for Pandaria that’s as engrossing and epic as anything World Of Warcraft has been known for.

The plot kicks off with the Horde and Alliance forces landing on the shores of Pandaria and reawakening an ancient spiritual evil force known as the Sha. The Sha is negative energy that the Pandarians managed to contain centuries ago, but with the arrival of the warring factions of Azeroth, it has grown in power and begun to manifest itself physically.

The return of the Sha comes at a bad time for Pandaria, as it coincide with an attempt by the Mogu – the brutal, dictatorial race that once ruled the land – to regain their power and enslave the Pandarian people.

World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria: Features

Before all this happens, however, the players will have the huge sprawling continent of Pandaria to explore. The map has increased from five new zones to seven since Mists was announced last year, and it's crammed with quests to complete, dungeons to explore and even new activities to engage in.

Players can now embark on Scenarios – new, mini-dungeon quests that feature a boss battle the end. They can buy and train cloud dragon flying steeds and take part in races in skies above Pandaria. They can even take their pets into battle in competitions that run like a weird mash-up of Pokemon and Final Fantasy.

World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria: Verdict

World of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria is more inviting and accessible than previous expansion packs. It may sound a little silly, but it boasts the story and superb Blizzard-level of depth to back up its developer’s assertion that it’s set to be a sure-fire hit with the World Of Warcraft faithful.

There’s more to the game than Kung Fu Pandas. The new expansion pack promises oodles of content, a strong storyline and – most importantly - massive amounts of fun. It might be time to renew your WOW subscription.

World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria availability: TBC

World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria price: TBC

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.