World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria Review: A New Tale In A Beautiful Land

Mists of Pandaria In Review A New Tale In A Beautiful Land

World of Warcraft is a juggernaut. Like it or not, this Blizzard MMORPG has been at the top of the pile for over five years. With a rich lore at their finger tips it came as something of a surprise to people when World of Warcraft’s fourth expansion was announced.

Mists of Pandaria was the expansion pack no one seen coming, but is it what the community wanted? This review will be broken down in to sections covering the various key elements of Mists of Pandaria. Given the nature of MMO’s we felt it would be unfair to try and cover such a broad scope in one single post.

What is New?

Mists of Pandaria leads to ever raging battle between the Horde and the Alliance to a new mysterious continent inhabited by hidden evils and undiscovered races. Pandaria is also the home to the new playable race, the Pandaren.

This race of giant Pandas (first seen in Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne) bring a whole new batch of lore to Blizzard’s already fleshed out world. The general plot outline of Mists of Pandaria (commonly referenced to as MoP) is that the hatred and anger produced by the war between the Horde and the Alliance, has spilt onto the lands of Pandaria, unleashing an ancient evil. This ancient evil must be subdued in order to protect the lands, thus begins the Pandarens quest to unite the Horde and the Alliance in a state of peace for the sake of Azeroth.

While the whole plot point of ‘end of the world events’ has been done to death (see the last three World of Warcraft expansions) you’d be forgiven for feeling somewhat jaded by the prospect of saving the world again. Thankfully the way in which the plot is handled, through the quests and characteristics of the Pandaren, things feel a lot different.

The Pandaren Explained

The nature of the Pandaren results in a nice middle point in the overall scale of the things. They are peaceful in their ways and will only fight when they need to. Their spiritual teachings and beliefs act as a perfect counter balance to the hatred shared between the Horde and Alliance. The soul-searching and discipline of the Pandaren begins to rub off on the Horde and Alliance who begin to see the common ground they share.

The core of the Warcraft universe has long been the battle between the Horde and Alliance, so to experience a truce of sorts within Mists of Pandaria is oddly refreshing. The nature and lore of the Pandaren is the most interesting feature of the Mists of Pandarias story. The influence of the far east is clear. Their focus on spiritual teachings and discipline has its roosts to the beliefs of Buddhist monks.

The influence of the far East also stretches into the visual style and architecture of the in game world. Buildings display clear inspiration of ancient far Eastern design while maintaining that distinct World of Warcraft look. The detail built into the various buildings and towns is stunning and often leaves the player in a state of awe.

This feeling is often repated once the player begins to truly explore the lands of Pandaria. The Jade Forest provides a picture perfect landscape filled with interesting and nicely presented villages. The likes of Kun-Lai summit displays Blizzard’s skill in creating stunning scenery that stays perfectly in cannon with it’s surroundings.

Starting Out

The first time a player sees the Temple of The White Tiger will be memorable, it’s also a nice reminder that even an ‘old’ game such as World of Warcraft can still look fantastic. The cosmetics of Pandaria is a true testament to the sheer talent that Blizzard has in their world famous art teams.

There are a few issues with some of the new zones in terms of looks. Much like every World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria also has it’s own ‘dark zone’. These ‘dark zones’ tended to be covered in dark shades of colour (mainly purples and blues) and often become quite dull to look at after a hour or two in the zone. The trend is still at work and its still boring to look at. While it does provide a range of themes to Pandaria’s varied landscapes it doesn’t make it any more enjoyable to look at.

Blizzard have had a long history with pairing their games with fantastic scores, and Mists of Pandaria is no different. A number of the original scores have been finely crafted with most of them sounding wonderful. The music compliments the far Eastern themes almost perfectly resulting in each zone omitting a sense of intrigue and warmth (or coldness depending on the zone). There are some strange choices at times, examples of this include what can only be described as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’s soundtrack mixed with Deliverance’s soundtrack.


The set up of Mists of Pandaria is steeped in mystery, and this suits the game brilliantly. The plot may sound a little over used but the addition of the Pandaern and their nature creates a fantastic twist to proceedings. The lands of Pandaria are beautifully crafted, the scenery is breath taking and will leave World of Warcraft veterans questioning if this is even the same game. Mists of Pandria is Blizzards curve ball, both in terms of plot, themes and aesthetics, thankfully all these elements have proved to be a success.

World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria: Mists of Pandaria is the fourth expansion of World of Warcraft, which introduces a new continent named Pandaria, inhabited by undiscovered races and a new playable race called Pandaren, giant Pandas that bring a new batch of lore to the game's universe. The expansion's plot revolves around an ancient evil unleashed by the ongoing war between the Horde and Alliance, and the Pandaren's quest to unite the two factions in a state of peace for the sake of Azeroth. Mists of Pandaria also showcases an Eastern influence on the game's lore, aesthetics, and architecture, providing players with stunning scenery and art, along with a refreshing take on the game's central conflict. gamereuphoria

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