The Warcraft game universe has been around for decades, and in 2004, gamers finally got to explore every inch of its fictional fantasy world when Blizzard released its hit MMORPG World of Warcraft. At long last, Azeroth was a living, breathing place, filled with villages, caves, monsters and secrets for players to explore and discover.
Fast-forward to 2016, and Blizzard's world of Azeroth is being brought to life like never before in the upcoming summer blockbuster Warcraft, in theaters June 10. The live-action film will adapt the tale of the first contact between orcs and humans for a new audience, but there's little doubt that theaters on opening weekend will be packed with players of Blizzard's long-running MMO. Those players will be intimately familiar with each and every part of Azeroth. After all, they've been there. Some players have logged hundreds and even thousands of days playing in Azeroth, and likely know it better than the backs of their hands.
It's for that reason it's such a delight, and a little bit of a surprise, to see how Warcraft almost perfectly captures many of the areas of which game players will have fond memories. Many of the southern zones that appear on Azeroth's eastern continent in-game will make an appearance in the film, and from what fans have glimpsed so far in the film's trailers, the similarities are breathtaking. Below are in-game images of various regions of Azeroth, with the Warcraft movie equivalent following below.
Warcraft's Stormwind isn't a perfect recreation of its video game counterpart, but it does capture the feel of the Alliance capital city in a way that should please fans.
As with the city proper, this isn't exactly how the harbor looks in the game, largely because the film makes the scale of the city far larger. It does, however, keep Stormwind's defining characteristics, including the various canals and bridges.
Many Alliance players know the zone of Westfall all too well. Of all the film's environmental recreations, it perhaps most accurately captures this farm region the best. You can even see the zone's infamous mechanized Harvester Golems in the background.
The film version of the Redridge Mountains region is much lusher than its video game counterpart, but is otherwise a fairly spot-on recreation of an area in Alliance with which players are no doubt familiar.
Swamp of Sorrows
The Swamp of Sorrows is one of the first regions the Horde discovers upon invading Azeroth through the Dark Portal. The game version is much grimier and murkier than the zone seen in the film, but it's definitely the Swamp of Sorrows.
This barren path leading to the Blackrock Mountains looks to be perfectly captured in Warcraft. Then again, it's hard to mess up gray rocks.
World of Warcraft's iconic flying city will be appearing in the film, and the movie looks to have captured the city's mystical towers perfectly.
This region of the dying Draenor is one players of World of Warcraft's Burning Crusade expansion will know well. It's from here that the Dark Portal, the device that allows the orcs to travel to Azeroth for the first time, is built.
Ironforge, the capitol city of the dwarves, is yet another perfect example of just how faithful Warcraft is to the digital version of Azeroth. From the crates in the background to the massive pots of molten ore, this is Ironforge as players of Blizzard's MMO know it.