Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 53 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 53
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 53
  3. Negative: 0 out of 53
  1. Dec 25, 2010
    100
    Cataclysm doesn't just make WOW better. It does something even more valuable than that; it renews it. It fires your excitement at starting on that long road one more time, and invites you to relish the journey just as much as you'll lose yourself in its ending.
  2. Dec 23, 2010
    100
    If you're looking to run through the newly busted-up Azeroth with a fresh character, you won't find a better excuse to re-roll than the inclusion of playable Goblins and Worgen in Cataclysm.
  3. Dec 22, 2010
    100
    Cataclysm is a love letter to fans of World of Warcraft, as it celebrates everything that made the original game so successful while carefully updating the old game to the new standard of play that Blizzard has set.
  4. Dec 19, 2010
    100
    Cataclysm polishes the game experience, but keeps all the basics that made it so successful. For those who have never played World Of Warcraft before, or are taking a break, there's never been a better time to get into the game.
  5. Dec 14, 2010
    100
    Blizzard tears WoW to the ground and builds it up more skillfully than ever before. The new content is creative, has a tangible sense of story and progression that you wouldn't expect from an MMO, and is implemented so skillfully and smoothly that the bumps in the road are actually a bit jarring.
  6. Jan 13, 2011
    99
    From the friendlier, better-executed early content to the high-end zones and dungeons that make you feel like a hero bringing about major changes in the world, Cataclysm shows how far World of Warcraft has come since its beginnings and why it's still the best fantasy MMO on the market.
  7. Dec 17, 2010
    98
    Bravo, Blizzard, Bravo.
  8. Jan 20, 2011
    97
    World of Warcraft is still the number one and Cataclysm shakes up the world for the better. Finally returns some proper challenge to the gameplay and provides a fresh new set of endgame content - just not very much of it. A must buy for all existing World of Warcraft players and with up-to-date starting content, a good reason to jump in.
  9. Apr 24, 2011
    95
    World of Warcraft: Cataclysm brings the excitement of a new expansion to much of the game and provides some exciting and engaging high-level content. If your account has lapsed, Cataclysm makes it worth the renewal cost. The expansion content raises the bar and re-establishes Blizzard as the reigning king of traditional MMORPGs.
  10. Dec 14, 2010
    95
    What Blizzard has excelled at is taking ideas from other places, refining and improving them, and making them their own. With Cataclysm they've done something that has never been done before on this scale: they took one of the most popular and successful games in history, and utterly changed it. I, for one, love them for it. If you already love WoW, chances are you own Cataclysm already and have reached 85.
  11. 93
    If it wasn't clear by now, WoW is still WoW. Cataclysm has the same merits and mannerisms that every expansion has separately shown and it's the same evolution on old mechanics.
  12. Dec 30, 2010
    93
    A triumph. Competitors beware: this is the best MMO in the world. Once you're hooked it's impossible to stop playing. [Feb 2011, p.91]
  13. Dec 19, 2010
    93
    Though five new levels are fewer than 10, Cataclysm is nonetheless the most radical game-changer the World of Warcraft has seen yet.
  14. Feb 18, 2011
    92
    An essential buy for existing players. [Feb 2011, p.88]
  15. Feb 15, 2011
    92
    A fantastic expansion pack. It shrugged off a lot of the easy game play that was introduced in the last expansion and requires you to have to work for the best gear. Add onto that quests that redefine what you should expect from an MMO, and you have a winner in my books.
  16. Jan 10, 2011
    91
    After six years of life World Of Warcraft is still the top game in his category, Blizzard has done a great work revamping old zones and adding new content so that beginners and experts can enjoy the game in the same way. Maybe this will be the last expansion, or maybe in a couple of years we wil talk about a new game, but as of now WOW: Cataclysm is the game to choose in his genre.
  17. Dec 20, 2010
    91
    The fact that Cataclysm has changed virtually every aspect of Azeroth forever is just mind-blowing for an expansion pack.
  18. Dec 13, 2010
    91
    Finally Blizzard revives the classic World of Warcraft. With a new livery the shattered Azeroth becomes more challenging for returners and encourages newcomers to start off. It's about time to play the best MMO ever!
  19. Mar 21, 2011
    90
    More of an evolution in terms of gaming experience, but it's the best World of Warcraft expansion so far. If you have never tried WoW or are thinking about returning in Azeroth – now is the time. [Feb 2011, p.66]
  20. Mar 4, 2011
    90
    Blizzard has undergone an extremely ambitious effort with the Cataclysm expansion, razing the familiar to the ground and building something that proves both new and inviting. And while certain balance issues are being fixed via patches, thereʼs something good here for new players, veterans, hardcore and casual gamers alike.
  21. 90
    The third expansion brings back on the stage old places. Game mechanics are improved a bit closer to perfection. Welcome to the new level of addiction. [Issue#200]
  22. Feb 20, 2011
    90
    It's certainly done its share to bring the World of Warcraft into the modern era. [Issue#106, p.102]
  23. Feb 2, 2011
    90
    The most successful MMO ever adds another thick layer of icing to its cake. [Feb 2011, p.100]
  24. Jan 28, 2011
    90
    Blizzard has captures us in front of our desktop fantasy world once again.
  25. Jan 26, 2011
    90
    While nothing is completely ground breaking it shows that for the most part Blizzard can take and refine a game to a point that very few other companies can.
  26. Jan 10, 2011
    90
    Overall Cataclysm is the best of the three expansions so far, and still has plenty to evolve as many updates in the future will take advantage of the bases created by the greatest change ever to the world of Azeroth.
  27. Jan 10, 2011
    90
    In the end, Cataclysm is a great expansion to World of Warcraft.
  28. 90
    Without a doubt the most elaborate, polished and streamlined expansion for Blizzards MMO-monster yet. Cataclysm is so well-done that it makes The Burning Crusade, the first expansion for the game, look crude and old fashioned by comparison. At the same time, though, it has an odd feel of finality to it. Like World of Warcraft is reaching the end of what it's capable of doing. The game is aging gracefully, but you have to wonder where it can go after this.
  29. Jan 4, 2011
    90
    There's no reason not to buy Cataclysm if you're already playing World of Warcraft. And if not, it's a great moment to discover this great universe.
  30. Jan 4, 2011
    90
    Although it may look too short in content if judged only as an expansion, Blizzard has done an overwhelming job renewing the World of Warcraft universe.
  31. Jan 4, 2011
    90
    Blizzard has been bold and their gamble seems to have paid off - while this latest add-on doesn't achieve a flawless encore it feels pretty darn Zen. Cataclysm fixes up an already deep game with more flair and substance than ever before.
  32. Jan 2, 2011
    90
    World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is by far the best expansion of the set, and though it stumbles in its speedy progression from 80 to 85 and the Archaeology profession is boring and repetitive, the bulk of the content feels vast and polished.
  33. Dec 31, 2010
    90
    Cataclysm effortlessly mixes the casual focus of Wrath of the Lich King with the decidedly more challenging endgame prospects of classic WoW.
  34. Dec 23, 2010
    90
    Cataclysm's certainly not perfect, but it's the best World of Warcraft expansion so far and a damn near miraculous dip in the videogame fountain of youth for Blizzard's six-year-old MMO. Unless you absolutely, militantly despise World of Warcraft and all that it stands for, this one's a no-brainer.
  35. Dec 23, 2010
    90
    If you include the vast changes to the core game, Cataclysm is far and away the most impressive expansion to an MMO ever made, but if you just isolate what Cataclysm itself gets you, it's ultimately less content than Wrath of the Lich King. It's also better content than Wrath, with engaging storylines, inventive quests, and some very striking visuals.
  36. Dec 22, 2010
    90
    Whether you are a casual player looking for some new levelling experiences, a manic PvPer looking for the next challenge or a PvE progression player, Cataclysm has something for everyone. Like the expansions that preceded it, Cataclysm is growing and evolving.
  37. Dec 22, 2010
    90
    Deathwing is back, and his emergence on the world of Azeroth has been plunged into a devastating cataclysm. However, the fate that we have is that with all this destruction comes the best expansion appeared to date for the MMORPG market leader.
  38. Dec 21, 2010
    90
    Cataclysm is the best WoW so far. Perfect to welcome new MMO players and satisfy its core fanbase at the same time.
  39. Dec 20, 2010
    90
    Cataclysm is perhaps not quite as awe inspiring as previous expansion packs considering this is all refinement and a reworking of original content but there's no denying the sense of sheer joy you feel rediscovering old yet familiar areas of Azeroth.
  40. Dec 14, 2010
    90
    World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is sure to welcome many new MMO players and satisfy the core fanbase at the same time.
  41. Dec 12, 2010
    90
    The third, and probably best upgrade to the vast lore of World of Warcraft. New races, new instances, a complete redesigned Azeroth and many more changes, all make this expansion worthy both for the newcomers and the hardcore players. Obviously, it's still WoW, so if you are full of it, you'll probably enjoy it just for a month.
  42. Dec 9, 2010
    90
    Simply put, it is World of Warcraft 2.0. Everything seems to fit in: overhauled graphics, new landscapes, additional quests. Thanks, Blizzard.
  43. Dec 7, 2010
    90
    World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is excellent but it's still the same kind of content we have played over and over. Players should not expect revolutionary ways to play the game, Blizzard knows well if ain't broken don't fix it and they managed to deliver once again a huge amount of highly designed content which will keep any kind of player busy in the months - if not years - to come. That said, there's not much to add: Cataclysm is the exact reason why World of Warcraft numbers ten millions accounts while other MMORPGs do not.
  44. Dec 20, 2010
    88
    This is the best WoW so far and that's true in every aspect of the game. It's a bit too easy, but it has the most original quests of every other MMORPG.
  45. Feb 14, 2011
    87
    Cataclysm delivers exactly the high-quality gameplay experience we've all come to expect from World of Warcraft. Complaints about class changes and extreme difficulty aside, this is a truly enjoyable expansion and an absolute must-have for any current player.
  46. Dec 10, 2010
    86
    Only time will tell how long this can hold your attention, but the game's early moments promise an epic experience.
  47. Jan 2, 2011
    85
    The majority of quests and locations are familiar, and stepping into Azeroth for the first time is sure to be mildly overwhelming. Cataclysm is an expansion for the veterans, and an amazing one at that.
  48. Dec 17, 2010
    85
    Cataclysm doesn't improve World of Warcraft as dramatically as the free update that preceded it did, but it's still a great expansion pack for anyone with high-level characters.
  49. Dec 13, 2010
    85
    A brilliant addition to WoW which has brought along significant changes to both the game and how the players will feel about it: Epic!
  50. Jan 6, 2011
    80
    Cataclysm is a fantastic expansion of the populair MMO and can be bought by all fans without further questions. But new players can also gain much from playing Cataclysm, as the game is much more balanced.
  51. Dec 30, 2010
    80
    There are very few fruitless, time-wasting missions here. [Jan 2010, p.50]
  52. Dec 9, 2010
    80
    Will only get better. And while it might not be the best WoW expansion, what it has done is helped make World of Warcraft a much better experience for beginners, while providing more than enough to keep its hardcore fans happy.
  53. Jan 10, 2011
    79
    The new expansion for the critically acclaimed MMORPG is huge and massive. While new players should try it out without even thinking about it, the old users might not find the huge cataclysm it rumored to be. The content for the new leveling bracket looks a bit too familiar despite the excellent artistic and quest design endeavors. Overall the Cataclysm is definitly what a WoW-fan should expect from Blizzard but is not as cataclysmic as it first promised.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 819 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 211
  2. Negative: 91 out of 211
  1. Dec 11, 2010
    1
    I commend Blizzard on having truly shown me the lengths they'll go to to make money. It's a simple matter of fact: Cataclysm has reworked ALLI commend Blizzard on having truly shown me the lengths they'll go to to make money. It's a simple matter of fact: Cataclysm has reworked ALL of old Azeroth, adding new quests, new dungeons, reworking old dungeons, and creating such "cinematic" experiences, that one would be a fool not to buy this game! Unfortunately, all this loses its luster when you realize something: this game has become so putrescently easy, that all this content is meaningless. Your out the Dark Portal and into Burning Crusade in a few short days. The leveling in this game has been turned into a joke. The quests are easy, and rather than feel enjoyable, it feels like you rush through this game to get to the end-game content. I see people giving this game 10's because they level so fast, but what's the point of reworking the first sixty levels if all you're going to do is fly by them? Is that supposed to be impressive? That in a week you can be having fun in Burning Crusade? Hardly. Next is the graphical quality. Now, it's a bit of a taboo subject when it comes to WoW, because the game's so old, it's more "vintage" than it is "horrible" looking. Unfortunately, I fail to see the validity in that arguement. If a game looks bad, it looks bad. Blizzard reworked the water, and it looks fantastic. And that's about it. Everything else in this game is a congealed texture-filled mass of color that falls short from "impressive". The new character models look sometimes laughable (the Goblins especially), and the Worgen "mount" form was so rigid looking, that it feels like a shame they made them run like wolves, and not like, you know, wolf-MEN. As in, anthropomorphous, bipedal wolves. You play a worgen so you can walk on two legs, otherwise you could use Beast Vision and see through your pet's eyes if you wanted to play just a plain old wolf. The other thing that nobody seems to mention is that, the lore has been so destroyed, it's appalling. Tauren use the sunlight? Well then how are they Paladins? Unless the sun and the Holy Light are the same entity? But then, why can't Orcs and Trolls be Paladins? I mean after all, if their Shamanistic ways cause them to revere the elements, including the sun, then they, too, should be imbued with the Holy ways of the Paladin. Right? Well, of course not, because that's too much work for Blizzard. And Night Elf Mages? Oh, you mean the original race of magic-casting elves that branched off into Night Elves and High Elves? Because here's a nifty lore tidbit for you: there can't be Night Elf mages. They lost their ties to the arcane schools of frost and fire. They use nature now. But hey, if it gets Blizzard these resplendant reviews from the bleeting sheep that gave this game a ten simply because it gives them content that hardly lasts half a month, then by all means, rate this game a perfect ten. For those with some foresight, however, I implore you to look beyond this game for one simple reason: You know what happens in World of Warcraft. Say all you will about the new quests, but in the end you're just reading a block of text, hopping into some played-out vehicle quest, or using some flashy spells that make you incredibly powerful to complete the quests. It's the same stuff you've seen, except now it takes even LESS time to reach level 85. So why even redesign the first 60 levels if you outlevel it super fast anyways? Because it makes Blizzard money, and in the end, this isn't "WoW 2" as someone so ignorantly stated, this is "WoW: Less Content, Faster Leveling." I mean, ask yourself. They redesigned the quests and the areas, but is the content still the same? Is there AS MUCH to do? No. But the quests are flashier, so it gives you the ILLUSION that you're doing more. Besides, you level so fast, there's no need to go outside of the basic chain of areas to level, i.e. Elwynn, to Westfall, to Redridge, to Duskwood, etc. But no matter what I say, the fact of the matter remains: love is blind. If you couldn't stop playing Vanilla, or Burning Crusade, or Wrath of the Lich King, then nothing I say will matter. But if you've been on the fence about this game, then I implore you to disregard it. Read these positive reviews, and you'll see they all say the same thing: flashy "new" content makes for a great game! Just wait until the progression drought kicks in, and you wait for the new set of raids, just like Vanilla, Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King. Then you can make all the alts you want. See how long THAT lasts. Just remember: all that glisters is not gold. If there were ever a way to physically show that, all you'd need do is show someone Cataclysm's box. And let's not be ignorant, like Plagiarmaster, and mistake my first sentence for an authentic compliment. It's sarcastic. A joke. Much like this game. Full Review »
  2. Dec 7, 2010
    10
    Every area has been redone, and if not completely redone, then slightly convenienced. The quest flow is amazing now! Start a Human and go thruEvery area has been redone, and if not completely redone, then slightly convenienced. The quest flow is amazing now! Start a Human and go thru Elwynn, Westfall, and Redridge. By the end of the three regions, each with their unique stories (well Elwynn is much the same), you will agree with me. Much better than classic. Everything continues to grow as the years go on Full Review »
  3. Dec 9, 2010
    6
    There's multiple ways to go about reviewing Cataclysm.
    The actual event, and the content itself that was distributed for free is utterly
    There's multiple ways to go about reviewing Cataclysm.
    The actual event, and the content itself that was distributed for free is utterly excellent and some of the quest chains are so well excecuted that the quests would have you believe that it's been written like a standard, non-mmo while still maintaining excellent functionality. Under that rule, Cataclysm is a solid 10/10.

    Unfortunately, that is not the only thing to consider. What "Cataclysm" is, as a boxed product, is a meager amount of content that costs as much as a full priced game. £30 for a couple of extra zones and a couple of new races is just utter robbery which they will easily get away with. It's unjustified to give out such little content for such a high price without using the reason "We want the money and we can get away with it".

    So it depends on your stance on Cataclysm. Do you interpret the game as being one solid package, including the content which does not require you actually own the game this review is based around, or do you base it upon the game you are receiving in the box? As far as the boxed copy goes, it's a solid 5/10 for extremely poor value for money. As far as the full content including free content goes, it's a solid 10/10. If you don't own Cataclysm, just get yourself patched up to 4.0.3a and you can enjoy the majority of the content for free without paying a penny.
    Full Review »