By Paul Hunter
We are drawing ever so close to the September 25 release date for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, so close in fact that it's time to have a look at the full opening cinematic for what's sure to be another blockbuster expansion pack.
The lengthy 4-minute intro begins with a eye-popping naval combat scene between two vessels, one carrying a Horde flag and the other brandishing the Alliance, as they crumble and plummet into the depths below. A survivor from each warship, one being an overgrown Orc and the other a husky Human, manage to swim ashore, where a melee battle errupts between the two. Grabbing whatever weapons they can find from their surroundings, the pair lock arms in a test of strength until...they get interrupted. Take a look at what happens:
According to lore, the denizens of Pandaria are a mysterious and noble race, rarely seen or understood by the other races that inhabit the world of Azeroth. In ancient times, the Pandaren were oppressed by warlords known as the Mogu, however through a staged revolt the Pandaren were able to overcome their captors and lived prosperously for thousands of years.
The new Pandaren race, unlike previous races in World of Warcraft, begin faction-neutral for the early parts of the game. Once your Pandaren reaches Level 10, you can choose to align your character with the Horde or the Alliance. Also unique to the Pandaren race is their ability to speak their native language, plus the language of the faction they choose to enter, be it Common language (Alliance) or Orcish (Horde).
Seven character classes in total are available to Pandaren characters: Mage, Rogue, Warrior, Hunter, Priest, Shaman, and the all-new Monk. Monks are masters of hand-to-hand combat, employing "chi" energy to help them enhance their damage, defense or cast healing spells. The weapons of choice for Monks are primarily their fists, though they are also capable of carrying one-handed weapons such as axes, maces and swords, as well as two-handed polearms and staves.
There are two difference retail SKUs available for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, a regular edition and a limited run Collector's Edition.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is releasing on DVD-ROM for Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 and Macintosh on September 25, 2012. The expansion pack is being developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment.
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is rated T for Teen.
[This article originally appeared on the Future Shop Tech Blog]