In what may be a move to counter piracy in Russia, Blizzard has opted to sell the game at about half price and limited multiplayer functionality, with an option to extend battle.net service for a monthly fee, or a lifetime supply (thanks IncGamers).
Designed to be the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game, StarCraft II will feature the return of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg races, overhauled and re-imagined with Blizzard's signature approach to game balance. Each race will be further distinguished from the others, with several new units and new gameplay mechanics, as well as new abilities for some of the classic StarCraft units that will be making a reappearance in the game. StarCraft II will also feature a custom 3D-graphics engine with realistic physics and the ability to render several large, highly detailed units and massive armies on-screen simultaneously.
Terran commanders now train their troops to watch for these abominations. In the meantime, scientists are desperately trying to develop chemical rounds that will cause banelings to detonate before they reach terran lines.
StarCraft II will include a unique single-player campaign, as well as fast-paced online play through an upgraded version of Blizzard's online gaming service, Battle.net. A new version of Battle.net will be launched alongside StarCraft II with several enhancements and new features to establish it as the premier online gaming destination for Blizzard gamers. In addition, the game will come with a powerful, full-featured map editor that will put the same tools used by Blizzard's designers into the hands of players.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will be available both in a standard edition and in a limited-release Collector's Edition packed with exclusive bonus materials. Players who purchase either edition will be able to play online for no additional fee through the new version of Battle.net.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will be available on DVD-ROM for Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 and Macintosh. The standard edition will sell for a suggested retail price of $59.99 and will also be available shortly after release as a download through the online Blizzard Store. The special Collector’s Edition package, which is priced at $99.99 and will only be available at retail stores, will include the following bonus items in addition to the game disc:
- The Art of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, a 176-page book featuring artwork from the game
- An exclusive 2GB USB flash drive replica of Jim Raynor's dog tag, which comes preloaded with the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War® expansion set
- A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, cinematics with director’s commentary, and more
- The official StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty soundtrack CD, containing 14 epic tracks from the game along with exclusive bonus tracks
- StarCraft comic book issue #0, a prequel to the comic series
- A World of Warcraft mini Thor in-game pet that can be applied to all World of Warcraft characters on a single Battle.net account
- Exclusive Battle.net downloadable content, including special portraits for your Battle.net profile, decals to customize your units in-game, and a visually unique version of the terran Thor unit
- Fast-paced, hard-hitting, tightly balanced competitive real-time strategy gameplay that recaptures and improves on the magic of the original game
- Three completely distinct races: Protoss, Terran, and Zerg
- New units and gameplay mechanics further distinguish each race
- Groundbreaking single-player campaign
- Vibrant new 3D-graphics engine with support for dazzling visual effects and massive unit and army sizes
- Full multiplayer support, with new competitive features and matchmaking utilities available through Battle.net
- Full map-making and scripting tools to give players incredible freedom in customizing and personalizing their gameplay experience
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