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StarCraft II

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Blizzard
Developer: Blizzard
Release Date: July 27, 2010

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6. 'StarCraft II' (PC)

by Rainier on Jan. 19, 2008 @ 1:30 a.m. PST

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.

Keith Durocher: What could I possibly say about why I'm anticipating this game? StarCraft is the only real-time strategy that I've ever consistently played. Sure, I was a mediocre player at best, but seeing as how RTS is one of my least favorite genres, the fact that Blizzard made a game good enough to override my bias and hold my attention is noteworthy. So of course I want to leap into the long-awaited sequel. At the same time, my interest in StarCraft II is, like my interest in Fallout 3, somewhat morbid curiosity. A skeptical mind like mine cannot help but think that there's no way Blizzard could surpass the original, but that just makes me want to prove myself wrong that much more.

Nathan Grayson: StarCraft is one of the few classic games that holds up against the passage of time, even in spite of the many advances the RTS genre has made since the game's 1998 release. Each race is perfectly balanced and injected with more personality than most full games. Blizzard obviously knows this — and they know what additions their absolutely colossal Korean audience wants added to their national sport of choice — so they're not adding Space Orcs or removing Firebats. Oh wait, they are doing that second thing. Seriously though, they're simply adding new units, giving the visuals a makeover, and continuing the spellbinding tale that began in the original StarCraft. As an added bonus, the freeform single-player mode is bursting with potential, but the mere opportunity to see Jim Raynor up close in full 3D glory makes the idea undeniably enticing.

Geson Hatchett: StarCraft has a lot to answer for. It, much like its Blizzard brethren Diablo and Warcraft, is responsible for countless ruinations of lives, destruction of college scholarships, and, um, the ability to get hot Korean groupies based on how good you are at it. Don't ask me how that works. It's safe to say that when this game was shown off at last year's BlizzCon, the Earth sort of moved a bit. Simply put, this game is going to be bigger than possibly any other title we can name — even Street Fighter IV or Metal Gear Solid 4 or Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and that's saying something. All of those people whose lives were ruined by the original? They'll be right back on board for this one, drooling at the mouth during the installation process. I know this because I speak as one of those people.

James King: StarCraft II is the sequel to what many people consider to be the best RTS game ever created. Even after a decade, StarCraft is still the most-played RTS game in the professional gaming scene, with Korea adopting it almost like a national sport. The bar was set unbelievably high by the first game, but if any company can deliver on an RTS title, it's Blizzard Entertainment. So many games today seem to focus on the casual/mass market crowd with console adaptations and simplifications of controls and gameplay. Blizzard has openly stated that this game is only for the PC, and it's designed to be a highly competitive, fast-paced game that lives up to the original. If they manage to accomplish their goal, StarCraft II will be a landmark in gaming history.

Chris Lawton: Sometimes it's difficult to believe that the original StarCraft is 10 years old. When I was in college a few years ago, my friends and I still played it. There's something about the game that just draws you in and keeps you in its grip. Unfortunately, Blizzard has been a bit tight-lipped about a lot of the stuff they'll be adding to the sequel, but if their previous sequels, such as Diablo II and Warcraft III, are any indication, we're in for a phenomonal trip back into the world of StarCraft. The only complaint I would have is that it took them 10 years to take us back there.

Tim McCullough: If you're an RTS fan, it would be almost impossible to not want to get your hands on StarCraft II the moment it's released. Fans of the original have been waiting impatiently for nearly a decade to experience a sequel. Screenshots show that even though the tech has been significantly upgraded, you can still recognize the original StarCraft universe. With the incredible quality that usually comes from Blizzard Entertainment, I don't expect to be disappointed with this one.

Steven Mills: It's StarCraft. StarCraft 2, as a matter of fact. What more can be said? One of the best RTS games of all time is finally getting a sequel, and no, it's not just a makeover. StarCraft II is bringing new units; an intense, non-linear single-player campaign mode; and a highly anticipated map editor that will recreate a recognized map-making community on I'm looking forward to playing through a new campaign with better graphics, new units and altered gameplay, as well as checking out the endless amount of player-created maps online.

Tony "OUberLord" Mitera: One of the most popular RTS titles ever released is finally getting a sequel? Hell, it's about time. The original StarCraft is a title that is still played by lots of people the world over, and it's being sold on store shelves over a decade after its initial release. StarCraft 2 will take the series into the 3D realm and make use of a decade's worth of graphical and user interface advancements. The little information that's been released about the single-player campaign sounds extremely promising, including non-linear progression between missions and some degree of carryover from one mission to another.

Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen: Blizzard would need to do very little indeed to make StarCraft II a hit, so of course they're going over the top with it, insisting on ludicrous amounts of balance testing and carefully teasing gamers with snippets of information. StarCraft II's announcement has been expected since the release of Warcraft III's expansion three years ago, so its final arrival has, by default, resulted in the fevered interest of millions of fans around the globe. Between the work on StarCraft II and WoW: Wrath of the Lich King, if the former manages to come out this year, Blizzard's employees should ask for triple their pay.

Matthew Szlapka: It's StarCraft 2, a sequel to the highest-selling and most popular real-time strategy ever. Expectations are high. Let's forget about the new units, improved graphics that will run on less-than-average computers, and the continuation of the story. Blizzard never disappoints, and with a game as important as this one, they know to go all out.

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