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StarCraft 2 is here

Posted on 23rd Jul 2010 at 17:40 by Alex Watson with 45 comments

Alex Watson
...but we're still waiting. As you might have seen from our post on Twitter earlier, our review copy of StarCraft 2 is here, but we can't play it - the game has to authenticate using Blizzard's servers and they're not coming online until Tuesday, when the game actually launches.

As a result, there aren't going to be any pre-release reviews - not that this has done anything to dampen the hype - pre-orders in the US alone expected to hit three-quarters of a million. Heaven knows what the situation is like in South Korea.

StarCraft 2 is here Starcraft 2 is here

As Harry pointed out, the fact we're actually going to wait to play the game means we can admire the box in quite some detail. It really is quite nice, complete with a double fold-out showing a massive battle between the Terrans and the Zerg. Less positively, the box also doesn't really clearly explain that you're getting the first chapter of a StarCraft 2 saga...

Still, I'm looking forward to the game, particularly the effort that Blizzard is saying its put into into the singleplayer portion of the game, with a huge story and unique units. For me, the RTS genre has stagnated since the excellent Company of Heroes - a shame, as its one that is unique to the PC (as numerous dreadful console RTS games such as Stormrise show).

Well, while we're all waiting, check out this stirring final trailer for the game (props to Ars for the pointer):

45 Comments

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wuyanxu 23rd July 2010, 17:49 Quote
episodic Starcraft 2?

blaming Activision's greed.
Sifter3000 23rd July 2010, 17:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
episodic Starcraft 2?

blaming Activision's greed.

Well, it's easy to do, but I think it could just as easily be put down to Blizzard's ambition - see the FAQ here: http://eu.starcraft2.com/faq.xml#trilogy

They see the game as being much bigger than just a one off. From what Joe's told me (he's played it, I haven't) there's going to be more than enough content in SC2: Wings of Liberty to justify its full price.
thehippoz 23rd July 2010, 17:53 Quote
can't wait.. I wonder if there will be a roid rage build like the orc tower rush on wc3
Skiddywinks 23rd July 2010, 17:55 Quote
CAN'T ****ING WAIT.

*ahem* Sorry. SC takes me back to the good old days.
g3n3tiX 23rd July 2010, 18:08 Quote
I'd like clear information on region locking.
If I buy it in Europe, will I be able to play while in the US ? (provided I get the appropriate client software) ?
Stuey 23rd July 2010, 18:11 Quote
The game comes out the week of my wedding anniversary. I've got it preordered. What a conflict of interest!

Also, SCII is currently the top selling video game over on Amazon. yeehaw

Also, are they ignoring the Brood War timeline??
pimonserry 23rd July 2010, 18:17 Quote
Trailer doesn't make it look like much of an RTS O.o
Veles 23rd July 2010, 18:24 Quote
Stagnated? What about Sins of a Solar Empire, Dawn of War II and Total War?

Though I would love to see more like CoH, by far it's my favourite RTS.
Yemerich 23rd July 2010, 18:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Stagnated? What about Sins of a Solar Empire, Dawn of War II and Total War?

Though I would love to see more like CoH, by far it's my favourite RTS.


Don't forget about Men of War, in terms of RTS, the best ever!
Sifter3000 23rd July 2010, 18:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Stagnated? What about Sins of a Solar Empire, Dawn of War II and Total War?

Though I would love to see more like CoH, by far it's my favourite RTS.

Well, it's just my opinion - Harry would certainly beg to differ. But I wasn't a fan of DoW2 and Total War isn't really an RTS - it's much more a full on strategy game in my book.
Gunsmith 23rd July 2010, 19:27 Quote
I missed SC back in the day and i despise warcraft so im very "meh" regarding SC2's release, hell with the hype surrounding them as a dev i see them as the apple of pc gaming.

that trailer however, ive always liked blizzards cgi.

i might pick up sc2 to see what to fuss is about after the world settles down.
Hovis 23rd July 2010, 19:29 Quote
I was pretty nonplussed by the game in beta, but that was in much the same way as a person who doesn't like football would be unimpressed by a really good FIFA game.

It's more of the same Starcraft but immaculately well presented. But it is still only Starcraft. I never got into playing it competitively, likely never will, which leaves me with the single player. Now I've not played that in SC2 beyond skirmish modes, but frankly given the limitations of the game and environment as a single player game it doesn't strike me as having too much to offer. I like things like cover systems, terrain, intuitive strategies and immersion, those can't be added to Starcraft without ruining the purity of the gameplay, so I suspect that Starcraft 2 and I may simply have to agree to disagree.
dire_wolf 23rd July 2010, 19:32 Quote
Play.com posted my collector's edition this afternoon, can't wait till tuesday!
DarkLord7854 23rd July 2010, 20:25 Quote
My collector's edition is in the mail.. am excited.
Lemure 23rd July 2010, 20:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
episodic Starcraft 2?

blaming Activision's greed.

SC2 has more content than SC and BW combined. Also Blizzard has always made expansions for their games, this time they are just making one extra. It's not like they are making DLC or some crap like that.
okenobi 23rd July 2010, 22:25 Quote
The episodic nature of this game, is the least of my problems with Blizzard. They'll pull it off. The single player in the orignal and Brood War expansion was awesome and the cinematics for a 12 yr old game are amazing.

I can't play it because my PC won't cope, otherwise I would've pre-ordered. I still play the original and I love it!
rollo 23rd July 2010, 23:08 Quote
ive got it pre ordered its just gonna be game of the year nuff said really

be biggest selling game either way
Omnituens 23rd July 2010, 23:39 Quote
the fact they split it up into 3 games is the reason I am skipping this one... im not paying 30 odd quid for 1/3 of a game.
Star*Dagger 24th July 2010, 01:07 Quote
I wonder if they will reach the high water mark set by Supreme Commander (1).

As far as the crying about episodic, that is the way PC Gaming is moving, MMOs and Episodes. Enjoy it or check out how much it costs to invest in another hobby (hint: they are all much more expensive than PC Gaming).

S*D
willyolio 24th July 2010, 02:07 Quote
High mark set by supreme commander? i don't think supcom even managed to break SC1's sales numbers. SC2 will probably blow it out of the water within a week.

second, episodes: if you've ever bought any blizzard RTS, you already knew there would be an expansion pack. AT LEAST ONE expansion pack. they have stated there will be two this time. oh no, activision has taken over and blizz is just a money hog! bohoo!! wah wah wah!
Star*Dagger 24th July 2010, 04:03 Quote
Heh, I wasn't talking about its commercial success but its tactical depth. SupCom for me, and many RTS grognards, is the high water mark of the genre.
Mentai 24th July 2010, 04:57 Quote
Oh please, enough with the crying about episodes. It's a TRILOGY. No one complained that the Mass Effect box didn't fully out line you were only getting 1/3 of the full story. You get a full game, you can buy another full game later if you want to continue the single player story. The only reason this is complicated is because of the multiplayer aspect, which is resolved by the fact that if you don't want new units you still get to play with other players that didn't buy the expansion.
knuck 24th July 2010, 06:27 Quote
How does the 'episodic format' affect the multiplayer ?
willyolio 24th July 2010, 06:37 Quote
each expansion should bring about 2-3 new units per race, but that's about it.

and to Star*Dagger: personally i found that supreme commander was extremely lacking in tactical depth. the main problem was that it was trying to be too epic: tons and tons of units, teching up to ginormous units, but when you do that, it starts becoming a game of statistics. quick, small movements and attacks are almost impossible at that scale. controlling several small squads with precise, down-to-the-second timing really amounts to nothing, and is about equivalent to just sending a stream of units straight from the factories. the exponentially increasing power with each tech level quickly renders the early-game technology moot, so while the game itself may have dozens of units, only a few are useful at any given time.

i was psyched when i first heard about supcom, but after playing it for a while i felt that "giant epic battles and giant epic units" was just another gimmick that ultimately detracted from the gameplay by making things like micromangement, hit-and-run, etc. mostly irrelevant.
knuck 24th July 2010, 08:40 Quote
so basically after each new release people will bitch and moan about the balance of game being ruined


it's always the same story
willyolio 24th July 2010, 08:44 Quote
oh, they'll bitch and moan regardless. for example, during the beta, blizz found that the 3 matchups (TvP, TvZ, and PvZ) were nearly perfectly balanced- close to 49-51% balance, except one was about 55-45%, with terrans being the weak race.

but people complained terrans were overpowered anyways.
knuck 24th July 2010, 08:47 Quote
funny :D
DriftCarl 24th July 2010, 08:55 Quote
the game will be region locked on launch, but blizzard has said they are working on a way to allow cross region play in a future patch. My guess is that the ladder will always be region locked but you would be able to add peoples battlenet accounts to your friends list cross region and play in private lobbies with them.

Ive been playing beta for a few months and its quite fun, the first rts that ive played that ive really gotten into the competative multiplayer side of things
ledbythereaper 24th July 2010, 09:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3n3tiX
I'd like clear information on region locking.
If I buy it in Europe, will I be able to play while in the US ? (provided I get the appropriate client software) ?

Afaik, it's going to work like WoW, if you have the EU version then you play with EU people, if you have the US version, then you play with US people.
g3n3tiX 24th July 2010, 12:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledbythereaper
Afaik, it's going to work like WoW, if you have the EU version then you play with EU people, if you have the US version, then you play with US people.

The thing is I'm leaving to the US for a year, so I'd like to know if I buy the game in EU (and tie it to my battle.net account) I'll be able to play both in the US and in Europe (using different versions of the game if needed)
rollo 24th July 2010, 23:44 Quote
its not about a diffrent version its the authentification server it connects too that you need to change alot like wow

wow eu will work with wow usa you just change relm to wow us
knuck 25th July 2010, 00:28 Quote
pre-ordered at EBGames. I shall have it tuesday ;)
lewchenko 25th July 2010, 10:28 Quote
To the poster commenting on Supreme Commander...

Yes, StarCraft eclipsed SupCom 1 in terms of sales by a vast margin. Sometimes people struggle with new ideas / new concepts, and Supcom brought these to the table in bucket loads.

Its really hard these days playing any RTS that zooms you into the action 2 inches above the ground and doesnt let you zoom out. Starcraft 2 doesnt bring anything new to the table at all... just better graphics, more maps and a different campaign.... evolution for sure, but not revolution.

Meh.... It will sell millions, but innovative Starcraft 2 is most certainly not. (and thats exactly what the millions of Koreans wanted.. more of the same)
m0ngy 25th July 2010, 12:26 Quote
Yeah, I have to put in my 2c regarding SupCom also. Let's forget about SupCom2, because everyone knows it's a depressing pos (clumsy grab at console $$), but Forged Alliance was brilliant. Really, SupCom/FA were just modern remakes of Total Annihilation, perhaps THE best, and by far the most revolutionary RTS of all time.

TA was released around the same time as Starcraft v1, and was infinitely better in almost all respects. TA introduced so many new and exciting innovations it left the competition (C&C, SC, etc) looking archaic. The ability to instantly zoom in/out of the map to get a global assessment is now essential for any RTS, in my opinion. I think TA and SupCom/FA both suffered from the fact they're hard to play, with a very steep learning curve; noobs need not apply.

This is what I love about them, they're the only RTS games that truly allow you to play the game any way you like (true sandbox games), instead of being directed to 'play by numbers'. I've always been surprised boring, plodding RTS games like C&C never incorporated ANY of the ingenius innovations of TA/SupCom/FA, and the fact that SC2 hasn't bothered either instantly brands it as just another pretty, but ultimately boring and generic RTS.

We need the genre to move forward, break new ground and introduce new ideas, not just render bloom effects for explosions.
Skiddywinks 25th July 2010, 17:34 Quote
As far as I am concerned, SC and SupCom are THE two best RTS games around. I loved DoW2's campaign, but the multiplayer was really boring I felt, and don't even get me started on how crap Last Stand was. Still, it's easily the best at what it does, it's just that I don't like what it does as much as SC and SupCom.

While I'm here, I don't suppose anyone knows the cheapest place to get SC2 in the UK?
Dave_M 26th July 2010, 01:58 Quote
voice acting that can only put eastenders to shame... lol
memeroot 26th July 2010, 09:22 Quote
with the hype I think I'll bite.... though episodic sh*t sucks
robots 26th July 2010, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentai
Oh please, enough with the crying about episodes.

Oh please!
mpr 26th July 2010, 21:20 Quote
I only bought SCII for the potential in the modding community... I guess I'm a sucker.
Gambler FEX online 26th July 2010, 21:56 Quote
The single-campaign for SC1 was very good, both main and expansion. I played through them several times. I hope there will really be three huge campaigns instead of small episodic content like Half life 2 and Sin/steam. Episodic releases does not work, they are too short and it is harder to implement new 3d technology, for instance physics and re-define the genre.

Half life episode 2 was fairly long, however.
DarkLord7854 26th July 2010, 22:50 Quote
Sweeeeet.. My Collector's Edition just shipped out with a scheduled delivery for tomorrow. Woot.
ledbythereaper 27th July 2010, 08:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
its not about a diffrent version its the authentification server it connects too that you need to change alot like wow

wow eu will work with wow usa you just change relm to wow us

Yes, providing you have a US WoW account. You can't decide to play on US servers one day and transfer all your characters over.
impar 27th July 2010, 10:13 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpr
I only bought SCII for the potential in the modding community... I guess I'm a sucker.
Whats the last word on the monetization of Battle.net?

Can only find this:
Quote:
The Marketplace

Custom maps will be both free and premium. Premium maps will allow for hardcore maps to be sold rather than all downloadable for free. The reasoning behind this conception is Blizzard has looked at games like Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat that had funding and turned into much bigger games and that map developers will be rewarded from the work. With map developers having a budget to work with they can become much more developed, balanced, and go further than ever before. Players will also be able to rate and comment on maps.

The market place is something that is much more long term goal for Blizzard and will not completely be available at the point of release. However there are some components that will be available at release.
fatty beef 27th July 2010, 19:34 Quote
flame/ F-the market place \flame
willyolio 27th July 2010, 21:20 Quote
there's still a tons websites out there with free maps and stuff. second, they can only charge money if the mapmaker wants to charge money.
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