29 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

I’ve been waiting a long time for the sequel to Starcraft. I wasn’t exactly sure if Blizzard could update the game and still keep the same feel. I am happy to say that they have! The game play you know and love from the original is all there but the graphics have been brought into the 21rst century. Here is a quick run down of my experience so far:

Graphics: I’m not running the most state-of-the-art computer, but the game runs great on the “High” settings. I’m running an Intel E7400 with 4 GB of RAM and Dual NVidia 9600 GT OC’s in SLI. I had just a bit of stutter on “Ultra” settings, so I turned it down a bit.

Sound: The audio is a mix of “blast from the past” and “Wow! That is cool they added that!” Old fans will immediately feel at home on the main menu, I guarantee. There are also nice touches through out the game such as selectable music tracks in some areas. And of course it wouldn’t be Starcraft without the unit responses now would it?

Control: I hope you remember your hotkeys from SC1 because you’ll be needing them. The interface is pretty much cut and paste from SC1 but it has been updated for today’s graphics. Camera control is very nice, but I haven’t yet found a way to rotate the view and you are pretty limited to how far you can zoom out.

Single-player Game play: There are some interesting new aspects to the single-player game. You get to research upgrades and purchase new types of units (warning: some of these units are NOT available in multi-player). You also get delivered the storyline in face-to-face chats with other characters as well as through the standard cutscenes. As for during mission game play, Blizzard has stayed true to form. Basically if you likes SC1 in single-player, you should love SC2’s single-player mode.

Multi-player Game play: Pure “vanilla” SC2 is very similar to online play with SC1. But you have the option to install custom game types as well. Think tower defense and DotA in Warcraft 3. I’m really looking forward to seeing what people come up with. While I love standard RTS action (which SC2 offers plenty of) a little change never hurts and promises to give the game a lot of longevity.

Ok, now for the bad part. You knew there had to be a reason for 4 stars, right?

1.) You have to log in to play, even in single-player. This really doesn’t matter to me, but I know some people call it a “deal breaker”.
2.) No LAN play at all. Yes, you can still connect through their servers to your buddy sitting beside you. But LAN play isn’t dead, Blizzard. Some of us like having the ultra-low latency of getting together face-to-face with our friends.

All that said, I’m looking forward to a long, healthy relationship with StarCraft 2. So far, the wait has been worth it. I can’t wait to see how the community evolves and what new mods are made available over the next few months.

Continue the epic saga of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg. These three distinct and powerful races will clash once again in the fast-paced real-time strategy sequel to the original, StarCraft. Legions of veteran, upgraded, and new unit types will do battle across the galaxy, as each faction struggles for survival.

Featuring a single-player campaign that picks up where StarCraft: Brood War left off, StarCraft II presents a cast of new heroes and familiar faces in a sci-fi story filled with adventure and intrigue. In addition, Blizzard offers online play through Battle.net with several enhancements and features to make StarCraft II even better.

Rating: ★★★★☆


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