Post-E3 2008: StarCraft II
Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: RTS
I have many fond memories of the original StarCraft. In fact, I still consider it to be the very best Real Time Strategy game ever made. StarCraft provided some of the very best single player and multiplayer gaming moments on my PC. Not a single soul on the earth could stop my Terran rush attack or the mighty power of my Protoss air attacks. I was ruthless and would leave my enemies completely destroyed. Fortunately for us all, we will soon get to relive these past strategies and develop new ones as Blizzard is currently developing StarCraft II.
StarCraft II will continue the tradition of the franchise by offering three playable races. Blizzard felt that the series already had great balance and that adding any additional races to the sequel would take away from what the first offered. Instead, Blizzard will be working to provide players with new units and tweaking the skills and abilities of existing units. As with any RTS title, this process can be very time consuming and individual units may have different skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses when the title ships.
One of the areas that Blizzard continues to monitor and tweak is the use of gas reserves. The current build of StarCraft II has these valuable resources set to deplete at a very rapid rate. The current philosophy for this is that by limiting the gas supply, at the start of each map, the player will be encouraged to explore the rest of the map in search for larger supplies to expand their resources. This will ensure players are actively seeking all corners of the map instead of just sitting idly in their initial base.
Visually, StarCraft II maintains the same classic look of its predecessor while updating the engine to full 3D. The new engine provides a tremendous amount of detail and allows you to zoom in right on top of your units. This viewpoint may not provide a great view of the action--but it sure looks good. If it looks like, why not show it off? Another reason for StarCraft II looking so darn good is the fluid animations. Just seeing a glimpse of this game in action is a true work of art.
Sadly, Blizzard has yet to reveal an official release date. Because they are remaining silent about it, my hope is that they will be releasing the game before the end of 2008. No matter when this title comes out, SCII is shaping up to even eclipse the original.