When I got word that StarCraft II had been officially announced in Seoul, Korea, I didn’t quite know how to react. Of course there was the rush of excitement, of thrill, of happiness, but there was also hesitation and a tinge of disbelief — could it be true? Isn’t this a joke?
Hey, now that I think of it, isn’t that how I also feel when an old flame returns to again light up my otherwise dull life, and comes back more buxom and ravishing than ever?
Back in 1998, I was a new PC gamer, and I was mightily fortunate to have begun the years of mouse-worn fingers (not the other way around) and “Just one more turn!” nights with a brilliant and almost perfect game — you guessed, it, StarCraft. SC made me a Blizzard fanboy, not its fantasy counterpart WarCraft, nor the blazing click-frenzied Diablo. I also patronized and revered those two franchises, but my loyalty remains with that one game with the right blend of great gameplay, masterful storytelling, dazzling cinematics, addicting multiplayer play, and deep game world lore.
Did I say one game? Now it’s going to be two.
- I got royally pissed when WarCraft III became 3D (tell you what, I didn’t like the graphics) and there was no word of SC2 for years. Even StarCraft: Ghost (for the console — Blizzard, why?!) was shelved. Now baby, it’s here — StarCraft, in glorious 3D.
- One word: cinematics. Blizzard’s cutscene guys are maestros, and the first trailer will only serve to whet your appetite. (The trailer shows a Marine being suited up for battle, along with glimpses of hydralisks, mutalisks, and even — gasp! — Kerrigan in action. That is Kerrigan, right? Didn’t know she had burning amber eyes, haha.) It’s high time we saw zerglings, wraiths, and zealots in WarCraft 3 cutscene-calibre movies.
- With 3D comes more detailed artworks that have a more serious (as in, hardcore scifi serious) look to them. Cases in point: 1) If this is a Terran Dropship, then that is one sleek looking ship, and 2) I never imagined that a mutalisk has a face as ugly as this. Oh well, trust the Zerg to be icky.
- Speaking of Kerrigan, I’m betting that she (I liked her more as the Zerg ‘Queen Bitch of the Universe’) will look…sexy in her green saliva-drooling and deathly pale skin glory. Count on Blizzard to deliver the ‘goods’. Think WoW Night Elf-voluptuous.
- Regardless of franchise, this is a new Blizzard game. Blizzard = excellence. Blizzard = great story. Blizzard = bang for the bucks. Blizzard = raising the bar for every game developer.
- “Three completely distinct races: Protoss, Terran, and Zerg”. WTF? Only three races? I sure hope Blizzard’s just building up the suspense factor and will spring a ‘surprise’ just before launch. I had actually expected a sequel to StarCraft to include at least one new race (a Zerg-Protoss hybrid, courtesy of the ‘secret mission’ in SC: Brood War involving units crossed between a hydralisk and a high templar). Heck, I even hoped for two new races, the other one being the Xel’Naga — the creators of both Protoss and Zerg.
- Parents might want to look for a “turn off blood and gore” option, a la Fallout. True, the screenshot above is full of what seems to be just red Zergling blood, but it’s red blood, nonetheless. Got to love the mix of the blood and explosions, though!
- If you’re an RTS fan or a StarCraft fanboy like me, say goodbye to your real life. Soon.