BlizzCon '09: StarCraft II Overall Impressions

BlizzCon '09: StarCraft II Overall Impressions

Beware of rising lava.
Beware of rising lava.

All right so maybe we were a little outnumbered by the World of Warcraft players, and maybe a little part of me died every time someone screamed "For the Horde!" in my ear, but there was still a longer line to play StarCraft II at BlizzCon 2009 than there was to play World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Take that, Arthas! But in all seriousness, we got some hands-on time with StarCraft II (as much as we could in a weekend) and while the changes are small, the game is coming along well.

Specifically the single player has really come into its own. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty stays true to its roots with original RTS-style gameplay, forsaking the standard "defeat this enemy" mission style and adding more missions where objectives and strategic timing play a larger role. Another great feature is the addition of environmental effects like lava overflows which actually affect the player's gameplay directly by killing unwary units. Two missions were available this year, including Evacuation of Agria and Monolyth. Both were, of course, from the perspective of Raynor's Raiders and had time-based objectives to complete.

Something that has definitely added a new level to single player in StarCraft II is the addition of achievements. Sure, other games have rewards for 100 kills but SC2 has achievements for each mission that determine your reward at the end and really add strategic value and makes it more challenging. It also extends the game's playability by quite a bit. Finishing a mission with all your achievements intact is a great test.

As far as multiplayer gameplay is concerned, there's not much to critique. The Zerg are the epitome of nastiness and the Ultralisk is just as much fun, if not more, than it was in the original. They have a slightly steeper learning curve than the rest of the races but it's worth the effort. The new macro-management features increase the potential for the player to achieve higher levels of play with minimum effort. StarCraft II is a game that will start easy and gradually become harder as your skill level improves.

Of course there's going to be minor balance issues for the next couple of years but really the game could be shipped whenever Blizzard gives the go-ahead. Receiving a copy of the game in its current build would be enough to satisfy 99 percent of players and have them begging for the expansion. The game is sleek, has the best UI of any RTS I've played (C&C needs a revamp), and its new gameplay mechanics manage to avoid the gimmicks and provide the player with a unique experience.

Jonathan Tietz is the admin for StarCraft2Forum.org. Read his in-depth review of the BlizzCon build here.

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No offence, but it sounds like you have a fairly unrealistic, hyped view of this game. This kind of talk reminds me of Halo 3/GTA 4 talk. Sure the game will probably have a few new features but I doubt it will revolutionise everything. These achievements sound alot like secondary objectives, and nearly every rts has these.

Timed missions? Yuck. I hate timed missions unless it's those defend during XX:XX.

Markness:
No offence, but it sounds like you have a fairly unrealistic, hyped view of this game. This kind of talk reminds me of Halo 3/GTA 4 talk. Sure the game will probably have a few new features but I doubt it will revolutionise everything. These achievements sound alot like secondary objectives, and nearly every rts has these.

Yes but that was halo 3 and GTA 4. It sounds unrealistic and hyped. You're right that it will not revolutionise everything. In fact, blizzard's game have rarely revolutionised anything. What they do do is learn from their competition, put in all the good features (except full lan :S ) leave out all the bad and provide a triple A quality experience.

I've yet to play a Blizzard game that has not lived up to the hype.

brewbeard:
I've yet to play a Blizzard game that has not lived up to the hype.

Yep.

Of course there's going to be minor balance issues for the next couple of years but really the game could be shipped whenever Blizzard gives the go-ahead. Receiving a copy of the game in its current build would be enough to satisfy 99 percent of players and have them begging for the expansion.

Might want to fix that.

Samman:

brewbeard:
I've yet to play a Blizzard game that has not lived up to the hype.

Yep.

Of course there's going to be minor balance issues for the next couple of years but really the game could be shipped whenever Blizzard gives the go-ahead. Receiving a copy of the game in its current build would be enough to satisfy 99 percent of players and have them begging for the expansion.

Might want to fix that.

Oh?

I think they're officially referring to them as expansions now.

CantFaketheFunk:

Oh?

I think they're officially referring to them as expansions now.

Sorry misinterpretation. I thought you were referring to Wings of Liberty as an expansion (to SC1).

so...the only thing hold back the release of this game...is the new Battle.Net system? The same reason why they ripped out LAN in the 1st place?

I primarily enjoyed the single player aspect to SC1, mainly because I suck at multiplayer but also because of the story the game told. I'm buying SC2:WOL for the single player campaigns.

But the acheievment system that PS3 and Xbox games have jumped onto that almost garantees players will play their games that bit more before moving on, has to be applied to PC Blizzard games too?! So we're forced to sign up to Battle.Net and whose to say they won't charge us monthly for the privilege.

I've associated subscriptions to MMOs like WoW, and I was happy to pay that because it returned a maintance service to the game (well initally at least). But if I have to pay just to play an offline single player campaign? I dunno...

Korth13:
so...the only thing hold back the release of this game...is the new Battle.Net system? The same reason why they ripped out LAN in the 1st place?

I primarily enjoyed the single player aspect to SC1, mainly because I suck at multiplayer but also because of the story the game told. I'm buying SC2:WOL for the single player campaigns.

But the acheievment system that PS3 and Xbox games have jumped onto that almost garantees players will play their games that bit more before moving on, has to be applied to PC Blizzard games too?! So we're forced to sign up to Battle.Net and whose to say they won't charge us monthly for the privilege.

I've associated subscriptions to MMOs like WoW, and I was happy to pay that because it returned a maintance service to the game (well initally at least). But if I have to pay just to play an offline single player campaign? I dunno...

There will be no subscription fee for Battle.net. They've stated this time and time again. Monetized means microtransactions for little bells and whistles.

brewbeard:
I've yet to play a Blizzard game that has not lived up to the hype.

dont you mean outdone its hype?

SC2 has a pair of boots the size of Greece to fill. i expect it to fill those boots because blizzard has not sold SC to some other company.

Markness:
No offence, but it sounds like you have a fairly unrealistic, hyped view of this game. This kind of talk reminds me of Halo 3/GTA 4 talk. Sure the game will probably have a few new features but I doubt it will revolutionise everything. These achievements sound alot like secondary objectives, and nearly every rts has these.

its blizzard, its their turf, and they havent pissed on the tree in 10 years. they are going to make a game that will remake you. the Terran campain will have you rigging charges to landmarks in DC, the Zerg campaign will be a desent into madness, slowly hemorrhaging all sane thoughts from your mind. the Protoss Campaign will simply fuck you up.

SC2's Hype is nothing. SC2 is Blizzards gift to the entire universe.

CantFaketheFunk:

Korth13:
so...the only thing hold back the release of this game...is the new Battle.Net system? The same reason why they ripped out LAN in the 1st place?

I primarily enjoyed the single player aspect to SC1, mainly because I suck at multiplayer but also because of the story the game told. I'm buying SC2:WOL for the single player campaigns.

But the acheievment system that PS3 and Xbox games have jumped onto that almost garantees players will play their games that bit more before moving on, has to be applied to PC Blizzard games too?! So we're forced to sign up to Battle.Net and whose to say they won't charge us monthly for the privilege.

I've associated subscriptions to MMOs like WoW, and I was happy to pay that because it returned a maintance service to the game (well initally at least). But if I have to pay just to play an offline single player campaign? I dunno...

There will be no subscription fee for Battle.net. They've stated this time and time again. Monetized means microtransactions for little bells and whistles.

I'm hoping that these "bells and whistles" include a modding tool and the ability to put skins over Battle.Net

I want an Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! skin, dammit.

you need more vespain gas........ to soon? how about more um you know pylons? nothing huh worth a try. this will be epic even more than warcraft 3(people still play that)

 

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