On the Hyperion's bridge.

On the Hyperion's bridge.

Unfortunately this year’s BlizzCon didn’t reveal a ton of new information about StarCraft II. But the reason behind that is tantalizing in itself – the slowdown in the information on the game is partly a good sign. First, it means they’re out of information to give. What else can they tell us if they’ve told us everything they need to before release? Second, it means they’re busy polishing a game they expect to be released in the near future. Well, “near” is a relative term in the StarCraft universe, but 2010 will do.

As far as StarCraft II lore is concerned, we’ve gained a few interesting tidbits, but unfortunately no confirmed new characters. What we do know is that Gabriel Tosh, a new character on Raynor’s crew, has some link to Nova (the ghost portrayed as the heroine in the canceled StarCraft: Ghost franchise) the nature of which is unknown. However, we can confirm that Nova will be making some type of appearance in the single player StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign and according to Chris Metzen it will be “two or three missions.” Also from in-mission screen shots we know that part of the campaigns will focus on Arcturus Mengsk’s Dominion as the enemy.

The StarCraft II art panel focused mostly on the recent revision of the Zerg’s wardrobe – er, carapace. Most of the Zerg buildings and units recently got a makeover, perhaps the most drastic of which being the Zerg Infestor, a mid-game caster able to mind-control units and travel while underground. Previously the unit was a slimy blob and now it’s, uh, a sleeker slimy blob. Perhaps the most interesting discussion in the art panel was the art team’s struggles with deciding how exactly to recreate classic StarCraft units when most of the original art for the first game was either lost or never existed. Designing a new unit based on a 13×13 pixel image can’t be all that much fun.

All in all the game seems polished as I’ve mentioned in my hands-on review. Surely the fluidity of the single players missions available for play heralds the game’s beta ready potential. In any case, it clearly isn’t gameplay that’s holding up StarCraft II‘s release.

Jonathan Tietz is the admin for StarCraft2Forum.org.

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