Why I'm Not Going To Buy Starcraft II

Why I'm Not Going To Buy Starcraft II


Starcraft II is arguably the biggest gaming release of the year, and as a big PC gaming fan I should be supportive of this phenomenon, right? Hell no! Shocked as you are, let's run down the reasons why I, personally, will not be buying Starcraft II.

Starcraft II is arguably the biggest gaming release of the year, and as a big PC gaming fan I should be supportive of this phenomenon, right? Hell no! Shocked as you are, let’s run down the reasons why I, personally, will not be buying Starcraft II despite a) being a PC gamer, and b) actually being an RTS fan too.

I want to make it clear that these are all my own reasons and opinions. The entire world and much of the Hooked Gamers staff love this game. I just wanted to show that not everyone wants to attend this particular party (I don’t have a WOW account either).

The Price and Purchasing
$59.99 is too much for a PC game. The extra price on console games goes to the console manufacturers, so there’s no excuse for a PC game to be the same price – except greed, which is what publishers excel in. This is even worse in the UK, where the RRP is five pounds more than any other game.

The method of buying Starcraft II is just as bad. It may still seem frightening to many console gamers, but PC gaming has gone almost exclusively digital. The rise and convenience of Steam has replaced the offline game store.

Unfortunately, Starcraft II is not on Steam. Or Direct2Drive, GamersGate, Impulse, or any of the other digital download sites that are just stores and not a threat to Battle.net. No Blizzard game at all is available online, unless you buy it from Blizzard themselves, for full price. Sales? Competition? Availability? Never heard of ‘em.

Battle.net (and RealID)
I don’t like Battle.net. I don’t like any company forcing me to sign up for its services when I just want to play its game. I’m still grinding my teeth about letting Bioware do it. Steam works for me fine thanks, I don’t need a Blizzardized imitation.

Then there’s RealID, which I believe is mandatory (correct me if I’m wrong)? I know it’s not being using in the forums now (thank Christ) after some sort of viral outbreak of Common Sense among Blizzard employees, but Battle.net still uses it. If you’re playing with a vindictive teenager and thoroughly humiliate him, he’ll know your real name, email address and potentially a load of other personal details. Not a comforting thought.

Melting graphics cards!
Okay, this isn’t exactly influencing my decision as I’m sure it’ll be fixed, but the reports of Starcraft II melting people’s graphics cards is still worrying. Normally this wouldn’t stop me from buying the game, but with everything else it’s definitely a factor. A scary, scary factor.

Not interested in the universe
I just don’t give a (pro)toss. I want a connection with what I’m playing so that I’m not totally lost when I boot up the game. I like to have a vague idea what my units will do without looking at the ‘Useful Against/Weak Against’ panel. A Flak Cannon? It’ll shoot planes out of the sky. Tank? It fires explosive shells, should be good against vehicles and structures but less good against infantry. Void Ray? Well, gee uh, um… fine, I’ll keep to the human side then, they’ve got tanks, marines, flame-cannons and… Ravens, Thors and Vikings. Gee, thanks.

The totally alien landscapes, with nothing vaguely identifiable, seals my disinterest. With no connection to the lore, units, story or play, it’s a learning curve that I can’t be bothered to scale.

Not going to play multiplayer
I know some people agree with me here. I hate competitive multiplayer. I get too angry when some flaccid dick who plays the game every waking hour comes in and casually murders me while I’m trying to work out whether a Void Ray is good against ground or air. Barring friends and co-op, I will not play multiplayer ever again, and never on an RTS. There’s no fun in it for me.

For many people, Starcraft is multiplayer-only. I ain’t touching it.

Having to pay for a third of a story
Yes, I know, the single-player is great and huge, but this is the story I’m referring to. The Command & Conquer 3 story was complete, I didn’t have to buy Kane’s Wrath if I didn’t want to. Mass Effect 2 may have ended on a cliffhanger, but in terms of plot the current Collectors plotline was complete. If I want to find out how Starcraft II’s story goes, I have to buy two more “expansion packs,” which will be full or near-full price.

For many this third of Starcraft II is easily worth it, and I suspect this is the point that I’ll get the most flak over. I just don’t like feeling obliged to buy add-ons or further installments. I want it to be my choice.

Blizzard Fanboys
See our review. Or more specifically, see the comments. Some of the logic-defying stupidity on display there would put a pre-teen Sony fanboy to shame. For example, many commented that Pilcrow marked the game down because he wasn’t any good at the multiplayer. If you actually read the review (which I realize isn’t a prerequisite for commenting on it for many people) Pilcrow makes no mention of his online skills, or even his lack thereof.

Many of the comments ignored some simple facts: 8.8 is a great score, and it was only one person’s opinion. Just because it differs from your own is no reason to cry foul. Blizzard is the only non-publisher/console-creator I can think of that has a, erm, passionate fanbase on par with that of Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo.

And I hate people like this. I avoid those types as much as possible, so I’m not going to flock to a game overrun by them. Of course writing this article probably wasn’t the wisest idea if I wanted to avoid them as I suspect I’ve now created a Mecca for Blizzard Hate. Oh well, I'm just bitter that Command & Conquer 4 turned out crap.