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Why I'm Not Going To Buy Starcraft II

Why I'm Not Going To Buy Starcraft II

OPINION

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, letís 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 donít 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 thereís no excuse for a PC game to be the same price Ė 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 Ďem.

Battle.net (and RealID)
I donít like Battle.net. I donít like any company forcing me to sign up for its services when I just want to play its game. Iím still grinding my teeth about letting Bioware do it. Steam works for me fine thanks, I donít need a Blizzardized imitation.

Then thereís RealID, which I believe is mandatory (correct me if Iím wrong)? I know itís 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 youíre playing with a vindictive teenager and thoroughly humiliate him, heíll know your real name, email address and potentially a load of other personal details. Not a comforting thought.

Melting graphics cards!
Okay, this isnít exactly influencing my decision as Iím sure itíll be fixed, but the reports of Starcraft II melting peopleís graphics cards is still worrying. Normally this wouldnít stop me from buying the game, but with everything else itís definitely a factor. A scary, scary factor.

Not interested in the universe
I just donít give a (pro)toss. I want a connection with what Iím playing so that Iím 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 ĎUseful Against/Weak Againstí panel. A Flak Cannon? Itíll 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, umÖ fine, Iíll keep to the human side then, theyíve got tanks, marines, flame-cannons andÖ 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, itís a learning curve that I canít 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 Iím 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. Thereís no fun in it for me.

For many people, Starcraft is multiplayer-only. I ainít 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 Iím referring to. The Command & Conquer 3 story was complete, I didnít have to buy Kaneís Wrath if I didnít 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 IIís story goes, I have to buy two more ďexpansion packs,Ē 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 Iíll get the most flak over. I just donít 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 wasnít any good at the multiplayer. If you actually read the review (which I realize isnít 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 personís 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 Iím not going to flock to a game overrun by them. Of course writing this article probably wasnít the wisest idea if I wanted to avoid them as I suspect Iíve now created a Mecca for Blizzard Hate. Oh well, I'm just bitter that Command & Conquer 4 turned out crap.
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