by Howie Howard
previewed on PC
The end is near
The original Starcraft was released way back in 1998. That is over 10 years ago and to this day the original game still has a loyal following. In fact there are legions of loyal fans out there that are clamoring for a sequel to come out. According to the game’s developer and publisher Blizzard, these loyal fans will soon be rewarded with not one, but three sequels. The first game, Starcraft II Terrans: Wings of Liberty is slated for release sometime in 2009. The following two games named, Starcraft II Zerg: Heart of the Swarm and Starcraft II Protoss: Legacy of the Void should follow at one year intervals after the first Starcraft II comes out.
Blizzard describes this new Starcraft II Trilogy as simply an epic campaign that spans the entire Starcraft world with some new and quite exciting additions. Blizzard decided on this trilogy approach in order to allow the developers time to introduce new characters and to create a massive and more interesting story line. They felt that if they were required to combine everything into a single production that it would simplify the campaign thus making it more linear and less compelling. In addition to this, a single Starcraft II would mean less new characters and character development.
I think the trilogy approach that Blizzard has chosen is the best path for both the developers and the consumers. Like I mentioned above, in the trilogy format the game is more detailed rather then it being a compressed and somewhat generic game like the original was. Blizzard likes to use the word compelling when they talk about Starcraft II. Having three games instead of one allows for new game characters that can be fully developed and who can interact with each other in a massive and compelling plot.
Starcraft II Terrans: Wings of Liberty is the Terran campaign. The other two games that follow allow the player to control the Zerg and then the Protoss. Wings of Liberty features a mercenary group stationed on Hyperion named Raynor’s Raiders. Jim Raynor is the commander of this group of mercenaries and he is trying to reverse money and morale problems. Raynor plans to fix these problems by acquiring alien artifacts and then selling them to the mysterious Moebius Foundation. After strengthening their unit the mercenaries advance to campaigns against the Zerg and Protoss factions. Of course there will be much resource gathering and the sound of crystals being harvested brings back fond memories of the original game. All of the original sounds are back, only this time the detail and look of everything is truly amazing.
Of course it has a new graphics engine, enhanced lighting effects and other graphical and sound enhancements are present as well. All I can say is that everything looks and sounds fantastic.