I finished StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign over the weekend and I was amazed. But before we go into that let me tell you how crazy starcraft really is. Most of this stuff you will find on wiki but here are some unusual ones. StarCraft was released internationally on 31 March 1998 and over the next 12 years it has sold 9.5 million copies across the globe, with 4.5 million of these being sold in South Korea alone. It’s like a national sport there; there are TV channels that are dedicated to replays and strategies and there are coaches that train you, hell, there is even a course in UCB about starcraft, not kidding. In addition, it holds four Guinness World Records. I could go on, but after 12 years starcraft II came and Blizzard has proven, again, that they can make very immersive games.
I haven’t played starcraft I, but the installer was nice enough to tell me the whole story while it was installing this 12 GB game. The cut scenes in the game were brilliant and the music is also very nice. If you guys have seen Serenity (TV Series), you will instantly identify with it.
There are two modes in the game, one is the RTS mode, where you actually build units and kick ass, we will come to that in a minute. Then there is this other mode, where you go around you spaceship, talking to people, buying upgrades and stuff. This was a very nice idea, it lets you know the characters and background before you jump into a mission and is much more satisfying compared to a cutscene. In general, an exceptional way of immersing the player in the game.
As far as the story is concerned, it’s similar to starship troopers ( you should watch the movies, if you haven’t already). There are 3 races. Humans are average, Aliens are technologically advanced and bug thingies that have a hive mind and a sinister, yet, unknown purpose. But that’s just an introduction, the story is actually fascinating, not as deep and titillating as warcraft, but it is quite good indeed. I wouldn’t want to spoil the story but I must say I really liked the “secret mission”. It brought a very different and mysterious angle to the game and left a good bit for the expansion pack, which I am sure will be coming soon.
Now the gameplay. It’s like warcraft minus the heroes, or like command and conquer ( mostly like C&C ). There are units, there are counter-units, there are uber-units. You do missions in a non-linear fashion. You are presented with tough choices, and in all likelihood, you will play the game again to find out what would have happened, if decided differently. The missions are diverse and all of them are fun. There are basic attack missions, defend you base till you are rescued mission, suicide missions, missions that you are destined to lose ( this was the second most fun ), search and rescue, hijacking and an obligatory train mission ( what’s up with that?) and all along there are bonus objectives that absolutely brilliant and rewarding. But the most fun was the one with “Odin” ( play the game you bitches ).
The graphics are nothing exceptional, but who cares, when the game is this fun. All the zoom, pan-in and out stuff that warcraft had, is there of course, but in starcraft there are whole lot more units and these units can do a lot of things.
I haven’t played online, ’cause frankly, I am scared. But it is supposed to have a revolutionary skill matching system. Whatever, the campaign was well worth it. ’nuff said, go play.